Annapolis considers seasonal cut in parking meter rates

At its meeting Monday, the Annapolis City Council will consider lowering the hourly rate for downtown parking meters from $2 to $1 for the rest of the winter.

The city would stand to lose $135,000 from the lowered meter rates, which would be in effect from Jan. 1 through March 31, a period when there's less demand for metered parking, according to a staff analysis.

To make up for the shortfall, the city could decrease the transportation budget, transfer $135,000 from a contingency fund or increase garage parking rates.

New Mayor Mike Pantelides campaigned on a promise to lower the downtown parking meter rate from $2 to $1. The rates were increased this summer when new meters were installed downtown.

Parking is an ongoing concern in downtown Annapolis, where residents, downtown workers and tourists compete for parking spots, and the increased parking rate was not popular.

As he left office, former Mayor Josh Cohen directed city transportation officials to evaluate the idea of having variable-rate parking, with different prices at different times of the year. The new digital meters make it possible for city officials to easily change parking rates.

The resolution is sponsored by Pantelides and Alderman Joe Budge, Alderman Fred Paone and Alderwoman Rhonda Pindell Charles. It is proposed to be introduced and voted on during Monday's meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. at City Hall, 160 Duke of Gloucester St.

Before the regular meeting, the Annapolis City Council plans to meet in a closed session to discuss personnel issues at 6:30 p.m.

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