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Downtown Parking Meter Rates Set to Double

By Eric Richardson
Published: Monday, July 14, 2008, at 12:34PM
Parking Meter Eric Richardson [Flickr]

This meter on Olive street falls inside the new $4 per hour zone.

A parking meter ordinance change set for Tuesday's City Council agenda will raise meter rates across the city, with rates Downtown doubling. Parking meters in the Civic Center and Financial District would be the most expensive in the city, costing $4 per hour. At that rate, a quarter buys three minutes and forty-five seconds at the curb.

The rate increases were drafted by the City Attorney's office in response to directives in the city's 2008-09 budget. In the budget's implementation instructions to the Department of Transportation, a performance metric is to see an "Increase in parking revenue and dollar amount per meter." Under a section titled "Enhanced Parking Management," the instructions read:

Funding in the amount of $1 million is provided for the adjustment of new parking meter technology, rates, and hours Citywide. Parking meter rates will be adjusted to a minimum of one dollar per hour. In heavily utilized parking meter zones, all rates currently at 75 cents per hour and above will be doubled. It is anticipated that this increase will result in greater mobility in street traffic due to a higher turnover at meters.

The information on Tuesday's Council agenda indicates that there has not been a financial analysis done to determine exactly how much new revenue this change will bring to the city.

At $4 per hour, it would seem an imperative for the city to accelerate its plans to roll out new high-tech collection boxes able to accept credit cards and bills. Small change will no longer cut it for parking Downtown: a nickel will buy less than a minute.

New York City just announced plans to charge a different meter rate during peak hours, doubling in the chosen portion of Manhattan's Greenwich Village to $2 - $2.50 per hour during the times of heaviest use.


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