(TNS) -- By the time the SMART trains roll later this spring, San Rafael will have added more 10-hour parking meters at the downtown train station, new signs directing commuters to a nearby long-term parking lot and additional street parking spaces at the Marin Civic Center train station.
The city’s efforts at its two train stations are in addition to work by SMART staff to review parking options at all the train stops.
“We’re looking at what we can do with the existing public street parking spaces so we can have more parking available,” San Rafael City Manager Jim Schutz said. “Downtown, we’re trying to use the resources we already have to accommodate northbound commuters.
“At the Civic Center, we’re converting spaces there to create more street parking,” he added.
According to Jim Myhers, the city’s parking manager, eight more 10-hour parking meters near the downtown transit center will be added on Tamalpais Avenue between Fourth Street and Fifth Avenue. The city already has 22, 10-hour meters on Tamalpais between Third and Fourth streets, and between Fifth and Mission avenues, he said.
The meters, which cost $1.50 per hour, would allow a 10-hour day’s parking for $15.
“If you’re going to be using the train to go north, we’re offering reasonable parking so you don’t have to worry about driving to Santa Rosa,” Myhers said.
Myhers said if the 10-hour meters prove to be popular, the city has the option to add eight more 10-hour meters between Fifth Avenue and Mission Street. Myhers said the meters are controlled remotely and it is relatively easy to upgrade a two-hour meter to 10 hours.
“We don’t know yet how many people will be parking there all day,” he said.
In addition to upgrading the two-hour meters to 10 hours, Myhers said the city will post signs directing commuters to the upper level of the two-level public parking structure at Third and Lootens streets. The top level is long-term parking, at 75 cents per hour, or $7.50 for a 10-hour day.
Meanwhile, at the Marin Civic Center train station, the city will be adding street parking on McInnis Parkway and handicapped access parking along Merrydale Road. Some of that will involve removing red curbs or otherwise changing the curb markings. Since the Civic Center-area parking is free, some commuters going north may find that station more convenient or economical.
“If you live in Sausalito or Tiburon and you want to ride the train north, you could go to the Civic Center instead of parking in downtown San Rafael,” Schutz said.
SMART on Wednesday released the expected train schedule. To see the schedule, fare information and other details, go to: http://main.sonomamarintrain.org/
SMART officials are expected to announce the start date for the trains at their June 7 board meeting.
©2017 The Marin Independent Journal (Novato, Calif.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.