This story has been out there for a while. However, this week the TNT and Tacoma Weekly both had some new news: Eric Anderson announced that in early August the first pay stations will be set up near UW Tacoma with many more to follow in the weeks after that throughout the rest of downtown.
The City of Tacoma has setup a good website providing all the details and it has a catchy domain name: www.tacomaparking.com. The initial cost is proposed to be 75 cents per hour between the hours of 8am-8pm. The boundaries of parking will be from 7th in the north to 21st in the south and up the hill as far as Market Street. In total about 1,500 on-street parking spaces. The hours of operation are still under review by the Tacoma Parking Advisory Task Force.
I was kind of curious as to what occupancy rates were being observed in the field. After receiving a reply from the City of Tacoma, I was sent a few documents and found the following graphic to be the most interesting:
This shows the results of a parking survey of parking space utilization during the "peak hour". The yellow lines are actually places without parking with the orange being 80-85% utilization and red being 85%+. Another interesting thing is that the "peak hour" varied through downtown Tacoma, but was always during the midday. Some places it was 10am and others as late as 2pm.
One other thing related to parking that I'll mention here is that Sound Transit is currently conducting a parking pricing study for the various park and rides they own, including the ones at Tacoma Dome Station. It will be interesting to see what happens at Tacoma Dome since a lot of downtown employees must use that garage. On an anecdotal level every time I ride Tacoma Link to Tacoma Dome to catch a northbound Sounder in the afternoon, most people that deboard at TDS head straight to the parking garages.