ST. LOUIS (KMOV) – A bill circulating in the Missouri state legislature would ban any city or county from charging people for on-street parking.
This means that all on-street parking in the state will be gone, or at least not enforced.
Ketan Patel was plugging his meter on Thursday, something he doesn’t particularly like.
“It’s very boring,” Patel said.
He said it’s fine to put the money in the meter at first, but he doesn’t want to worry about going back and making sure the time is on the meter.
“It’s not so much about how many coins, it’s about getting a ticket, worrying about it,” Patel said.
The bill was sponsored by Kansas City Rep. Josh Hurlburt, who thought about the potential bill after receiving a ticket and believes cities simply don’t need to charge drivers to park on public roads.
“Pockets are just an outdated method of keeping traffic moving, and I think there are more innovative ways to do that than putting a coin in the parking lot every time,” Hurlburt said.
He said taxpayers already pay for the roads and shouldn’t have to pay to park on them.
“It’s also double charging taxpayers for that road that’s already been paid for by the gas tax,” Hurlburt said.
It’s a popular idea for some, including Carmen Tarzon, who is angry about parking in downtown Clayton.
“I don’t think it’s real, but I think it would be great,” Tarzon said.
The bill still allows cities to impose time limits on public parking. But they have to finance this implementation in other ways.
St. Louis City Treasurer Adam Lane testified Wednesday as an opponent, saying the meters force people to move their cars.
“It’s not going to make the city rich, but it’s going to allow us to control the flow of traffic and make sure people have safe access to their cars and vehicles and know that we’re driving at our meters,” Lane said.
The city of St. Louis has generated $6 million in net revenue from on-street parking in fiscal year 2022. During the same period, Clayton earned $845,000.
That’s about 3 percent of Clayton’s general fund budget, which, like most cities, is used to fund the police and fire departments, as well as roads.
Clayton City Manager David Gipson told News 4 city leaders will wait to see if the bill makes it out of committee before the city fights to keep the meters.
In St. Louis’ case, it can use up to 40 percent of parking revenue for operating expenses. News 4 has not yet heard how much will go toward operating expenses or where the rest of the money will go.
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