Some Tucsonans say it can be quite the hassle securing a parking spot downtown.
“It’s garbage,” said lifelong Tucson resident, Maria Gutierrez.
“The downtown area, it's not as accessible as you would like it to be,” said Tucsonan, Bill Young.
According to Downtown Tucson Partnership economic development manager, David Mitchell, there are over 13,000 spaces to park, with about a third designated for public use.
“I'd say it's pretty accessible,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell noted Tucson ranks below the national average for hourly parking rates. He said it costs $1.00 per hour at most parking meters and garages.
Mitchell said bigger cities charge anywhere from $5-$32 per hour for parking.
"Sometimes it's still hard to find parking, especially because it's free,” Gutierrez said.
In 2015, the city crews installed almost 400 parking meters along 4th Avenue.
Young said revenue dollars should be allocated wisely, in such a way that would bring more commerce to downtown.
"I would say have some free lots and some city lots for people to come and park that's close enough to downtown, close enough to walk, close enough to visit all of the businesses and spend money down here,” Young said.
As it relates to making any parking improvements, Mitchell said, “I do think there could be some better signage as to where maybe to find parking. That seems to be a challenge people will maybe be a little confused as to where it's at but there are over six public parking garages downtown. There's plenty of street parking in front of local businesses.”
City of Tucson parking officials did not respond to a request for an interview.