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 June 7, 2003
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Providence Mobile Newsroom
Mayor Cicilline: Raise Revenues By Adding More Parking Meters And Tougher Enforcement
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ Faced with a $44 million budget gap, the mayor plans raise almost $3 million from increased parking meter collections and new fines in the coming fiscal year.
   Mayor David Cicilline intends to have 40 percent to 60 percent more parking meters installed in the city, converting free parking spaces to paid spaces.
   The city has 697 operating meters, and it is looking to add 300 to 400 more, John Simmons, Providence's acting director of administration, told The Providence Journal.
   The charge to park at a meter will also go up to $1 per hour if the City Council goes along with the mayor's proposal. An hour in a metered parking space now costs 50 or 75 cents.
   At the same time, the mayor wants to lengthen the hours metered parking is in effect. He has proposed to the council that parking-meter hours be extended, from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday
through Saturday. Currently, motorists have to feed the meters between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
   Cicilline has also asked the city council to impose a fee for temporary on-street parking permits, and to authorize the installation of cameras on some traffic lights to catch speeders and drivers running red lights.
   In addition, the city is shortening the time allowed at an undisclosed number of spaces. Two-hour parking limits are being reduced to one-hour parking limits.
   The money generated by the new parking rates will help the city close a $44.4-million gap between the its projected revenues and expenditures for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
   Cicilline has budgeted $2.9 million in new revenue from increased collections from parking meters as well as increased fines for parking and moving violations for the next fiscal year.
   ``We keep looking for alternate ways to raise money'' before resorting to a property tax increase, Simmons said.
   Although the city needs revenue, Simmons said the rationale for meters is to encourage turnover at parking spaces.
   In Boston, where Simmons used to be a top aide to Mayor Thomas Menino, he said merchants welcomed more rigorous parking enforcement because it gave more of their customers a shot at an
on-street space.
   Currently, the city's 18 civilian parking checkers are on duty only from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
   The Cicilline administration is now negotiating with the labor union that represents the parking checkers to have them on duty throughout all of the hours when the meters are in operation.

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