Fees for parking in SLC could increase

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Salt Lake City leaders are considering proposals that would increase city revenue by increasing fees for parking downtown.

Mayor Ralph Becker proposed changing the hourly parking rate from $1.50 to $2.00 and reducing the hours when free parking is available. Free parking is currently available from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. The proposals, if enacted, could extend paid parking hours to 8 p.m. or 10 p.m. Proposals also include the elimination of free parking on weekends and holidays.

A straw poll on the subject was held at Tuesday's City Council meeting. Council member Charlie Luke was one of the dissenters in the poll.

"I just think this sends a bad message. We've been in the middle of six years of heavy construction downtown. People are out of the habit of coming downtown to shop, and I think this discourages people from coming downtown," Luke said. "We need to be encouraging people to come downtown, not putting up barriers to keep people from shopping."

Citizens are invited to share their thoughts on the proposals at the June 12 City Council meeting and online at http://council.slcgov.com/pages/contact.htm