County mulls proposal for paid parking

INDIO, Calif. - The idea of paying for parking seems strange for anyone from the valley, but it's a situation residents may be dealing with.  The Riverside County Board of Supervisors is looking for ways to generate revenue and is mulling over a proposal to charge people to park at county buildings, including the Larson Justice Center.  "Most of the people here are already getting fined," said Stephen Allan, an attorney.  "It's just an added tax that doesn't need to happen I don't think." 

But the Board of Supervisors may see a need to change.  The county could help make some much needed revenue from free lots that always seem packed.  "Downtown Riverside, where you have parking lots across the courthouse that are charging," said Supervisor John Benoit. "We're not, you can understand what that's a problem." 

While adding meters and charging may make sense in the city of Riverside and other parts of the county, the Coachella Valley may not fit between the same lines.  "It's going to be my focus," said Benoit.  "Does it allow regional flexibility?  Does it make sense for our community?"

If the county does begin charging to park, some drivers, they'll find another way.  "Most likely they're going to go around the courthouse to find somewhere else to park or flood others streets," said Jorge Rios, a Mecca resident. 

The proposal's been tabled for now.  It'll be brought up at the November board meeting. 

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