When Craig Croner of the City of Boise's Department of Finance and Administration sat before the Boise City Council late July 9, to brief lawmakers on the city's ambitious plans to raise rates and increase weekend enforcement in front of parking meters, he agreed that the issue was controversial.
"Obviously, this has been an emotional topic," said Croner.
The plan, which still needs a public hearing later this month and final council approval, is to institute a pilot program where parking meters, bordered by Myrtle, Jefferson, Fifth and 10th streets, to be enforced from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
The change comes as the city is converting more than 800 parking meters to its new so-called "smart meter" technology.
And, because Croner said the city had last adjusted its meter rates in 2000, the cost of parking on city streets is about to jump significantly.
"We're proposing $1.50 for the first hour and $3 for the second hour," said Croner.
Croner insisted that the higher rates were based on what he called "extensive research looking at the rates and technologies of other cities."
Council President Maryanne Jordan said that there had been what she called "a lack of awareness" in the community regarding the proposed changes.
"There has been a lot of conversation about the rate increase," said Jordan. "As opposed to the fact that we'll be offering an extra hour at these meters, which we currently do not."
The public will get the opportunity to weigh in on the matter at a hearing scheduled for Tuesday, July 23.
You can read more about the proposal, which would charge $4.50 to park on a city street, in the new issue of Boise Weekly.