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Downtown parking use drops sharply, recovers slightly

Idaho Central Credit Union Business Banking
COVID-19 Idaho

The number of people visiting Downtown Boise and parking in one of the public parking garages started to increase in recent weeks, but the numbers remain much lower than before the COVID-19 pandemic started to impact Boise.

BoiseDev requested parking data from the Capital City Development Corporation for the six public parking structures under its purview.

It gives a data-driven look at the change in activity in the Downtown Boise area in recent months.

The so-called ParkBOI system includes 3,179 parking spaces. On March 10th, just before the pandemic started to rewire businesses and culture in the area, 2,127 cars took up a spot in the garages during the noon hour. That’s about 67%. The middle of the day during the middle of the week is usually the busiest time for the parking structures.

CCDC parking garage system utilization
BoiseDevv graphic

A week later, on March 17th, utilization dropped to 37%. On March 23rd, down to 15%. By April 1st, just nine percent of spaces were in use.

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Fast in the Morning Wild 101
Boise Regional Realtors

The numbers remained low throughout April – hovering around 9%.

In May, the trend started to reverse, but parking usage remains well below the pre-pandemic period. On May 6th, cars sat in 14% of spaces. By May 13th, utilization stood at 17%. Last week, the number ticked up to 20%.

The urban renewal agency decided not to increase monthly parking rates that it planned to roll out this spring. It also decided not to charge monthly parking users in April and May for spaces it controls.

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