Downtown drivers accustomed to parking in two-hour spaces may get a surprise after July 1.
That is the day parking on downtown streets will be limited to 90 minutes.
Traffic officers will exchange the chalk-on-a-stick tire marker for hand-held computers to record the length of time cars are parked.
Because the computers keep a daylong tab on each license number, cars will not be able to park twice in the same block on a given day without getting ticketed, police said.
Shoppers downtown won't be the only ones feeling the pinch from the new parking rules. The shorter limits could mean faster turnover and more shoppers, but it could also inconvenience merchants, many of whom park downtown more than once a day, darting in and out of their stores.
Police plan a meeting at 8:30 a.m. on June 1 with merchants at City Hall to discuss the changes, and to determine what configurations of parking spaces and loading zones will ease congestion downtown.
Kathy Janega-Dykes, executive director of the Ventura Visitors and Convention Bureau, said she doubts the changes will affect tourism downtown. The signs should clearly spell out time limits and the rule about repeat parking in the same block, she said.