Changes Coming to Parking in Downtown Walnut Creek on April 7th

March 25, 2014 8:00 am · 35 comments


Starting April 7th, changes are coming to parking in the City of Walnut Creek.

The first hour in City garages will be free ($.50 for each hour after the first) and there’s a new monthly discounted parking pass.

There will also be changes to downtown parking rates, meter operating hours, and extending meter operation to Sundays.

This new demand-based management model adjusts parking rates based on demand; encouraging turnover and making it easier to find a space.

To learn more, please CLICK HERE.

WC March 25, 2014 at 8:02 AM

So the first two hours in a garage is .50! That is a deal!!!

Pass March 25, 2014 at 8:43 AM

Just more reason to stay out of Walnut Creek.

Clayton Squirrel March 25, 2014 at 8:53 AM

I wandered into the $2 per hour structure near Olympic in WC for the first time on Sunday. The lady next to me offered to give me her spot because it had an hour left. The sensors in the floor reset the meter to zero as soon as she pulled out. Then I dropped my quarter under the seat. Used all my spare change. No fun. I’ll dine elsewhere. I much prefer free parking by the movie theatre in Pleasant Hill.

ricardoh March 25, 2014 at 9:19 AM

Give them a hand and they will take your arm. We used to have a government that wasn’t that money hungry.

anon March 25, 2014 at 9:25 AM

Don’t go to Walnut Creek if you’re going to complain about the expenses of going there.

missime March 25, 2014 at 9:45 AM

@Clayton Squirrel,

The garage on Locust (by Panera Bread & the Container Store) has pay parking only on the first level. If you go up to higher levels, it is still free. At least that was the deal last week.

AnonWC March 25, 2014 at 9:46 AM

From the comments above, it sounds like the new system is already having its intended effect of decongesting downtown. 🙂

Antler March 25, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Shopping and dining in Walnut Creek is a real treat, and I’m glad to pay such a fair amount for parking. Also, there are valet services …… very convenient, validation from a restaurant gives a discount, and you can leave your vehicle there until 11p, as a rule (check with valet at each location to be sure about that!)

Wishing all the best to our neighboring city!

Michelle March 25, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Question –are the meters $2/hour or the parking garage. The ad says the parking meters and the writ says the garages are $0.50 per hour after the first hour. I definitely will not be parking there.

aannoonn March 25, 2014 at 9:58 AM

Yep…they want to ease congestion–they’ve done it! I’ll avoid WC like the plague now. Absolutely NO reason to ever go there anymore!!

Triple Canopy March 25, 2014 at 10:12 AM

“Revenue enhancements”.

Rose Garden March 25, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Michelle, the rates are spelled out very clearly.

I understand where they’re going with this, and I agree with their logic.

I love shopping in WC, and parking can be quite the challenge!

Shiloh March 25, 2014 at 10:58 AM

Those who say they have absolutely no reason to go there probably aren’t doing much shopping and dining there now either. I have plenty of reasons to go to WC and will continue. Does anyone know if the planned renovations of Broadway Plaza include lots more parking?? I certainly hope so. They could make the nordstrom parking garage a couple stories higher, for one

Sunnymoon March 25, 2014 at 11:33 AM

I find the rates quite reasonable (and I didn’t mind free parking before). I love going to downtown for a little shopping/dining. This beats parking in SF for sure. People who find $2/hr parking rate absurd are welcome to Sunvalley.

anonanonagain March 25, 2014 at 11:40 AM

I love Walnut Creek except for the parking. Now they are extending the hours that they can ticket you. Swell. Shoppers are sure to stay away now, including me…..

jena March 25, 2014 at 11:57 AM

Man, you peeps are all complainers. I don’t see what the big deal is and I park here ever day for work. If you don’t want to spend the time looking for change use a credit/debt card. It’s not rocket science. And if these new rules keep you away then great I have more spaces to pick from. Yay me.

Clayton Squirrel March 25, 2014 at 12:32 PM

To Jena:

I had choices of where to stop for lunch on Sunday. My husband was picking up my daughter’s car with me from Lafayette. I could have stopped anywhere on my way to a show in San Ramon but decided to try Citra Grill which I didn’t realize was in the heart of WC congestion central. So we had two cars, a hassle with traffic, me being stupid with the coins, him running back to put in an hour’s worth on a credit card on top of my change, me almost hitting a car changing spots to the one from the the friendly lady with an hour left on the meter which then disappeared, me being slow to meet for lunch because I dropped my last quarter and rummaged for more coins because I didn’t read the $2 an hour sign until it was too late (I had remembered getting lots of time for 25 cents before), and then having to get through congestion to turn left onto Olympic. Next time I would just pick a different city for sure. Complaining, yes, parking in WC is the topic and I would not suggest downtown WC as a meeting place for friends for those reasons.

Me March 25, 2014 at 12:32 PM

I’ve lived in both WC and Concord. Aside from when I worked downtown, I’ve always avoided downtown WC like the plague in the past few years. I don’t care what they do about parking. I just get mad that I feel like a tourist in one of my own towns. It doesn’t feel like home down there anymore which is really sad. If I have to shop I just do it online now.

Not a Fan March 25, 2014 at 12:42 PM

I understand the reason to raise rates to try to keep the meter parking moving along, but I don’t like the extended time until 8pm or the no more free parking on Sunday.

