MANCHESTER — The city is set to join Boston as the only cities in New England with a large downtown parking zone enforced 12 hours a day, from morning to night.
Under the new parking regulations, which are expected to receive final approval from the Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Tuesday, on-street meters would be in effect from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday in the central business district. The area runs roughly west to east from Canal Street to Chestnut Street and north to south from Bridge Street to Granite Street.
Parking enforcement would also be extended until 8 p.m., Monday to Friday, several blocks to the north, south and east of this zone. Another ordinance will hike the cost of most monthly parking permits for garages and lots by $10 in most cases, and it would establish a new downtown residential parking permit, which would cost $100 a year, for people who live in the district.
A uniform charge of 75 cents an hour for parking meters would apply throughout downtown, replacing the 50-cent cost of some of the outlying meters.
The only city in New Hampshire with comparable parking enforcement is Portsmouth, where downtown meters are in effect 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. At the same time, meter enforcement there is confined to only five streets in the core downtown area.
In Nashua, meters are also enforced 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, but only along a roughly half-mile stretch of Main Street, and several side streets.
In Concord, meters are in effect 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Only Boston, like Manchester, has metered spaces in operation Monday to Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
However, parking fares in the Queen City, as well as tickets, are relatively cheap. The city charges 75 cents an hour throughout the downtown zone.
In Portsmouth, meters cost $1 to $1.50 an hour depending on how central the parking spot is. In Nashua, meters cost 50 cents to $1 an hour. In Concord, all meters cost 50 cents an hour. Boston charges $1.25 an hour.
Manchester Parking Manager Denise Boutilier did not return several messages seeking clarification on the new regulations.