City of Charleston issues more parking tickets after meter changes take effect

City of Charleston issues more parking tickets after meter changes take effect

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The City of Charleston issued more than 1300 citations at parking meters in downtown Charleston the week of April 23.

This was the first week police started issuing tickets for violations of new parking meter regulations.

On April 16, the fee to park at parking meters in downtown Charleston increased from $1 to $2 per hour.

"It's crazy how we have to scrape up change just from when it was $1 per hour, and now it's $2 per hour," Charleston resident Joequise Wright said. "Sometimes, we look around just for broken meters so we can park for free."

Metered parking enforcement times also extended from ending at 6 p.m. to ending at 10 p.m.

For the first week of the changes, violators were given written warnings from parking enforcement rather than parking tickets.

During the week of April 16, a total of 1,165 citations were issued at parking meters.

That number jumped to 1,366 total citations the week of April 23.

"There was one time when I had a ticket, and I got a boot on my car," Wright said. "So imagine having more tickets because the time went up."

On some days between the two weeks, citations at parking meters almost doubled.

On Friday, April 20, the City issued 182 parking citations at meters.

One week later, on Friday, April 27, 316 tickets were issued.

"I think they're trying to make more money," Charleston resident Camille Kennedy said. "I think they realize that so many people come down here and so many people are going to park on the streets that they can get away--they can probably charge $3."

But the planning director for the City of Charleston said making more money is not the reason behind the changes to parking meters.

"The whole purpose was to actually help support our local restaurants, businesses and stores by creating more parking spaces available on the street," Jacob Lindsey said.

Lindsey also said the City started the new Park and Ride program at the same time as the meter enforcement changes in an effort to help people manage the cost of transportation in Charleston.

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