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The Foothill Dragon Press

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The changes in parking coming to Downtown Ventura

Rihanna Samples
To keep up with the growing population of Ventura, Calif., the Ventura City Council voted in favor of expanding paid parking in the downtown area. As of May 1, 2024, many of the currently free parking places, including the parking structure on Santa Clara St., will cost $1.25 an hour.

Since December of 2023, the City of Ventura’s Downtown Parking Advisory Committee has planned to implement new major parking changes in Downtown Ventura, Calif. Almost all free parking will be closed by the beginning of May 2024, with 887 of the total Downtown parking spots affected. Popular parking garage at 555 Santa Clara St. will no longer be free and neither will most spots throughout Main Street.

When the change is implemented, anyone who parks downtown will have to pay $1.25 an hour, a significant change for Ventura locals. The city plans on using the funds to plan the construction of a new parking structure with 435 spaces, supplying more spots to the popular area, as well as fund cleaning, maintenance, public restrooms, security and more.

It really does affect all the businesses down here, especially the small ones.

— Buffalo Exchange employee

Additionally, the new fees are meant to encourage turnover, which is intended to increase foot traffic Downtown. Since many Ventura locals go Downtown, Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) students are included in the people that have become used to free parking. Some don’t come prepared for this change, or can’t afford parking downtown for a few hours because they now expect it to be maybe a dollar or more. It will also affect small businesses that are located in front of the free parking, as this foot traffic stimulates the popularity of some stores. Because of this issue, small businesses may need to increase their pricing in order to continue to earn what the same profits before this change in parking, which will either cause less customers to shop at these businesses or cost customers more.

An employee at Buffalo Exchange, a popular consignment store for locals, said, “I think it will affect … the overall business because customer flow really matters … a lot of people aren’t privileged enough, in my opinion, to pay for parking and pay for where they’re going.”

As a primary spot for teenagers in Ventura, Foothill Tech students will feel the impact of this change. Amelia Gerk ‘26 said, “It will be much more of a hassle to go downtown … It’s meant to be fun and free. You shouldn’t feel like you should have to pay.”

With the elimination of various free parking spots in Downtown Ventura, Main Street visitors and employees will see financial consequences.

What do you think?
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About the Contributors
Aubrey Alderman
Aubrey Alderman, Reporter
First-year news reporter.
Rihanna Samples
Rihanna Samples, Multimedia Editor
A junior who is constantly looking at the world through the lens of a camera.

Comments (1)

Comments on articles are screened and those determined by editors to be crude, overly mean-spirited or that serve primarily as personal attacks will not be approved. The Editorial Review Board, made up of 11 student editors and a faculty adviser, make decisions on content.
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    Martin WorkensMar 21, 2024 at 1:26 pm

    Ventura city officials not smart. They are using Santa Barbara as a model. Not same tyoe of city. more tourists in SB.