City parking meters at Midtown Crossing will remain free on Saturdays, at least for the time being.
The Omaha City Council voted Tuesday to keep the development's parking meter hours consistent with downtown and the Old Market — where street parking is free on Saturdays and Sundays.
The vote comes as city officials make plans to overhaul the city's parking system.
Saturday meter fees are not in place now at Midtown Crossing but had been scheduled to resume July 1.
Initially, shoppers were charged to park at meters at Midtown Crossing on Saturdays.
Developers asked for paid Saturday parking to create turnover for shops and restaurants. But the council voted to drop Saturday enforcement last year at the request of the developer, who was hearing complaints from shoppers who were surprised by the tickets.
In June, the council will vote on proposals to hire a parking manager to oversee all city parking operations — at an annual salary of $70,200 to $85,900 — and to transfer $2.2 million in parking garage funds from the city's Parks Department to its Public Works Department.
Those proposals are part of an effort city officials say is necessary to rehabilitate a downtown parking system that can be inconvenient at its best moments and downright inefficient at its worst.
Led by the recommendations of a nationwide parking consultant, city officials are also planning to implement lower rates for city-owned garage spots and low-demand parking meters. The flip side: Meter enforcement hours could stretch into the evening and weekend hours.
Management of the city's parking system currently is fragmented. Curbside meters (which generated $1.5 million in gross revenue in 2010, much of it downtown) are maintained and overseen by the Public Works Department. Garages, on the other hand, technically fall under the Parks and Recreation Department's golf division.
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