Mayor’s Office

Downtown Burlington Parking Changes Coming Nov. 1


October 31, 2014
Contact:  Mike Kanarick

Downtown Burlington Parking Changes Coming Nov. 1 
New Technology, Rates, Policies Geared Toward Improving Customer Experience, Sustaining Parking System;
City Seeks Input at Nov. 19 Public Forum

Burlington, VT – This Saturday, November 1, 2014, the City of Burlington will initiate the first phase of changes to the downtown parking system, including new credit card reading parking meters, improved garage facilities, new rates, and new hours of enforcement.  The changes have been designed to improve the customer experience and create a financially sustainable parking system.  The community is invited and encouraged to provide feedback to the City and its parking consultant teams on all aspects of additional downtown and residential City parking at a public forum on Wednesday, November 19 from 7:00-9:30 pm in City Hall’s Contois Auditorium.

“Improving the parking system will drive our economy forward,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “New technology, a more efficient customer experience, and more sustainable parking infrastructure complement our exciting downtown.  These changes represent a significant investment in our City’s transportation system and a sustainable, data-driven future.”

“Good parking policy is responding directly to what customers want,” said Kelly Devine, Executive Director of the Burlington Business Association, one of the initiative’s leaders.  “Burlington businesses have identified smart parking policy and well-maintained infrastructure as critical to the health of downtown. The number one complaint we’ve heard over the past year is lack of payment options – being able to use a credit card and pay for as much parking as needed will result in a better customer experience.  We are thankful to the City for partnering with the BBA on this important initiative.”

“We look forward to leveraging the data collected from our new smart meters to help guide future changes in rates and times of enforcement to reflect market demand,” said Chapin Spencer, Director of the Department of Public Works.  “We will continuously fine-tune our parking system to reach our goal of ensuring that parking spaces are available whenever and wherever Burlingtonians and our visitors are parking downtown.”

The changes come after more than one year of stakeholder meetings and significant data-gathering to support multiple ongoing parking studies.  Key parking meter elements of the November 1 changes include:

  • Smart meters in the downtown core (Cherry to Main Streets and Pine to South Winooski Streets) to accept credit/debit cards and closely track parking data, enabling further experimentation with rates and enforcement times based on market demand
  • Smart meter rate of $1.50/hour with no time limit
  • Smart meter enforcement until 10:00 pm from Monday to Saturday, encouraging increased turnover and greater availability of spaces in the downtown core during evening hours


Meter rates, enforcement hours, and technology outside the downtown core will remain the same as they are today, as follows:

  • Free parking less than a block away in any direction from the downtown core to continue after 6:00 pm
  • Downtown meter parking on Sundays and holidays to remain free

For more information about current parking meter rates, please visit DPW’s parking web page.

City-owned, downtown garage parking also has been and will continue to be improved:

  • Two-hour free program to remain in place at all City garages
  • Recent garage improvements include:
    • Pressure-washed stair towers
    • Safety painting on curb lines
    • Cleaning of all parking attendant booths and gate infrastructure
    • Graffiti removal
    • Elevator rehabilitation (College Street Garage)
    • Added overnight and holiday security (beginning by Thanksgiving holiday)
  • Marketplace Garage (on Winooski Avenue)
    •  Hourly rates to increase over current rates by $2.00/hour, with a daily maximum fee of $10.00
    • Automated lane that accepts credit cards or two-hour free tickets installed
  • Lakeview Garage (behind Hotel Vermont) and College Street Garage (behind the Hilton Hotel)
    • Hourly rates to increase over current rates by $1.00/hour, with a daily maximum fee of $8.00
  • Downtown garage parking on Sundays and holidays to remain free

Other elements of the new changes include:

  • Grace period of five minutes on every smart meter that runs out of time
  • Daily internal report identifying any broken meters, resulting in more efficient repair times
  • New wayfinding and signage being installed during the 2015 construction season to better direct people to available parking spaces
  • Upcoming significant investments in the parking garages to extend their functional life-spans and improve aesthetics and security

Parking ambassadors will be downtown on November 1 to assist parkers with questions about the changes.  For detailed information about the City’s parking initiatives, please visit the newly-launched website

The Downtown Parking Improvement Initiative is a collaboration between the Burlington Business Association, the Department of Public Works, the Community and Economic Development Office, and the Burlington Police Department, with planning and outreach support from the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission.  The Initiative is one of a series of ongoing studies, including studies on residential parking and downtown commuting, aimed at improving Burlington’s parking and transportation systems.  The studies are expected to be complete in spring 2015 and will guide further changes to the parking system. 

If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact:


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