Parking on the street in West Hollywood will cost a third more with the City Council’s passage last night of a variety of changes in city fees.
Parking at a street meter now costs $1.50 an hour. That price will rise to $2 an hour beginning July 1.
The increase is expected to raise $1.78 million, which the city will use to increase sidewalk cleaning and security in commercial areas.
The proposal to use the fee increase revenue to improve sidewalk cleaning and security got the support of a number of area residents and also Ben Reiss, the manager of the city’s Sunset Boulevard and Design District business improvement districts, and Genevieve Morrill, CEO of the city’s Chamber of Commerce.
All five Council members voted for the fee changes. However, while Councilmember Lauren Meister said she supported the plan to increase sidewalk cleaning and security she said she was concerned that the fee hike would intimidate visitors.
“We want our visitors to feel welcome, and I think that raising the meters as well as extended meter hours doesn’t feel very welcoming.”
Meister asked that City Hall review parking meter pricing plans in other cities, citing Redondo Beach. She also asked the city to consider two levels of pricing for fines for violating parking meter time limits – a lower fine if the violation is no more than 10 minutes and a higher fine if it is more than 10 minutes. Currently the fine if $53 for exceeding the time one pays for at a meter.
Like most other cities, West Hollywood uses parking meters to encourage a turnover in cars parked on commercial streets such as Santa Monica, Sunset, La Cienega and Robertson boulevards. Such turnover makes it easier for customers to visit local businesses. Longer term parking is available in parking structures such as the one on Kings Road at Santa Monica.
In Redondo Beach, residents are able to buy an annual permit for $110 that allows them to park for up to 72 hours at a meter without paying the hourly fee. Employees of city businesses can purchase similar passes for $60 a year.
Parking meter rates in some other cities vary according to their location. For example, Beverly Hills parking meter rates range from $2 to 75 cents an hour, depending on where the meter is located. The rate is highest in highly trafficked commercial areas such as Robertson Boulevard and the commercial district bounded by Santa Monica and Wilshire boulevards and Rexford Drive.
In Glendale, parking meter rates are $1 per hour except on Brand Street, a major commercial street, where they are $1.50 an hour.
Santa Monica charges $2 an hour for metered parking in the downtown business district and near the beach, with the rate only $1 an hour in other areas.
West Hollywood, at 1.89 square miles, is a more compact city with few metered areas that aren’t heavily trafficked.
San Francisco has created a surge parking system, where rates increase according to demand for metered spaces. That system is implemented with a sophisticated system for monitoring parking demand. http://www.sfexaminer.com/transit-agency-approves-surge-pricing-lower-raise-parking-meter-costs/