A proposal to double parking meter rates in the downtown business district--up to $2 an hour in some places--was approved Friday by the Los Angeles City Council's Transportation and Traffic Committee.
The committee, acting on a recommendation from the city's Transportation Commission, voted to adopt an ordinance sharply increasing parking meter rates as a way to ease rising traffic congestion on downtown streets.
Under the proposal, which must go before the full City Council, motorists who now feed $1 into meters to park for an hour would have to pay $2 an hour in an area mainly bordered by Olympic Boulevard, 4th Street, the Harbor Freeway and Los Angeles Street.
80 Cents to $1.50
In zones where the meter rate is 80 cents an hour--encompassing the area bordered by Olympic, Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles Street and the Harbor Freeway--the cost would go to $1.50. The same would hold true for a pocket of meters from Los Angeles Street east to San Pedro Street and from 4th south to Olympic.
On the fringes of the downtown area where motorists pay 40 cents an hour, the rate will climb to 50 cents. In this "split-rate" zone, motorists will pay 50 cents an hour for the first three hours but only 50 cents for the next six hours that they stay parked.
A similar rate schedule would apply in the eastern downtown area--that bounded by Alameda Street on the east, the Santa Monica Freeway on the south, San Pedro Street on the west and 4th Street on the north--where hourly rates also will go from 40 cents to 50 cents.
The split-rate proposal is aimed at aiding local business customers and employees, said Jerry Berman, senior administrative assistant for the Department of Transportation's Office of Parking Management.
"The entire plan is an outgrowth or reaction to the increasing congestion in downtown Los Angeles," he said. "We want to ease the problem by making the cost of parking so dear."
3,000 Meters Involved
In all, 2,518 parking meters in the central business district would be affected by the proposal as well as 467 meters in the eastern downtown area.
Councilman Michael Woo, who chairs the Transportation and Traffic Committee, said there has been little opposition to the plan and he expects the council to pass the measure when it takes up the issue within the next few weeks.
The committee, meanwhile, postponed a vote on raising parking meter rates in Chinatown to allow more community discussion.