It's time for change... Parking change. Tuesday, the City Parking Administration and Downtown Partnership outlined their proposal to increase parking fees to Colorado Springs City Council members. The proposal would increase hourly rates to $1.00 in downtown's core parking meters and $0.75 cents in outlining meters. At present, both charge $0.50 an hour. The proposal would also increase the maximum fee for off-street parking from $4.50 a day to $6.75. But say many downtown patrons, change is never easy.
"It's just the kind of think that pushes you away," said patron Victor Restrepo. "If you don't have a dollar in change, then what do you do?"
But supporters of the hike contend the increase would actually help eliminate that problem by funding a debit card feature in the meters.
"This will allow people to purchase a reloadable debit card for meters," said City Parking Administrator Greg Warnke. "It would give downtown business the opportunity to validate parking at meters."
Still, some downtown business say that won't matter if the rate hikes scare customers away first.
"Rent is already high in downtown," said Everest Nepal Restaurant owner Jiban Shrestsa. "You add the parking meter increase and it's hard to do business."
The City Council moved to postpone a decision on the meter hike until May 9, at which time they'll hear a more detailed description of the proposal. Pending Council's approval, supporters say the increase could take effect July 1. The fee hike is also proposed for Old Colorado City, but council members balked at the idea, saying that area would not receive any revenue benefits.