Get used to seeing these signs if you spend time downtown. The city is temporarily installing 44 of them to direct people to off-street parking. Staff hopes it will help reduce what they call "extraneous traffic circulation." In other words, people circling the block looking for a spot on the street.
The signage is also part of a larger plan by the city to start charging for on-street parking downtown until midnight from Mondays to Saturdays. The new parking hours take effect in August.
The city says downtown off-street parking is underused, with the highest occupancy topping out at 26 percent on weekdays and 66 percent on weekends. One big reason for that underutilization may be that it is still free to park on the street after 5:30 pm on weekdays and all day on weekends.
Here's a map of the off-street parking lots in the downtown Central Business District, along with the price each charges to leave your car there. Click to the link to view in a larger window.