FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – The cost of doing business at Fort Worth City Hall just went up, as the city eliminated its last free parking lot near city hall and municipal court.

Fort Worth residents are not happy that they now have to pay more to gain access to the city services they need.

“You used to park for free and now you have to pay,” says Fort Worth resident Margaret Deason. She says she was warned this change was coming. “They left this on my car the last time I parked two weeks ago. It says starting on October the 15th this is a pay to park parking lot.”

The city waited until October 22 to change over the last free parking spots next to city hall to paid ones. It’s now $1.25 minimum to park in the lot that was free last Friday, which means you will have to pay more to park for a day at city hall than for an evening at Bass Concert Hall.

fort worth parking No More Free Parking At Fort Worth City Hall

(credit: CBS 11 News)

Fort Worth resident Larry Hubbard questions, “So, if you don’t have enough money or don’t have change what do you do? You have to take a fine. So you have to pay one way or another. It just doesn’t seem fair for people who have to come down here and do business.”

The city’s parking manager, Peter Elliot, says parking fees had to be added because people were abusing the free lots and parking all day. He says that left no parking spaces for people with legitimate city business.

“If you are wasting time sitting here waiting for a space when spaces are not turning, then you are wasting your money and your time,” he says. “It’s one in the same. This way, you are paying for the time you are going to use to park. It’s a lot more efficient process.”

Elliot says in the end, it’s the city’s customers who will benefit by paying for parking.

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