Safety Problems with Austin Parking Meter Proposal

The City of Austin currently runs parking meters until 5:30pm five days a week. There is a proposal to run them until midnight, and run them on Saturday. The City is conducting a survey where you can register your opinion: http://www.downtownaustinsurvey.com/

Extended meter hours makes sense. The people who use the parking ought to pay for it.

The proposal on the table, however, is deeply flawed. Asking people to fumble with their purse or wallet, street-side, in the dark, late at night is a stunningly bad idea. I'm surprised this proposal wasn't dismissed out of hand, due to safety considerations. Unless the City is willing to add lighting and video at every parking pay station, this plan should be rejected.

A better proposal would extend the hours to, say, 7:30pm, and add Saturdays. That would help share the cost of parking more fairly, without incurring a safety risk.