Thousands voice concerns over parking meter fee increases in City of Charleston

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Thousands of people are voicing their concerns about the City of Charleston's plan to increase parking meter fees.

The petition was started on Wednesday, but it already has more than 1,500 signatures.

The City of Charleston voted in December to raise the cost of metered parking from $1 per hour to $2 per hour starting in 2018.

"That's crazy especially because I drive down here, and when I have to park downtown it gets pretty expensive as a student," Charleston resident John Cafaro said.

Many people are also worried because the time you will have to pay for metered parking will extend from stopping at 6 p.m. to stopping at 10 p.m.

"I make like minimum wage, so that's like a quarter of an hour of work for me basically," Charleston resident Clara Cullum said. "So, yeah, it's going to affect me a little bit."

Concerns like Cullum's are exactly why Jonathan Graham and his friend started organizing a rally and petition against the change.

"It just kind of blew up because there's a lot of people who think this is a really bad idea," Graham said.

The Facebook event advertising the rally has more than 1,000 people who have indicated that they're interested in attending or helping.

"I think it will make clear to City Council exactly how many people's lives this policy will affect," Graham said.

Jonathan said people like him who work downtown will be especially impacted. He says the changes in parking fees will take a serious chunk out of their paychecks and could force them to park in more expensive parking garages.

"Now it's 16 dollars for me to park every night," Graham said. "So the first 16 dollars that I make every single night, or the first 80 dollars that I make in a week. That's a lot of money to lose."

Representatives from the City of Charleston could not be reached for a comment on people's frustrations with the fee increases.

A spokesperson from the City of Charleston says the city has not set a date for when the fee will change, but he did tell us the increase will happen soon.

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