If you’re parking on a Central Business District or French Quarter street on Monday, be ready to feed the meter twice as much as in the past.
Elsewhere in the city, rates also will go up, but less sharply.
Higher parking meter rates and extended meter collection hours take effect Monday — moves that Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration says will result in more turnover of available spaces and more efficient use of limited on-street parking.
It now will cost $3 per hour to park in a metered space in the French Quarter and Central Business District. That rate also applies in the Warehouse District, the areas around the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and City Hall, and in the Marigny Triangle, bounded by Esplanade, St. Claude and Elysian Fields avenues.
Elsewhere, the new rate is $2 per hour.
It used to cost $1.50 an hour to park at a meter anywhere in the city.
Hours of enforcement for metered parking, formerly 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, are being extended by one hour, to 7 p.m.
The mayor’s initial proposal — scrapped after heavy criticism — would have extended evening collection times to 10 p.m.
But this concession was dismissed by some critics, who said the city should have expanded public transit service, especially at night, and more closely examined traffic conditions in and near the French Quarter and CBD before raising rates. They said the higher rates will especially hurt people who work in restaurants and bars at night and have relied on low-cost or, after 6 p.m., free on-street parking.
City officials said the Regional Transit Authority is planning to expand bus service in and near the CBD and French Quarter this spring and a traffic study is due to be completed by year’s end.
The New Orleans City Council also will soon consider a plan to raise fines for parking violationa from $20 to $30, another change sought by the critics. The council is expected to approve the change this month.
Follow Jessica Williams on Twitter, @jwilliamsNOLA.