The City of Bend has made changes it believes will improve downtown parking.
Including more long-term parking options, the addition of two main parking zones, and less flexibility when it comes to two-hour parking.
“So the difference now with the zones is that in the older days, until two days ago, you could park for two hours in downtown Bend anywhere pretty much,” Tobias Marx, City of Bend parking services division manager said. “Anywhere on the street, and then you technically had to move your car by 750 feet to get another two-hour free session.
“You can get your two-hour free parking in Zone A which includes any on-street parking space within the downtown area, and after that move into a lot. All the lots and the parking garage are Zone B, and there’s different time limits. Some are four hours, some have six hours, some have all-day parking.”
Free two-hour parking is no longer an option in downtown lots, but there are long-term parking options at the Mirror Pond North and South lots, Troy Field lot, and Centennial Parking Plaza.
Some people find the new system confusing.
“Well, I think people should just be able to move from spot to spot,” Hunter Preston, Bend resident said. “I mean it’s already hard enough to find a two hour spot anyway.”
It is an adjustment, but one the city says will reduce congestion and improve the flow of traffic.
“So if somebody just wants to stop by real quick, grab lunch, pick something up, shop for an hour, they should take advantage of the two hour free parking anywhere on street,” Marx said. “But if they know that they might stay longer because they plan to meet somebody, meet a friend, they should really choose to park in the parking lot or in the garage from the beginning.”
Everyone will just have to take it one parking spot at a time.
Local drivers can use coupon code “Bendites” on all mobile pay platforms for free parking for two months to help adjust to the changes.