It could soon cost you more to park in San Diego

Posted at 6:48 PM, Feb 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-10 00:20:22-05

As if parking around San Diego isn't taxing enough, thousands of spots around the waterfront could be in for a price hike.

Guilherme Larsen and his fiancée Tiane are loving San Diego.           

"The cool beach, the cliffs, the people,” he said.

But there's one thing the Brazilians aren't fond of - the cost.

"To be here, and park, and for everything,” Larsen said.

Rents, home prices, food. All on the rise.

And now, it may be time to brace for one more.

It's because prices to park at more than 5,000 spots from Barrio Logan to Shelter Island could get more expensive.

On Tuesday, Port of San Diego commissioners expressed support for a proposal to overhaul its parking system, adding $6 million annually by 2020.

"People are already unhappy with the parking situation in San Diego,” said Chris Reidy, a downtown tour guide.

But port chairman Marshall Merrifield says the agency promises to always offer the best deal.

That's whether prices rise in its lots at the Navy pier, across from Petco Park, or at thousands of its meters around San Diego Bay.

"Our commitment is to be below the market place in all of our pricing,” Merrifield said.

But a report given to commissioners show there's lots of room for increases, with some lots seeing 40 percent boosts and still being the most affordable.

And one new idea? Installing smart meters that force turnover. They'd also adjust their pricing based on what's going on - like when the Padres are playing a key opponent.

Larsen said high parking prices can push him away.

"I would go to places where I have a discount or free parking," he said.

On Tuesday, he may have gotten a deal on parking, and not even known it.   

Port officials say they'll do lots of public outreach before approving any parking changes. Board staffers plan to come back with a resolution for approval in the coming months.