ST. LOUIS (KSDK) – They came to downtown St. Louis to fight cancer and celebrate life. But went home with a ticket from the city.
When several participants in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure finished the event they found parking tickets on their cars for expired meters.
In past years, meters were free on Saturday but that changed last July. Tom and Debbie Carpenters of Shiloh, Illinois got a ticket. And they say most cars around them did, too. Having participated in the race for several years, the Carpenters say city could do a better job of welcoming participants to downtown.
"It isn't the $10. It's really the principle of let's welcome people to come down here, support this walk, and make them feel welcome to the city of St. Louis," says Tom Carpenter.
The city treasurer says if exceptions are made for one event, the city would have to exempt all downtown events. And, she points out some garages had reduced rates for race day.
Here is the statement issued Tuesday by Jones:
The City of St. Louis Treasurer's Office started charging for metered parking in downtown last July, after deciding to discontinue a pilot project started by the previous administration. Hours of parking enforcement are 8 am to 7pm Monday-Saturday.
St. Louis has some of the lowest hourly parking rates in the nation. For example, some areas of Chicago charge $6.50 per hour for metered parking, while other areas charge $4.00 per hour. St. Louis charges $1.00 per hour for metered parking in downtown. A ticket for an expired parking meter in Chicago is $65. A ticket for an expired parking meter in St. Louis is $10.
Off-street parking at several parking lots and garages was offered to race participants and volunteers at either $3.00 or $5.00. A detailed list can be found on the Komen St. Louis website.
While we believe the Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure is a wonderful cause, there are events and races hosted in the city every weekend to support all other worthwhile causes and charities. If we offered free metered parking to one event, we would have to offer it to all.