Monday, January 11, 2016

The parking is too damn high

Welcome to the new world.
Higher parking meter rates and extended meter collection hours take effect Monday — moves that Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration says will result in more turnover of available spaces and more efficient use of limited on-street parking.

It now will cost $3 per hour to park in a metered space in the French Quarter and Central Business District. That rate also applies in the Warehouse District, the areas around the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and City Hall, and in the Marigny Triangle, bounded by Esplanade, St. Claude and Elysian Fields avenues.

Elsewhere, the new rate is $2 per hour.

It used to cost $1.50 an hour to park at a meter anywhere in the city.

Hours of enforcement for metered parking, formerly 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, are being extended by one hour, to 7 p.m.
So if you fill up a meter to park downtown, it will cost you six bucks now. For the purposes of comparative outrage, note that the ATM fee at Harrah's casino right now is $5.99. So Mitch is one cent more of a jerk than they are.

But, hey, the good news is we're... starting... to discuss.. maybe... how to augment our pathetic public transit system in order to make up for the harsh parking situation. 
But this concession was dismissed by some critics, who said the city should have expanded public transit service, especially at night, and more closely examined traffic conditions in and near the French Quarter and CBD before raising rates. They said the higher rates will especially hurt people who work in restaurants and bars at night and have relied on low-cost or, after 6 p.m., free on-street parking.

City officials said the Regional Transit Authority is planning to expand bus service in and near the CBD and French Quarter this spring and a traffic study is due to be completed by year’s end.
That's good because, as Owen Courreges notes this week, lately they've been going in the wrong direction.  

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