In a 4-0 vote with Commissioner Nick Fish absent on vacation, City Council today approved the parking plan for the streets around Jeld-Wen Field formerly known as PGE Park.
That plan, which Mayor Sam Adams introduced as an emergency ordinance, calls for expanding the hours for paid parking around the revamped stadium on Portland Timbers game nights and increasing the hourly rates from $1.60 to $3.50 during those extended hours during Timbers home games.
Last week, Commissioner Amanda Fritz raised questions about the lack of community input on the hastily configured proposal. Commissioner Dan Saltzman objected to the fact City Council had been left out of the conversation about what the new, higher parking rate should be. Following a lengthy discussion, Adams delayed a vote.
Today, both Saltzman and Fritz joined Adams and Commissioner Randy Leonard in their support for the plan, which Adams says is designed to discourage Timberss ticket-holders from driving to games. (He wants them to take public transportation instead.) However, the new rates could raise as much as $100,000 for the city's cash-strapped Bureau of Transportation.
Before voting yes, Fritz said she thought the plan (which will come back to council for further review at some point) had adequate safeguards. Thanks to an amendment from Saltzman introduced and approved last week, the parking plan calls for motorists to get warnings rather than citations at Jeld-Wen's Major League Soccer opener on April 14.