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St. Petersburg City Council Round Up: More parking meters, higher illegal parking fines proposed

St. Petersburg City Council Roundup

Roundup is an occasional feature on city government. Here are the highlights from Thursday's City Council meeting.

Topic What happened Why you care/What's next
More parking meters At a workshop Thursday, Mayor Bill Foster's staff presented a report about installing more meters in an area bounded by Beach Drive NE, Mirror Lake Drive N, Sixth Street N and Central Avenue. The city already has 1,450 meters in place. Foster is recommending another 1,450. Steve Kornell, Jeff Danner and council Chairman Jim Kennedy voted to accept the report, referring it for a future full council vote. If installed by March 1, the new meters are projected to bring in $212,000. The cost of purchase and installation, however, will be about $160,000. Foster's staff is using a 2002 study to justify the expansion of paid parking. The report showed downtown employees competed for parking with customers. Wengay Newton voted against the report, saying the city had enough meters. He pointed out that since Foster became mayor in 2009, meter rates have climbed from 50 cents an hour to $1.
Higher parking fines The council voted 7-1 to hike fees for illegal parking by $5. That's not overtime parking (which already increased), but parking in a variety of scenarios that violate city rules, such as no parking in alley, this side of block, in front of a hydrant, no parking any time, no parking 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., no parking between signs, parking on sidewalk, blocking driveway, taking up two spaces, too far from curb, and leaving keys in ignition. The council is scheduled to give a final vote Nov. 21. Fines for illegal parking haven't increased since 1998. Tickets will increase from $25 to $30 for most violations. In all, the city writes about 10,000 of these tickets every year. The higher fines are projected to bring in an extra $50,000 a year. Only Wengay Newton voted against the higher rates. "Higher parking will run people away from downtown," Newton said. "We have a boot program and meters everywhere."

St. Petersburg City Council Round Up: More parking meters, higher illegal parking fines proposed 11/05/11 [Last modified: Friday, November 4, 2011 6:13pm]
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