Spicoli March 25, 2014 at 12:43 PM

For what it’s worth, all of the parking garages on the south side of Mt. Diablo Boulevard (including the ones mentioned above with $2/hour meters) are all privately owned and operated. It’s not the City charging you to park there, it’s the stores/owners/landlords.

And c’mon people, parking garages are expensive to build. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather have a cool downtown like Walnut Creek where I have to pay some pocket change to park in a garage, than some big and ugly (but free) surface lot like the CVS on California/Olympic, or Park-N-Shop in Concord.

Michelle March 25, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Thank you Rose Garden, the rates are clear on the website, but not in this advertisement. But anyway, you can see where they’re going and this is really a great idea.

well... March 25, 2014 at 1:23 PM

I have not been to WC in years. If I want to pay high prices for parking because of great restaurants and shopping, I’ll go to San Francisco.

Peanut Gallery March 25, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Typical Walnut Creek! I’ll shop somewhere else.

what_the March 25, 2014 at 2:30 PM

$2? WC Who do you think you are, San Francisco?

ItMustBeKen March 25, 2014 at 2:56 PM

In an economy that increasingly is leaving shopping centers & downtowns for the comfort of the iPad and delivery to the home, this seems to be counter productive. Short term planning with myopic vision.

Danville, Lafayette and Pleasant Hill are going to see the benefits of this.

Kai March 25, 2014 at 3:17 PM

Another word of warning….it is dark inside the parking garages and hard to read the signs. The lower level has parking meters inside the garage and signs I found confusing. I don’t know if the low light level is supposed to be romantic, energy conserving, or revenue producing, but take your time and read what you are supposed to do. I pulled into a different spot because the sign over the first one was so confusing.

Craig Cannon March 25, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Just Like the Highest Taxes in Concord. You Buy a Big Item, You go to Another City to Save On Sales Tax. You Don’t Want to Pay To Spend, You Shop Pleasant Hill, or Other “Tariff” Free Cities. Except Some Specialty Retailers, Many Similar Retailers are In Other Cities. It’s A Shame, and Might Reduce Traffic. Good For Them. Hire Some More Police. In The Begining it Appeared Broadway Plaza was Trying to Look Like “Blackhawk” Plaza. They Acheieved That. I’m Not Wealthy, but can still go to “Blackhawk” Plaza, where Most Are Wealthy, Have a Fun Afternoon, and Pay Nothing To Park, Eat, Shop. What Gives? The Other Day in Walnut Creek. Coffee $2.25, and Parking $4.00. Seems Like Someone Catering to a Certain “Class” of Shoppers. Forget those who are not quite Well Off! That’s how I see it…..Profiling? Na, not going there.

Old Kid March 25, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Whatever it takes for WC to make more $$$. I think we all know the real reason is not to solve parking; it IS to increase revenue. Same for red light cameras, saftey is an excuse to charge more people, even the innocent (most will just pay and the cities know this and take full advantage).

I like WC shops, but will opt for a more customer friendly city.

@anon #5 March 25, 2014 at 5:41 PM


MrDioji March 25, 2014 at 8:45 PM

Waaah! Rabble rabble rabble!

Oh wait, it’s not a big deal. Although I think the meters resetting is kinda mean. I love pulling into a spot with an hour left on it and feeling like it’s my lucky day.

“$2/hr is too much! I’m going to use $7 in gas and a $5 toll and go park in SF for $20 now!
Or maybe now I’ll only go shopping at the lower end stores in Pleasant Hill/Concord that I already exclusively shop at since I care so much about saving money”

Mig March 26, 2014 at 6:31 AM

It’s only starting at $2….wait til they double it! I’ll shop elsewhere thank you. I used to go to breakfast each week or so and enjoyed the free parking…it was a nice early Sat thing….not anymore, I’m happy to spend my money in PH, Concord, Martinez or elsewhere….

The Mamba March 26, 2014 at 9:37 AM

So sick of this, what a scummy thing to do. I feel like we are getting squeezed for more and more money and can’t keep up any more.

Bill March 26, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Whatever happened to existing within the tax base of a municipality’s residents?? Cops are now glorified tax collectors, parking is a Taxation solution, (A ticket is hundreds of times greater than the original parking fee). Never ending growth to pay the debts of reckless spending, funds wasted on pet projects, bushiness courted and waivers given against residents Interests/wishes! WTF is going on in Walnut Creek?? In finance there is a principal known as FIDUCIARY DUTY; a fiduciary duty is a legal duty to act solely in another party’s interests. We need to hold the City council to Fiduciary standards so that they stop ruining our town!!

chalkboy8 March 26, 2014 at 12:23 PM

What are the hippies going to use to cover up broken meters since Walnut Creek banned bags?

Charles-the-cat March 26, 2014 at 2:33 PM

I don’t get the complaints. Street parking is now free until 10am, so you can get a late breakfast or coffee and still have time to go over to the bank…all for no charge. Plus, there’s now a free hour in the garages…which means a 2 hour dinner or shopping trip is 25 cents an hour. Even less if your restaurant validates parking. That’s a deal.

This is the first thing the WC city council has done in a LONG TIME that makes any sense. (Still doesn’t make up for the library, developer-butt-licking, and plastic bag ban…so I guess it’s understandable that people are knee jerk reacting negatively.)

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