Free evening Hillcrest parking to disappear

Posted at 8:21 AM, Mar 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-29 11:21:34-04

It could soon be harder for you to find free parking in Hillcrest. 

That's because the city is shifting metered parking late into the evening - when everyone is trying to find a space. Businesses hope it solves a long-standing problem of people spending too much time - and not even cash - in Hillcrest.

The question is now whether enforcing metered parking until 8 p.m. discourages new customers from taking up those spots.

"People may get frustrated and they don't want to park there anymore," said Aida Hurley, who works in Hillcrest and sees the parking crunch every day. "It's going to start getting even more crowded as the time goes on."

And times are changing in Hillcrest - at least for the meters. 

Right now they're enforced 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. But that changes in May - the hours will shift to 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., when there are more cars and customers, keeping the two hour limit. 

Local businesses hope it stops people from parking their cars at meters from 4 to 6 p.m., and then leaving them for hours while they stay long after dinner. 

"These shifted enforcement hours are going to help my business and save jobs," Brian Casey, of clothing store Mankind, said in a statement. "Turn-over is poor in the evening and hours and by regulating parking through 8 p.m., we can ensure those coming into Hillcrest can find the parking they need."

Some signs reflecting the new hours are already up, but the city will only issue warnings through April. Full enforcement starts in May.