Oakland Vice Mayor Ignacio De La Fuente and Councilwoman Pat Kernighan say the city council made a mistake when it extended parking meter hours to 8 p.m. and plan to introduce legislation that would roll it back to 6 p.m. when the council reconvenes next month, according to the Trib. The council's decision to extend meter hours and raise parking rates on June 30 sparked citywide outrage. Store and restaurant owners argued that the parking meter changes would hurt their businesses, which are already suffering because of the economic downturn.
The council made the parking meter changes, along with numerous other difficult choices, while closing an $83 million budget gap, and didn't expect it would generate such a strong backlash. But as we've noted before, raising taxes and/or fees during a recession is not good policy. Government should be doing what it can to spur economic growth during difficult times - not stifle it.