Drivers’ options for parking in downtown Juneau get more limited Thursday, as the third floor of the Downtown Transportation Center parking garage is being reserved for the Alaska State Legislature.
Only vehicles with a legislative parking permit, which is only issued to legislators and legislative staff members, will be allowed to park on the third floor of the facility, also sometimes known as the Telephone Hill parking garage, until April 30.
Signs are posted in the garage warning drivers that they are subject to towing and fines if they park on the third floor while it is reserved.
“It’s 24 hours a day, but we don’t enforce parking after 6 p.m., so if someone were to park there and didn’t have a permit, they would not receive a citation because we don’t enforce parking between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m.,” said Lindsey Brown, a Juneau Parks and Recreation administrative officer who handles parking facilities overseen by her department.
There are 60 parking spaces on the third floor of the DTC garage. That leaves 177 spaces in the garage available to the public, according to Brown’s count.
The Legislature goes into session on Jan. 15. Legislators, staff and others who work in the Alaska State Capitol during the legislative session will be streaming into Juneau over the next couple of weeks.
Brown said city staff believe there will be enough parking available for everyone downtown during the session, based on hourly “empty space counts” conducted last year while the third floor of the DTC garage was reserved.
“There was never a point in time last year when the space count was zero,” Brown said. “I think six was the lowest that we saw last year.”
There are other options for people parking in downtown Juneau, aside from on-street parking and private lots and driveways.
“If they can’t find a space available in the garage, they’ve got three other options for parking that they can take advantage of.” said Brown.
Brown pointed to the Shopper’s Lot next to the DTC and the North Franklin Lot near the Baranof Hotel, each of which have 23 spaces in which anyone with a “Premium Permit” can park.
The Marine Parking Garage underneath the downtown public library is also available. That garage has 272 spaces, Brown said, and offers a less expensive parking permit. The Marine Parking Garage is accessible with a Premium Permit as well.
The first, second and fourth floors of the DTC garage will also remain available for public use during the session.
Pamela Varni, executive director of the Legislative Affairs Agency, said she appreciates the arrangement.
“I think it works well for the city and works well for the Legislature,” said Varni. She added, “We appreciate the parking, because it’s a lot of people coming to town to do the government’s work.”
• Contact reporter Mark D. Miller at 523-2279 or at email@example.com.