Changes are coming to downtown Anchorage parking beginning July 1.


Free street parking on Saturdays will come to an end, but the Fifth Avenue Mall parking garage will begin offering one free hour. EasyPark, operated by the Anchorage Community Development Authority, announced a number of changes and rate increases Monday.


“The 2016 rate increase is part of an overall strategy to improve garage operations, particularly in the areas of maintenance, security, aesthetics and technology,” Brian Borguno, EasyPark parking director, said.


Monthly permit rates for downtown parking lots for the most part have gone up $5 to $10, with a few exceptions. The monthly rate for the Anchorage Fifth Avenue Mall parking garage, located on the corner of Fifth Avenue and B Street, will remain the same, while the rate for the Sockeye parking lot on Third Avenue at C Street has more than doubled from $30 to $65 a month.


Street meters and pay-by-the-hour lots were not spared the parking fee increases. Lots that charged $1 per hour for vehicles will now charge $1.25. Parking along downtown’s streets will cost drivers an additional $.50 per hour at both two-hour and 10-hour spots. The fee hours will also be expanded to include Saturday to discourage downtown employees from blocking spaces for shoppers.


EasyPark manages more than 6,000 parking spaces in downtown Anchorage and says while prices have increased, the organization is also working to implement programs to provide more benefits to customers and employees. Borguno said the “first hour free” program was so successful at the JCPenney parking garage, EasyPark decided to run it at the Fifth and B garage as well.


“With the addition of The Rooftop, Anchorage’s newest outdoor park at the Fifth & B parking garage and the new shopping stores at the Fifth Avenue Mall, we anticipate the public will choose to park in the Fifth and B parking garage,” Borguno said. “’First hour free’ is another added benefit for those parkers.”


Employees at the Fifth Avenue Mall will also be able to apply to receive parking discounts in the Fifth Avenue garage, Borguno stated.


“The discounted employee parking program will be designed to give employees an affordable alternative to the current parking rates and will encourage the potential workforce to work in downtown Anchorage,” Borguno said.


Prices for parking using the PaybyPhone system will not increase, according to EasyPark’s statement.


For a full list of price increases, click here.