Riverside has a new parking policy. The goal is to raise funds for infrastructure improvements.
However, small business owners claim that it is actually costing them customers.
The policy is criticized by a member of the city council.
Some people feel that the changes in Downtown Riverside’s parking policies, which include higher rates for long-term parking and daily parking, are reasonable.
“It’s a trade-off,” said Patricia Agbulos a Riverside resident. “I mean we need a way to pay for our city’s infrastructure.”
However, some owners of small businesses say that the new parking regulations are causing them problems.
“This parking situation is just a nightmare because people don’t know where to park,”Wretha Knight, owner of Upper Crust sandwich shop.
Knight claims that in the past, customers were able to park free of charge at night or on weekends. Customers must pay for parking Monday through Saturday between 7 a.m.-10 p.m.
It’s really hurting our business because we are open seven day a week, and we are open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day.
Serina Newborg, Knight’s daughter is co-owner of the Cupcakes and Curiosities shop next to her.
“We’ve definitely noticed less people frequenting our shop,”Newborg. “We have customers who complain about it all the time.”
Newborg claims it is also hurting employees, who, like everyone else, must deal with high inflation as well as high gas prices.
“Right coming out of the pandemic people are struggling enough as it is,”She spoke.
Ronaldo Fierro, Ward Three Councilmember, says that the original city approval was given because the parking fund had been in the red.
“It was being subsidized by the dollars we need for vital city services,” Fierro said. “So the goal was to raise the rates to a point where the parking fund would be fiscally solid.”
Councilmember also owns two downtown businesses, including Salted Pig Gastropub.
He sent a tweet Monday stating that he and other councilmembers were wrong when they accepted the dramatic parking rate change.
“People don’t expect the government to be perfect,” Fierro said. “We are not perfect and we make mistakes but they expect us to listen especially when a decision we made is going to have a negative effect on their quality of life here in the city of Riverside.”
The city council will look into amending the parking policy.
Councilmeber Fierro stated that he is hopeful they will find a fair compromise.