LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Louisville's parking authority will increase rates at all of its meters and will begin enforcement on Saturdays for the first time in memory, administrators said Friday.
Rates will increase by 25 cents at parking meters, and the Parking Authority of River City also plans to raise prices in some garages to move Louisville closer to what other cities charge, PARC Director Tiffany Smith said.
"The rates at the meters have traditionally be severely under market," Smith said. "We don't want to do it aggressive and immediately, we want to do it gradually over time."
Smith wouldn't rule out future increases to the meter rates, which will go up to $1.50 on July 1.
The Saturday enforcement has more to do with making downtown Louisville more friendly to shoppers and restaurant patrons than comparisons to other cities, Smith said.
Many shoppers have to park far from stores because employees take up the best on-street parking spaces, she said.
"Employees might occupy a space all day long, and that basically takes that space out of the inventory for customers or patrons," Smith said.
Indianapolis charges $1.50 an hour for metered parking, while some spaces in Cincinnati cost $2 an hour.
"It's money I could be saving," said Andrew Kim, who said the rate increase would cost him about $5 a week because he regularly parks on downtown streets.
But Kim agreed with Saturday enforcement, saying that his parents' downtown business suffers because customers can't find enough nearby parking.
Jack Dyer, who was visiting from San Diego, California, said he considered Louisville's rates a bargain because hometown's parking meters cost $2 an hour.
"I'm sure it's disappointing to see it go up, but we're used to paying quite a bit more than that," Dyer said.
PARC will begin Saturday enforcement July 9 with informational flyers handed out to people who violate the rules. Starting in August, parking officers will put warning letters on cars found in violation.
Tickets, which cost $25, will begin September 1, Smith said.
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