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Baton Rouge mayor seeking new management for city parking

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BATON ROUGE - The mayor-president's office wants city-parish parking garages, underground parking and surface lots in the downtown area under new management. It's part of a larger initiative to improve parking in a part of the city where it's often difficult to find an open spot.

The mayor-president will also soon request new management and enforcement of upgraded downtown parking meters. The new meters and upgraded garages will let customers use credit cards and mobile apps to pay.

Rates will increase according to the mayor-president's office. The additional money will be used to pay for private maintenance and enforcement.

Currently, many parking meters are broken or missing in the downtown area. That, along with lax enforcement, allows individuals to hog parking spaces all day without consequences.

"The new parking meters are designed so you have more turnover," said Darryl Gissel, Chief Administrative Officer for the Mayor-President. "Part of the problem businesses have in the downtown area is if someone comes and parks all day, then their customers have nowhere to park."

Gissel said he hopes the new technology is installed and operating by the end of the year.

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