Watch CBS News

Sacramento will eliminate free on-street parking on Sundays, holidays as of July 1

Free parking on Sundays, holidays to end in Sacramento on July 1
Free parking on Sundays, holidays to end in Sacramento on July 1 02:06

SACRAMENTO — It's going to cost more to go Christmas shopping and drive to Sunday church services in downtown Sacramento as the city is trying to solve a $66 million budget deficit by raising parking fees.

Beginning next month, people will now have to feed the meters on Sunday, which is something that had always been free.

"It's supposed to be Sunday Funday. I'm not supposed to worry about parking," said Kaylissa Dunson with Saigon Alley Kitchen and Bar.

Churches like Saint John's Lutheran say they have hundreds of worshipers come for Sunday services, and forcing people to pay for parking will impact lower-income individuals.

"As a pastor, I sympathize with other pastors here in this region who are having to deal with parking," said Keenen Worrell, who was a patron in midtown on Friday.

Businesses say the free parking encourages people to drive downtown and they're concerned the extra expense will now drive customers away.

"We're already trying to support the local businesses here by feeding money back into the community, and so then we have to pay parking on top of that," said Skylar Burnes, who was in midtown on Friday. "It just feels like they're asking a lot of us."

Sacramento has more than 6,000 parking meter spaces.

A city audit shows that Sunday parking revenue could raise more than a million dollars each year and another $300,000 from parking tickets.

The city says eliminating free parking will also help promote the turnover of parking spaces and incentivize people to use public transportation.

Many others say it will discourage people from going to downtown churches and make holiday shopping a little less merry and bright.

"I don't think they thought that one through," Worrell said.

The parking changes were already approved as part of the city's budget process, but a formal city council vote is scheduled to take place on Tuesday.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.