CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley is pushing a new parking deal in front of City Council.
Under this plan, every meter in Cincinnati will be upgraded which means there will be no more coins. Every meter will be credit card operated and smartphone operated with hours and rates to be decided by City Council.
The new proposal calls for the city's Parking Services Department to maintain control of Cincinnati's parking.
The plan involves Port Authority to issue $30 million in bonds to upgrade the meters as well as build a new garage at Seventh and Broadway.
Cranley says the city would be the final decision maker concerning rates and hours.
Under the plan, the Fountain Square South parking garage would be leased out to the Port Authority.
The plan is much different than the previous administration. The previous administration wanted to sell the entire city's parking assets to help balance the budget and move forward with several development projects.
Mayor Cranley says upgrading the meters to have smartphone technology could generate $6.2 million in revenue next year and up to $7.4 million by 2019.
Street parking in downtown Cincinnati is tough as it is. Some say Mayor Cranley's new parking plan will only make it tougher.
"I can't imagine that it has such a huge impact that it is worth the extra headache," says Jaime Smith, who works downtown. She says extending meter hours until nine o'clock at night just doesn't make sense.
"I work late as well so if I had to run out at five to go pay for a meter, it would-it's just one more thing you don't have to worry about after hours," says Smith.
But some are not as concerned with the inconvenience as they are the timing of the change. Charmaine French says with hard working families just now pulling themselves out of a recession, any more money out of their pockets is a loss for everyone.
"I just, I don't think now is the time. It's a good idea and a good way to get money back in the city or to help the city out with funds but now is just not the time," says French. "Once the economy gives us some wiggle room, try it then. Not right now."
Under Cranley's plan, meters will remain free on Sundays and parking tickets will stay at $45. The mayor also recommends hiring 10 more parking enforcement officers and buying hundreds more meters that accept credit cards.
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