Secret Santa Parking Officers Are Coming Back!

Julie Happy, 509.625.7773

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 at 10:20 a.m.

Holiday season is here and City Parking Enforcement crews are ready to start performing random acts of free parking. Parking enforcement officers will start plugging parking meters for unsuspecting downtown shoppers as they arrive to their parking spot Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (normal parking meter hours). Parking enforcement officers will randomly be providing free parking to citizens from Friday, November 25 to Saturday, December 31.

This holiday tradition encourages people to come downtown during the holiday season to celebrate and support local businesses. Money used to plug parking meters is donated from the City’s parking meter revenue funds.

“Our parking enforcement officers love the ‘Secret Santa’ program because they get to put a smile on our citizen’s faces,” said Heather Trautman, Director of the Office of Neighborhood Services. “This program encourages people to come downtown to support our local businesses during the holidays.”

The ‘Secret Santa’ parking enforcement officers only plug meters of drivers who just pulled into a parking spot. They do NOT re-plug meters for vehicles already parked at a metered spot. Vehicles are not allowed to remain parked at a meter beyond the maximum time allowed by that meter, per Spokane Municipal Code, Section 16A.61.561.

Throughout downtown core you will notice the addition of light pole ornaments for the holiday season. These ornaments were designed and built by Seattle-based artist Elizabeth Gahan. They are made from laser-cut aluminum sheets and translucent colored PVC panels.

“The addition of these really unique light pole holiday ornaments to the downtown retail core are another great collaboration between the City, Spokane Arts and the Downtown Spokane Partnership. Our thanks to City staff and the Council for continuing to fund important projects using parking meter revenue, “ said Mark Richard, DSP President. “Like the I-90 off ramp project, the Spokane Falls and Division sculpture, the hanging flower baskets, and the art wraps on utility boxes across downtown, the holiday lamp post ornaments are a great investment into the downtown core which help it to be that much more vibrant, creative and dynamic.”

The new ornaments will be maintained by the DSP and will be reused every holiday season. This project was initiated with parking revenue.