Beverly Hills Parking Meters Adjusted to Handle Rate Hikes

Times Staff Writer

Beverly Hills city officials have finished adjusting 1,178 on-street parking meters in the heart of the business district to reflect parking fees that have been increased by 150%.

The adjusted meters are in an area bounded by Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards and Crescent Drive, according to Robert Tierney, parking operations manager.

The City Council voted to increase meter rates in August. One- and two-hour meters were increased from 20 cents an hour to 50 cents; 20-minute meters from 20 to 50 cents, and 10-minute meters from 10 to 25 cents.

The increase is the first since 1978, when meter prices were doubled, according to Fred C. Cunningham, director of community services in the city manager's office. He said the rate increases had been recommended in a 1983 parking study.

The increases were approved to promote a higher turnover of cars parked in metered spaces, thus freeing convenient parking for short-term visitors. The city also hopes to attract more shoppers and generate revenue, Tierney said.

Donald M. Oblander, director of finance administration, estimated that the rate increase could double the approximately $1 million in parking meter revenues the city receives each year.

According to Tierney, parking revenue is used to operate surface lots and develop other parking sites in the city.

Tierney said he hoped the higher meter rates would encourage motorists to park in city-owned surface lots and parking structures where the first two hours of parking are free rather than on the streets.

There has been no significant decrease in meter usage despite the rate increase last month, he said.

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