The ballpark drama continues to upset El Pasoans. This time they are looking to triple the parking meter rates to $2.50 per hour, expand their hours of operation and install more meters around the Downtown Ballpark. Let the madness begin. Do you think this is a good or bad idea?

At today's City Council meeting, several ordinances will be proposed for these changes and if they are passed, a public hearing on the proposals will be held, April 1st. During the public hearing, this is when the city council will vote to approve or reject the proposed changes.

There is a little light of hope for free meter parking, thanks to City Rep. Emma Acosta's proposal last month to have free parking during Chihuahua baseball games. According to the El Paso Times, Acosta does not support the idea of increasing the prices because she believes it will make it difficult to attract visitors.

The proposed ordinances include:

  • Increasing parking meter rates from 75 cents an hour to $2.50 an hour around the Triple-A baseball stadium "to better manage the parking demand and traffic circulation in the area," according to city documents. Meters now cost 25 cents for every 20 minutes, and the proposal calls for that to change to 50 cents for every 12 minutes.
  • Extending the hours of operation by four hours to 10 p.m. The meters now operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Extending the days of operation to include Saturdays, though Sundays would still be free. The city in 2012 began offering free parking on Saturdays to help increase visitors to the retail and cultural areas of Downtown. That pilot program was to be in place through August of this year.
  • Install parking meters on both sides of West Franklin Avenue between Durango Street and the Interstate 10 East exit ramp to the west. Parking meters will also be installed around the Union Plaza district.

As of now, the city manages more than 1,800 meters but that number is expected to increase to 2,200, this fiscal year. What's your opinion on this situation?