Starting next week, if you plan on parking in downtown Lafayette, you'll have to pay - and pay more.
On Tuesday, parking meter rates are going up from 50 cents an hour to $1 an hour.
According to Lafayette Consolidated Government, this is the first rate increase in 8 years. There will be no more free parking on nights and weekends, and parking meters will now be enforced 24/7.
Downtown Lafayette comes alive during nights and weekends, but soon more parking tickets could be issued.
"If people are going out to restaurants, bars, and they'll have to check their meters, so it's just going to be an inconvenience. I think the city should look at other alternatives,” said Lafayette resident Spencer Silverthorne.
News of the new parking rules isn't being well received by those who visit, live, and work in downtown Lafayette.
"There's nowhere to park and now they want to charge double for the limited parking we already have," added Pop's Poboys manager Ashley McClinton.
For restaurant managers like McClinton, parking downtown is often an issue.
"People already call all the time asking where they can park. We do have a parking lot behind Pops, but the employees fill up most of it and it's in bad shape. We rely on street parking especially without having a parking tower,” McClinton explained.
In a news release Friday afternoon, LCG said the additional revenue could help with the many needs of downtown, including security and maintenance.
"That would be great if some good came out of the extra that they're going to be collecting. I hope that that's their plan, maybe to take that additional income and add more parking because we definitely need it,” McClinton added.
This change goes into effect on Tuesday, January 19th.
KATC Investigates compared these rates to the three larger cities in the state. New Orleans charges at least $1 more per hour, but none of the cities charge for parking overnight or on Sundays. Baton Rouge and Shreveport also offer free parking on Saturdays.
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