- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 1, 2007

Motorists can expect to pay more for parking in public streets, lots, and garages in Montgomery County — even on Saturdays.

A County Council decision that raised some rates and extended hours that drivers have to pay for public parking goes into effect today.

Officials said the move was made to make parking regulations consistent in the parking districts of Bethesda, Montgomery Hills, North Bethesda, Silver Spring, and Wheaton.

County spokeswoman Donna Bigler said the county was still working on changing the signs listing parking hours and rates, and that cars will not be ticketed until new signs are posted.

She said she did not know when ticketing would begin.

“They won’t be enforcing the new regulations until everything is in place,” she said.

Drivers now have to pay between 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday to park on public streets, from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday on surface lots, and from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Friday in public garages.

Parking rates in North Bethesda will be raised to 60 cents an hour for short-term meters and 45 cents per hour for long-term meters. Montgomery Hills rates will go up to 25 cents an hour for short- and long-term parking.

The price for parking convenience stickers in North Bethesda will go up to $85 per month.

In most cases, the new regulations extend by several hoursthe hours requiring payment. In Bethesda, where parking meters are already in effect until 10 p.m., the only change is in parking lots.

The two exceptions to the new hours are two garages in Silver Spring, which will not change the hours during which they charge for parking because of a previous agreement.

The garages, on the corner of Wayne Avenue and Ellsworth Avenue and at Ellsworth Avenue and Roeder Road, will continue to charge for parking between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Fridays.