|Updated: 1/16 5:30 pm
||Published: 1/16 4:26 pm
Parking on the streets of downtown Tulsa could soon cost you twice as much.
Right now, it costs a quarter to park at a meter for half an hour. It's been that price for decades. By early February, that half-hour could cost 50 cents.
Nick Halter has worked at a downtown print shop for 16 years and said his customers are having more and more trouble parking as downtown grows.
"Nine times out of 10, we're running out the door having to do curb service because they can't find a parking spot," said Halter.
He recognized the problem is people who work downtown parking in metered spots meant for customers or visitors, instead of paying by the month for lots.
But he still doesn't think increasing rates is the solution.
"People who don't work down here could end up getting stiffed for a double rate, or however much they're wanting to raise it, and discourage downtown business," he said.
"I own businesses down here; I still think it's fair. I'm not concerned about it driving away business," said City Councilor and downtown business owner Blake Ewing.
After all, Ewing said, it's only going up by a quarter.
"These meter rates are still less than a lot of our peer cities, even the proposed rate increases. You know, a lot of things have changed in price over the last 30 years," he said.
The City Council will discuss the rate increase and other changes to the parking system two weeks from Thursday.