Prime-time parking rates coming to Downtown L.A.

parking-linder.jpgThe 10,000 fancy new parking meters being introduced around the city are getting most of their attention for being solar powered and taking credit and debit cards. But the fanciest thing about them is that they will let the city raise parking rates block by block and hour by hour in response to demand — or the desire to alter behavior. Michael Linder of KABC 790 radio digs into the details on his blog.

Parking meter rates jacked up in real time? It will soon be possible in Los Angeles, making on-street parking so prohibitive that some drivers may find themselves tapped out and heading home, freeing spaces for others willing to pay several dollars more per hour at a meter that charged far less minutes earlier.

“It’ll be adjusted to what’s going on in that block,” says Los Angeles Department of Transportation’s Peer Ghent of the city’s ExpressPark program now in development. “When the blocks are full, the price will go up. When blocks are empty, the price will go down.”

Meters would also charge more for extended parking. “The first hour might be $2, the next hour might be $3,” says Ghent. “That’s to insure short-term parking.”

The ExpressPark pilot program will cover 5,500 Downtown spaces starting next year — and rates are already authorized to hit $6 an hour, Linder says. He adds that federal rules that prevent the program from being used as a City Hall revenue source expire after a year.

Photo at Liner's blog

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