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Santa Monica to Increase Parking Rates at 3rd Street Promenade

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After months of discussions and deliberations, the Santa Monica City Council this week voted to raise parking prices in the downtown area. Prices will increase at the nine lots from $7 to $9 a day with evening flat rates going from $3 to $5, according to the Santa Monica Daily Press. Monthly rates will increase about $40, from $82.50 to $121. Daytime rates will include two free hours and the price hikes, expected to start July 1st, will not affect the library or civic center lots -- that's a choice by design in hopes to attract longer-term visitors to those lots, freeing up downtown spaces for short-term business customers.

The pricing change is the first "significant" one since 1997.