The county manager’s proposed 2019 budget includes new parking meter rate hikes.
Short term parking, defined as less than four hours, would go up a quarter to $1.75 per hour. Long term parking, more than four hours, would also go up a quarter to $1.50 per hour.
Currently, drivers only have to feed the meter in Arlington between 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Under the proposed budget, the times would change to 8 a.m.-8 p.m., or an additional two hours of metering for a total of 12 hours a day, six days a week.
The increase would add about $3.775 million per year to the county’s coffers, with $1.575 million in anticipated revenue from the rate increase alone and an additional $2.2 million for the hours extension.
In a budget document, county staff note that the increase would “encourage more frequent turnover in parking space during hours of greatest demand” and would be “more consistent with other rates and hours in the region.” It would also, of course, raise revenue at a time when the county is facing a significant budget gap.
The proposal comes less than three years after the County Board approved parking meter rate increases, which raised rates a quarter across the board. In 2011, a rate hike brought the long-term parking cost per hour up to $1.
Parking ticket fines will also rise, from $35 to $40 per offense, leading to just over $236,000 in revenue per year.