Parking: Less hassle but higher costs

  • Article by: ROCHELLE OLSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 29, 2011 - 6:41 PM

Parking meter

Photo: Ozier Muhammad, New York Times

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It'll be easier for downtown St. Paul visitors and workers to pay for on-street parking next year, but it may cost more.

As part of the 2012 budget, the City Council appears ready to approve installation of new parking kiosks that will accept credit cards and cash.

This is no small convenience given that St. Paul meters can run $1.75 an hour (seven quarters at the current meters) and enforcers abound.

Minneapolis already has installed many of the kiosks.

The St. Paul kiosks cost $1,100 each to install. As part of the changeover, the city is likely to increase the cost of meters by 25 cents an hour, except at those that run 50 cents an hour, which will go to $1 an hour.

Drivers also will have to pay until 5 p.m., half an hour longer than the current cutoff.

Another possibility: Increasing the hourly rates for Wild hockey games. Council Member Dave Thune likes that prospect, but Council President Kathy Lantry called it a "terrible idea."

Mayor Chris Coleman proposed a $1.5 million loan to public works in his 2012 budget to pay for the meter replacement plan.

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