It has been a long-time open secret that you would only have to pay to park until 5 p.m. on weekdays and not at all on Saturdays in Columbia, even though downtown parking meters say you must pay until 6 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays.
But apparently the city is stepping up its meter enforcement until 6 p.m. after all. The Vista entertainment district posted a Tweet this week warning folks to feed the meters an hour later than they’re used to.
It’s not clear whether the city is cracking down on Saturday parking yet. Although in Five Points, meter enforcers have started ticketing on Saturdays in recent months.
In addition to enforcing the longer meter hours, the city is likely to take a look at raising parking rates this year, parking services director Elle Matney has told The State.
The cost of parking in Columbia is “below market value,” Matney has told City Council members.
It costs 75 cents an hour to park at metered spaces, a maximum of $10 a day to park in a city-owned garage and $8 to pay a ticket for an expired meter. Monthly rates for reserved garage spaces range from $52 to $105.