The cost of metered parking is on the rise in downtown Hartford.
The Housing Parking Authority says on-street metered parking rates in the central downtown are increasing from $1 to $2 per hour beginning Monday.
The new Downtown Central Zone encompasses the area from Ann Uccello Street to Prospect Street to the east, and from Church Street to Wells Street to the south, and is comprised of 16 streets with a total of 480 on-street parking spaces.
The goals are to promote on-street parking availability, and reduce traffic congestion in the downtown area that is caused by double parking and vehicles circling to find on-street spaces.
Armindo “Mingo” Gomes is the chief executive officer with the Hartford Parking Authority.
“We are looking to free up on average around 4 parking spaces on any given street,” Gomes said. “The city of Hartford on street parking is less expensive compared to cities our size and even towns that surround us.”
Brahim Abarkha is one of the many drivers upset about the $1 increase in parking on some streets.
“We pay enough, you know on property taxes on the car, registration, and insurance,” said Abarkha. “I think we’re being hammered way to much.”
Abarkha has lived in the nutmeg state for 20 years but is dumbfounded about the parking changes.
“If you want to visit downtown for five hours, you’re looking to spend $10 for parking and that’s unfortunate.”
The area is slated to support businesses by create more parking spaces.
The plan also serves to benefit the city. About 6 percent of the parking revenue will go to Hartford’s General Fund.
Ahead of the change Monday, HPA updated all on-street Woonerf app and kiosk signs to reflect the new three-digit zone within the above-mentioned area. Once complete and operational, the new zone will support both the downtown merchant base and a strong plan that meets the City’s needs for parking spaces and revenues for the next decade and beyond.
The parking rate on fringe streets surrounding the Downtown Central Zone will remain at $1 per hour, allowing those who want to take advantage of the lower rate structure to continue to do so.
Nicole Daniel says the plan is taxing for everyone looking to visit downtown.
“We’re already paying car taxes here and those in charge can increase fees whenever they want,” said Daniel.
Even before the rise in parking, Daniels says she began looking at other transportation methods to make it downtown.
“I leave my car at home cause it’s cheaper for me to leave my car at home,” said Daniel. “I usually hop on the city bus because of the rates of parking.”
Public transportation is one of the goals the HPA wants drivers to consider.
Daniels believes drivers will begin to rely on the transit option in the future.
“I think a lot more people may start thinking about using public transportation than commuting in.”