A revenue-generating item on Monday night's city council agenda will raise parking meter rates, making downtown parking $1 per hour.
The item passed 8-1, with Ald. Judy Fiske (1st Ward) objecting, saying it would hurt downtown businesses.
"I'm just concerned that there hasn’t been enough input solicited from them," Fiske said, referring to downtown business owners. She said she was aware of some businesses that will soon be closing, and noted that the parking situation downtown is a barrier to local retailers.
Ald. Colleen Burrus (9th Ward) suggested only raising the rates at meters that accept credit cards.
"I don’t think people are so concerned about the amount [of money the meters cost]," Burrus said. "It's carrying all the coins around that’s the issue."
Rates will remain higher in downtown Evanston; meter parking in other areas will be a slightly reduced 75 cents per hour. The reduced rate is in place in part to prevent bargain-seeking drivers from filling up nearby residential spots, according to Ald. Melissa Wynne (3rd Ward). Wynne said she opposed a uniform parking rate throughout the city.
People who get busted for not paying a meter will still pay a $10 fine, instead of an increased $15 fine that was proposed Monday night. Fees for all other parking violations have been increased by $5, but parking meter violations, which make up the bulk of parking violations in the city, will not be increased.
Budget talks will continue Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
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