GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - For the first time in 15 years, Grand Rapids parking meter rates could go up, and if they do, they will be the some of the most expensive in the state.
The city's parking commission voted Thursday morning to increase street parking by $0.25 per hour, bringing the total up to $1.75. Neighborhood meter rates are also going up, doubling to $0.50 per hour.
Half-hour rates for the downtown parking ramps will stay at $1 to $2 per hour.
Grand Rapids Parking Services Director Pamela Ritsema said the commission is raising street meter parking rates to match the ramp rates. 24 Hour News 8 asked why the commission didn't decide to lower the ramp rates to match the street meter rates instead.
"That wasn't the recommendation made by the parking commission," Ritsema said, but added that rates could be a "potential solution."
Ritsema said raising the prices is sensible and will encourage fewer cars on the street. She said the increase in revenue will go to improvements and repairs.
"That seems pretty steep," downtown driver Marcus Cross II said of the proposed rates.
And compared to other cities, it is:
- Chicago: $2 per hour
- Detroit: $1 per hour
- Kalamazoo: $1.50 per hour
- Lansing: $1.20 per hour
- Flint: $1 per hour
Some drivers Thursday said the increase was "outrageous," but others didn't care at all.
The Grand Rapids City Commission will have the final vote on the increase on Tuesday.
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