Byline: MSD and Louisville Water Consider Merging, Mayor Fischer Wants to Ban Encampments in Parks, Parking Authority Boots Legally-Parked Cars

Friday on Byline, Erica Peterson explained the possible benefits of a full or partial merger between MSD and the Louisville Water Company. Devin Katayama and Philip M. Bailey talked about the Mayor’s proposed ban on encampments in parks, and what it means for the Occupy Louisville Movement. And Devin also gave us an update on the Parking Authority’s intention to boot cars whose owners owe on parking tickets.

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Local News Politics

PARC Change Repeats Unenforced Policy From 2009

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is cracking down on parking scofflaws to help overcome the city’s budget shortfall, but his plan mirrors a 30-month-old policy that officials never enforced.

Starting May 7, parking officers will scan every car parked downtown to check for delinquent tickets. An immobilizing boot will be placed on cars with three or more outstanding tickets, even if they are parked legally.¬†The Metro Council recently approved the change to the city’s parking ordinance to encourage tougher enforcement.

But in October 2009, PARC adopted a similar policy. In September of that year, Mayor’s spokesman Chris Poynter (working for former Mayor Jerry Abramson at the time) told WFPL:¬†“If parking meter maids are going down the street and they notice cars that have at least two parking tickets, even if they are legally parked, they will now get the boot.”

In an interview this week, Poynter (who now works for current Mayor Greg Fischer) said officials did not follow through.

Local News

Parking Meter Costs, Technology to Change

The cost of on-street parking in downtown Louisville is going up.

Starting in July, metered parking will cost one dollar per hour, marking a 25 cent increase. The Parking Authority of River City approved the change this week, and it’s expected to generate a half million dollars in additional revenue each year. But despite the shortfall in the city budget, PARC business administrator Tiffany Smith says the money can only be used by the authority.

“All of our operating revenue goes back into the PARC budget,” she says. “So it goes back to finance any of the parking garages, the surface lots, any of the equipment, the capital repairs, anything associated with the meters. Our revenues are not commingled with those in the general fund.”

Smith says the parking rate increase will be used to pay off debt on bonds for parking garages and to install credit card readers for on-street parking.

“We went into accepting credit cards approximately two years ago in our off-street locations. It’s been a great success. It’s been very well-received. And this will allow parkers that go to on-street parking that don’t have change, don’t have a smart card to still utilize one of the parking spaces,” says Smith.

Money from parking tickets and other citations goes to Metro Government. The structure of those fees was changed last year. At that time, more than $5 million in citations was uncollected.

Local News Politics

Parking Meter Rates to Increase This Summer

Street parking in downtown Louisville will be more expensive starting in July.

The Parking Authority of River City has voted, and parking meter rates will jump by 25 cents per hour, bringing the total cost for 60 minutes of parking to one dollar.

Parking meters are a handy revenue source for governments, too. Marketplace recently toured a few cities where mayors were looking to boost budgets with higher parking fees or parking privatization. But as cities turn to parking, transportation advocates are turning against it. In recent years, activists have called metered parking inessential, unfair and even unethical.