Parking crackdown underway downtown

January 8, 2009 10:02:07 AM PST
The city of Houston will soon start cracking down on people who ignore the time limits posted at parking meters. Officers will start handing out tickets, even to people who pay for the extra meter time. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

It can be notoriously tough to find a space downtown to park. And once you find one, you may be tempted to keep it by putting money in the parking meter over and over, even if you're only supposed to stay for a certain amount of time.

Starting in one month, the city will give you a $25 ticket if they find you've overstayed the allotted time. In the meantime, they'll offer warnings to those people who overstay their welcome.

"The two-hour limit, it would deter me to use the street," said Chris Popjoy, who parks downtown. "I'd be forced to use private parking, which is kind of an inconvenience sometimes."

"It's a little redundant," added Cedric Lee, who also parks downtown. "If the parking meters are there to generate revenue, what difference does it make if you're here for two hours or here for six hours as long as you come down and continue to feed the meters?"

We talked with a spokesperson in the Mayor Bill White's office today and we're told that this is actually meant to help businesses along the street, that drivers who park along the road and stuff the meters actually hurt them by blocking drivers who want to get in and out quickly.

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