New Columbia parking enforcement hours take effect
COLUMBIA - Beginning Friday, January 2, new parking enforcement hours will take effect in downtown Columbia.
The new enforcement hours are between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
The hours used to be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Columbia Public Works Public Information Specialist, Steven Sapp, said the decision to change the hours was enforced because the city wanted to find ways to improve the downtown parking.
"One of the recommendations that the parking task force came back with was to change the enforcement hours roughly from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. seem to capture more of the time that people were actually parking in the downtown area," Sapp said.
Craft Beer Cellar co-owner, Jonathan Steffens said the new hours will have an impact on his business and staff.
"Personally I think it really just affects our staff a little bit more. A lot of our staff commute in to downtown and there is very limited parking as it is right now so a lot of our staff will be feeding the meters and will have to extend that by a couple of hours," Steffens said.
Sapp said the city is going to give the new hours some time to see how effective they are.
"So we'll continue on as normal just with the change of hour and I think thee to six months down the road, we'll see if it's had any impacts whether they're positive or negative to parking down town and I'm sure the council and the Central Business District will be very interested to see here in a few months how this is working," Sapp said.
Parking enforcement agents will be passing out informational fliers to inform customers of the enforcement hours changes.
Public Works said informational stickers on parking meters, lining out the enforcement hours, will be attached to the meters soon.
Steffens said the meters outside of his facility are still coin operated and he hopes to be able to use his credit card on the meter.
"We're hopeful that as the city continues it's improvements of the downtown district, we might see some of the newer meters come down between ninth and eighth street here on Cherry," Steffens said.
The Parking Utility will remind customers that EZ park cards are accepted in meters that do not accept credit cards.
City parking garage times will remain the same and are still free on both Saturday and Sunday.