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City Weighs Parking Meter Hike 

With violations down, city considers raising cost of on-street parking.

Revenue from parking violations is down a projected $140,000 this year because more drivers are following Richmond’s parking regulations, officials announced at City Council’s finance committee last week.

Later in the same meeting, administrators introduced a plan they say will raise a projected $240,000 annually. It would increase the cost of on-street, metered parking from 50 cents an hour to 75 cents an hour.

It sounds perverse -- drivers follow the rules and get smacked with higher fees -- but city officials didn’t link the former with the latter.

Instead, James Jackson, the city’s director of public works, says the additional money would go into the city’s general fund to help maintain aging municipal parking decks. In addition to raising revenue, he says, the price hike deters long-term parkers from hogging on-street parking.

City Council’s finance committee endorsed the 25-cent increase. The measure will go before the full council for final approval May 28.

Sharon Judkins, the deputy chief administrative officer for finance, noted the decrease in parking violation revenue earlier in the meeting while she was outlining the city’s projected $5 million budget deficit for the current fiscal year.

Judkins linked the 3-percent decline in parking revenues to an increase in the number of Virginia Commonwealth University students and faculty members using the school’s parking decks. She also theorized that the city’s recently introduced tire-booting campaign -- immobilizing cars with more than three outstanding tickets -- are leading drivers to pay tickets more promptly.

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