Portland explores boosting parking costs

Transportation Bureau officials believe increasing prices by 25% will ease congestion.

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Portland Transportation Bureau officials believe increasing parking prices by 25% will ease congestion and make it easier to find a spot.

The City Council will have to approve the proposal that would raise rates to $2/hour.

The increase is projected to free street parking, which officials say is increasingly difficult to come by almost everywhere downtown in the afternoon and after 7 p.m., when parking becomes free.

Drivers end up circling, officials said, increasing congestion and posing a risk to pedestrians. At least one-third of downtown traffic is caused by drivers trying to find parking, they said.

Dylan Rivera, bureau spokesman, said, ideally, drivers would find a free space in every block at any given time. The rate change is expected to lower the “occupancy level,” which hovers above a desired 85 percent.

(READ MORE: OregonLive.com)

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