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BOISE -- The Boise City Council has decided to delay a proposal to increase fees and enforcement hours for downtown parking meters.

Council members made the decision at a first-reading of the ordinance on Tuesday.

The plan had called for raising parking rates to $1.50 for the first hour, and $3 for the second hour - along with a pilot program in which meters would be enforced from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Backers of the plan promoted the increase on grounds that it would free up street parking and encourage people to use garages in downtown Boise. However, some citizens warned of possible unintended consequences.

We are in competition with the mall and urban lifestyle centers that are coming online very soon, and we need to find ways to be competitive, said Karen Sander with the Downtown Boise Association.

The beauty of being downtown is it's an easy downtown, a friendly downtown, the perception is that parking's already expensive, said Rich Demarest with St. Michael's Cathedral.

Ultimately, the city decided to bump the ordinance into a subcommittee for further consideration in the upcoming months.

Two more readings of the parking meter ordinance had been scheduled in the coming weeks. It now appears those readings are delayed as well.

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