Evanston aldermen Monday night rejected a city staff proposal to extend the hours for parking meters in neighborhood shopping districts into the evening.

Staff had proposed making meter hours uniform across the city as a way to raise about $290,000 in new revenue to help balance the city budget.

Parking meters now need to be fed until 9 p.m. downtown, but only until 6 p.m. elsewhere.

But Alderman Eleanor Revelle, 7th Ward, said that in reading through survey responses from owners of businesses in the neighborhood shopping districts it appeared they are “overwhelmingly against the idea of extending the hours.”

And Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, said that the city needed to have a better understanding of the business owners’ needs before moving forward with any increase. “This is not something we should include in this year’s budget,” Wynne added.

Instead the aldermen are considering raising the monthly fee at city parking garages, which now stands at $85, the same price it’s been at for eight years.

Each extra $5 added to the fee would raise about $160,000, Assistant City Manager Marty Lyons said.

After reading a report indicating that parking spaces in new apartment buildings in town are going for between $140 and $160 a month, the aldermen appeared to be open to increasing the city garage permit rate by $10 or more, but Lyons and City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz indicated that, combined with some other budget balancing maneuvers they’re planning, a $5 hike should be sufficient to make up for the revenue lost by not adjusting the meter hours.

The City Council is scheduled to adopt its 2017 budget at a meeting on Nov. 28.

Related: Parking garage fees could fade as a revenue source for municipalities if ride-hailing apps and driverless cars really catch on. Chicago Business takes a look down that road.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Brings reason to a decision

    This news items sounds as if council and staff are bothering to bring reason to a decision.  I find that rare.

  2. The public can be heard
    As stated “the aldermen appeared to be open to increasing the city garage permit rate by $10 or more,”
    With the increase residents have an ‘appeal’—declare a day for all drivers to boycott the garages. Sure a pain if not a supposed problem but walking, biking or public transportation is an option—and will save money and promote health.

    For those who don’t like the soda tax [columns say it will apply to even fruit juice [like Welsh’s Grape Juice ?—commissioners won’t respond], even a one day boycott may help. Hurt the merchants [not only pop machines, restaurants and grocery stores] but it might get it through the commissioners thick heads that they cannot tax as they please—here the money won’t even go to health issues.

    I don’t drive or drink soda so no effect on me, but lots of people will be hurt.

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