Meter rates to go up in Phila.

CENTER CITY - December 11, 2008 - City council approved a rate hike for parking meters on Thursday.

Right now it costs $1.00/hour to leave your car at most Philadelphia parking meters.

Soon, it will go up 50 cents to $1.50/hour except in a few places like Center City, where meter rates will rise a dollar to $2.00/hour.

Violation penalties for things like disobeying signs and double parking will increase too.

The parking authority's goal: To raise revenue for pulbic schools and decrease traffic congestion caused when motorists camp out at meters for extended periods, while other drivers continuously circle the block and double park seeking spaces.

"Their belief is that, if there is an additional cost to those meters that, in fact, people will opt to go into parking garages for long-term parking as opposed to sitting at meters all day," said Councilman Darrell Clarke.

The fine for not feeding the meter will be $35.00.

Reaction to the rate hike is mixed.

"I don't think it's that bad of an idea, honestly," said Jestis Deuerlein of Center City. "I don't like the idea of paying more, but I think the less cars on the road, the better. And if that prevents people from driving as much and taking mass transit then that's good."

"I think the rates are going way too high, things are way too bad with the economy," said Sean Ryan of Red Hill, Pa. "They're already holding you to two hours in places where you don't have an option of going anywhere else. You're pretty much trapped. You do what they tell you."

The increases go into effect January 1st.

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