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Phoenix considers higher parking rates, longer enforcement

PHOENIX — Visitors who use downtown Phoenix parking meters could soon pay more — or possibly less — depending on the day and time.

During Tuesday’s meeting of the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, Acting Street Transportation Director Ray Dovalina will share details about potential changes to the parking meter system.

“What we’re looking at is doing some zones where we would have a sports venue zone, a central business core zone and a government zone,” he said. “Basically, the area we’re looking at is Seventh Avenue to Seventh Street and from Lincoln Street to Fillmore.”

The zones could change from a flat $1.50 an hour rate to a variable pricing plan where the city could adjust rates from $0.50 to $6.00 per hour, based on demand. The city is also considering extending enforcement hours beyond the current 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on weekdays.

Based on their research of other cities, Dovalina says Phoenix has the shortest enforcement hours and the $1.50 rate is on the low end. According to a city council report, the Street Transportation Department collected about $1.65 million in parking meter payments during the 2012-2013 fiscal year, which resulted in $1 million in net revenue. Based on preliminary estimates, the department thinks a variable rate plan and longer enforcement could generate an extra $1-2 million a year.

Expansion would require as many as 640 new meters that could accept credit cards and adjust to rate changes, four new workers to enforce longer hours and one manager to oversee the program.