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Parking Study Q&A

Can I review the final parking management plan?

Sure, it’s available for review online. To purchase digital or print copies of the plan and background information, please contact Associate Planner Pam Drew at 760-602-4644 or pam.drew@carlsbadca.gov. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Pam.

Why did the city study parking? Can't parking be left as it is?

When the city undertook the creation of the Village and Barrio Master Plan, the issue of parking began to surface as a key factor that influenced other decisions. As a result, the city decided to dive deeply into area parking to gather sound data on which to base future decisions.

What are some of the parking changes you’re looking at making and will it include paid parking and/or new parking garages?

To maximize the amount of parking available, the study suggests several short to long-term strategies, including the following:

  • Create more parking by converting some red curbs and “curb cuts” that aren’t needed to parking spots. Where possible, parallel parking spaces can be converted to angled spaces to create more parking.
  • Enhance enforcement of existing parking time limits, consider changing some time limits and add time limits to commercial areas to encourage turnover of parking spaces that improves access to businesses
  • Encourage shared and leased parking arrangements by identifying underutilized private parking lots and partnering with the owners to make the parking lots available for public use during certain times of the day.
  • Use the parking in-lieu fee paid by developers to pay for shared or leased parking for public parking and improvements that reduce parking demand.
  • Make it easier to find parking through an app that shows where available spaces are located
  • Encourage ride sharing with dedicated passenger pick-up/drop-off locations to reduce individual parking needs.

Paid parking and a parking garage are not currently recommended. Read more about the parking recommendations beginning on page 66 in the parking management plan.

Why not just build a parking structure and be done with it?

Managing the city’s current and future parking supply with the strategies recommended in the plan is key to addressing parking needs and improving overall circulation. A parking structure was not recommended to accommodate future demand because the unmet parking demand is spread throughout the study area and would instead require a series of smaller parking structures to effectively meet the parking needs.

Parking structures are also costly to build and can alter the character of their surroundings.

Why do you allow developers to pay a parking in-lieu fee instead of constructing parking spaces?

The parking in-lieu fee allows developers to pay toward the development and maintenance of shared public parking facilities rather than providing some or all of their parking on premises, subject to city approval. This promotes recycling of parking spaces among many customers throughout the day, rather than devoting spaces to a single business. The character of the Village lends itself to this practice, as visitors can park their vehicle and then walk throughout the Village, and when they leave a new customer uses the space. The parking management plan provides recommended changes to the parking in-lieu fee beginning on page 86.

Has the city used the funds collected through the in-lieu parking program?

The city has acquired parking spaces in the Village through the program, most notably the 50-space parking lot along State Street south of Carlsbad Village Drive. 

Is the study forward-looking, rather than just considering the Village and Barrio as they are today?

The study factors in land uses and potential development to project parking needs for future decades. Data supporting the city’s Housing Element and General Plan provide the basis for the potential development projections.

The data collected appear to show that more parking is available than there actually is when I’m looking for a parking space. Why is that?

In collecting the data the surveyors counted all public and private parking spaces in the Village, Barrio and beach areas, except for private residences. The study accounts for the fact that private commercial spaces are not readily available to the public. The reason for counting them is to provide a complete inventory and understanding of parking resources. Counting private spaces also helps establish an opportunity for the city to work with private owners, such as banks and business offices, on a shared parking plan that could allow the public to access those spaces when those businesses are closed. See page 80 of the parking management plan to read more about shared parking.

The data also show that there are some “choke points” where parking is in especially high demand, such as at the Village Faire and in some areas close to the beach.