Skipping meter payments may cost more

Drivers parking in downtown South San Francisco could expect to pay more if they do not feed the meter.

The Police Department is asking the City Council to increase meter violations from $15 to $25, a 66 percent increase, in the Downtown Parking District to help cover increasing costs of parking enforcement and to encourage people to pay the meters more frequently.

The issue is on the consent agenda for Wednesday’s City Council meeting and is likely to pass.

The city currently has 356 spaces in the Downtown Parking District, which extends from Airport Boulevard west to Spruce Avenue; 238 of those spaces are specifically for city parking permit holders. Money from the meters goes to maintaining city parking lots inside the district as well as paying the salary of change collectors and meter repairmen, said Chief Mark Raffaelli.

The fines were last increased in 2002 when they went from $11 to $15, and in a survey done by the South San Francisco Police Department, the fines in South City are some of the lowest around.

In 2006, the police issued 9,351 citations for meter violations, bringing in $140,265 to the city’s coffers, but $64,521.90 of that went to fees and other funds, according to a staff report. If the fine increased to $25, the city would bring in $233,775 and net $169,253.10, $93,510 more than 2006.

Raffaelli said that the increased revenue from the citations, if passed, would go toward paying for salary increases, equipment upkeep and supplies.

Mayor Rich Garbarino said that he had “some concern” about the increased violations affecting people who want to park there but most should be able to conduct their downtown business in under two hours.

dsmith@examiner.com


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