Drivers who park at Berkeley’s pay-and-display parking meters could soon be shelling out money until 10 p.m. if Mayor Tom Bates and two city councilmembers have their way.
The new metering stations, which allow payment with coin or credit cards, currently charge parkers from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Under the proposal by the mayor, Dona Spring and Laurie Capitelli, the meters would offer extended parking times from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. and permit multiple hours of parking at night.
The move would be part of the city’s agenda to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent over the next 42 years as mandated by Berkeley voters when they passed Measure G in 2004.
Part of the funds would be directed to arts and to developing alternative transit modes.
Spring said that given the limited choices for raising revenues for the city’s downtown Arts District. “This is a good option.”
With live stage and film theaters and restaurants the main evening draws to downtown Berkeley, the extension of metered hours offered a way both to raise more funds for downtown public amenities and to encourage people to leave their cars in favor of public transit, she said.
“The downside is that it will discourage some people,” Spring acknowledged.
The new plan would also increase the number of pay-and-display meters downtown. Spring said it was Downtown Berkeley Association Executive Director Deborah Badhia who proposed extending the program to side streets, beyond the initial proposal to limit the extended hours only to slots on Shattuck Avenue.
The item is on the agenda for Tuesday night’s council meeting, but only in the form of a request to City Manager Phil Kamlarz to direct the staff to develop a plan and cost analysis of the proposal.