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Community split as paid on-street parking resumes in downtown Auburn

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Beginning next month, the city of Auburn is set to reinstate its on-street paid parking system in the downtown area, a development met with a spectrum of reactions from local businesses.

The Citizen reports that the City had initiated a two-hour free parking scheme in May 2021 to stimulate local commerce during businesses’ recovery period from the COVID-19 pandemic impacts.


However, the city’s 2023-24 budget, endorsed by the Auburn City Council in June, has set the phase-out of the free parking program for October 1, reverting to a rate of 25 cents per 15 minutes.

Opinions among business owners on the parking policy shift are divided. Some hope this doesn’t hurt downtown business, while others hope it means fewer business owners and store employees use it for all-day parking.

City officials maintain that the two hours of free parking in Auburn’s downtown parking garage will remain intact despite the reinstatement of on-street paid parking, and parking violators will receive one courtesy ticket per quarter to educate them about the violations before they are fined.