A plan where people could pay for parking by debit, credit card or smartphone was discussed by councillors on the executive committee on Wednesday.

The proposal, which is part of a larger overhaul of city parking policies, may also put an end to free parking after 6 p.m. Costs could also go up if a special event is taking place.

However, Mayor Stephen Mandel worried about how changes could affect downtown businesses.

"We've gotta be cautious that we don't discourage people from shopping in areas where there's parking," he said.

"Maybe around the arena area, if there's a new arena, that might be some place where you could put a zone that would be a greater charge."

Administration will consult with business leaders and return to council with a more detailed plan in the fall.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story stated that council's executive committee moved forward on the parking meter proposal. In fact, city administration was asked to provide more information for councillors to consider this fall.
    Jul 11, 2012 8:25 AM MT