Within a few days, parking meter rates will double in various downtown locations. Double. The economy has tanked. This year we’ve seen increases in bus rates, Metro rides, and now meter rates. I admit I have not been following this parking meter issue at all. I was just shocked to read about it this morning in the Examiner. The paper reports that the rate increase from $1 to $2 per hour was passed in emergency legislation by the D.C. Council.

I have some questions for our informed readers. Why did this huge rate increase need emergency legislation? What was so pressing that the council felt it had to bypass the usual route? Here’s what the Examiner reported:

“‘I don’t think anyone wants to pay more to government,’said [Councilmember Jim] Graham, who introduced the emergency bill. ‘But this government has cut its budget. We’re faced with a situation now where we either continue to cut or we find some new revenue to address fundamental needs for some very poor people.’

At-large Councilman Phil Mendelson voted against the bill, he said, because it was introduced with little analysis to justify the increases. The council, he said, should not adjust its meter rates ‘piecemeal.'”