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Downtown San Pedro Merchants Push Hahn to Curb Meter Hours

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Wake Up! And feed the meter! (Photo by jek in the box/LAist Featured Photos)
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As part of a city-wide, Mayor-back, and City Council-approved plan that went into effect more than a month ago, parking meter rates in San Pedro got a significant hike--in fact, the rates quadrupled, and the applicable time extended into evening hours. This left not only motorists flustered, but merchants as well, who are already facing a decline in revenue thanks to the economy.Now, City Councilwoman Janice Hahn has responded to the pressure from her merchant constituents, and "has arranged for a 60-day moratorium that will keep the meter hours limited - from 9a.m. to 5 p.m. through most of downtown," reports the Daily Breeze. It is not clear if Hahn intends to pursue a permanent return to those hours.

Other neighborhoods with an up-and-coming nighttime scene have also grumbled about the timing of the meters, and how it makes parking and being free to enjoy a full night's worth of entertainment or dining impossible. Such is the case in the NoHo Arts District, where theatre patrons and performers are flummoxed at how to see or perform in a show when the meters only allow you to pay for one hour at a time. Councilman Tom LaBonge responded by saying while he voted in favor of the increase, he didn't think through the potential consequences. Now Downtown San Pedro is poised to launch their own Arts, Culture and Entertainment District, and "with meter hours stretching until 8 p.m., restaurants, arts and music venues and the historic Warner Grand Theatre face challenges as patrons try to juggle feeding the meters."