Fayette County

Lexington parking meter rates increasing to $1

The cost for most on-street parking meters is increasing from 25 cents an hour to $1 an hour starting Jan. 5, the Lexington & Fayette County Parking Authority announced Monday.

Some areas of Lexington will see a smaller rate increase to 50 cents an hour. Those areas include all meters on and north of Mechanic Street; meters on Old Vine; and meters east of Old Vine, Clay, Walton and South Ashland avenues.

The parking authority's board approved the rate increase in April with an initial effective date of Oct. 1. Because of delivery and installation issues with the several hundred new meters that had been ordered, the rate increase date was delayed until January.

The last time the meter fee increased was in 1983, when the price went from a nickel to 25 cents an hour.

The $1 an hour rate is still below the national average of $1.48 per hour, according to a 2008 survey of more than 50 cities across the country. Hourly rates range from 25 cents to $8 an hour.

The rate increase is just the latest measure the parking authority has taken in the past few months. Other initiatives include new parking meters, increased enforcement and an increase in the meter time limit from one hour to two.

In early 2009, the parking authority is introducing a personal card with a tiny transmitter that people can use to quickly and safely pay for parking.