Parking during lunch hours has been a pain point for me. Downtown Portland is very congested during business hours and a lot of the jobs during the day time requires driving into and out of downtown.

Last week, I got a parking ticket trying to avoid paying for parking downtown while working a Postmates job. I’ve been good about paying for parking since. But if I can dodge paying for parking knowing there’s no potential penalty, I’d do it.

freeparking

This week, I discovered a great way to avoid paying for parking downtown while delivering food to the Loyalty Building. If you clicked on the link, did you notice the building structure on the left of the Loyalty Building entrance? It’s a parking structure. I parked in there and delivered the food to the customer within three minutes. When I handed my parking card to the kiosk person to pay, she asked me “You didn’t park?”

I told her I did. She said, “No you didn’t. It says no charge.” Apparently, I was in and out so quick that it didn’t charge me.

Later, I did another delivery to the downtown area and this time I parked in another parking structure. I grabbed a parking card, parked my vehicle, delivered the food, and was out the parking lot within 5 minutes. Again the kiosk person didn’t charge me. It sounded too good to be true so I asked him if it’s free parking today. He told me, “No, first 15 minutes is no charge if you don’t park.”

This is something you should think about. Whenever you have to deliver downtown, try to find a nearby SmartPark or similar parking structures and ask the kiosk person if the first 5-10 minutes is free. Once you know if the structure is free, use it in the future and make sure you get out quickly so you won’t get charged.

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