Are you the kind of driver who looks for sidestreet parking rather than pay at a main street parking meter? That may no longer be a cost-saving option, at least not in Santa Monica, Calif.
Santa Monica city officials are exploring a pilot program that would add parking meters to some residential streets near commercial streets, the Santa Monica Daily Press reports. Residents with preferential parking permits would not have to pay the meters.
Officials hope that, in addition to raising money for the city, the residential meters will discourage parking on side streets -- which has forced residents to park three or four blocks from their homes.
The program would place 350 new meters on side streets of commercial corridors like Wilshire, Santa Monica or Lincoln boulevards, CBS reports.
But there's concern that the meters might actually encourage more parking, would be eye sores and would result in less spots because meters would take up curb space with marked spots that fit both SUVs and Smartcars, notes SMDP.
“It would just be really inconvenient for our guests to come down here ... they’d have to pay every two hours,” resident Carla Stangle said to CBS. “The city already makes so much money in parking tickets and meters, I don’t think there’s need for any more."
"This is a horrible, horrible idea," Gail Suber commented on the Daily Press story. "Ten cents used to get us 12 minutes and now it's only six minutes. And they also cut the time limit for parking in downtown structures from two hours to 1.5 hours. Give us a break."
This isn't the first time Santa Monica's parking changes have drawn the ire of locals. The city recently installed ground sensors and new meters at all of its metered parking spaces so that they no longer accept payment after the indicated time limit. This means drivers can no longer run back and "feed" the meter to stay parked over the allotted time limit. The smart meters also wipe the slate clean after every car leaves, which means new drivers can no longer stumble upon a meter with minutes left on it.