SAN DIEGO - Parking meters in what is being called the "Hospitality Zone" in downtown San Diego are having their hours changed. A one-year pilot program took effect Monday, moving the meter enforcement times back two hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The change applies to the area bounded by Broadway to the north, Harbor Drive to the south and between First and Seventh avenues. It is designed to increase turnover for local businesses.
Restaurant owners are split on the new parking enforcement hours. Sam Kambo, the co-owner of the Royal India Restaurant, told 10News, "We were already all losing a lot of customers because of meters. I don't think this is really good for downtown."
Athens Market Taverna owner Mary Pappas disagreed.
"I don't think it would hurt at all," she said. "I think it's better for them."
Turnover is key, she said, especially when the Padres are playing.
"I would rather pay to come down to have dinner in a restaurant, $3 for two hours and park across the street than to drive around for an hour trying to find a space which is not available when people park and walk 10 blocks to go to the baseball game," she said.
Attorney Ricardo Gonzalez has his office downtown.
"It's really detrimental to people who work and spend time downtown," said Gonzalez.
Jonathan Karrant is a musician who entertains downtown. He sees both sides of the issue but admitted, "I know so many people who dread coming downtown in the evening. They wait till 6 or 5:30 to come get parking."
Both said the added revenue for the city would be beneficial.
Existing commercial loading zones, shared commercial loading/taxicab zones, shared commercial loading/white passenger loading zones, and green zones with special business hours will not be changed.