In Brief

Start saving quarters

Though still unofficial, city officials are discussing raising the cost of parking downtown to help fund extending the light rail through the transit mall. The suggested increase would raise parking revenues at meters and in garages by about 20 percent, from $9 million to $10.8 million.

Increasing revenue from downtown parking may include raising meter and garage fees, adding meter fees for loading zones, and even extending hours of metered parking on evenings and weekends. Currently, parking is free at most meters after 6 p.m. and on Sunday. The cost-per-hour at meters may be raised to over one dollar.

The total cost of the light rail project is estimated between $149 million to $160 million and, as scheduled, would be complete in 2009.

The decision of which parking fee changes to implement has not been made yet.

Move over, Wyden

A Portland businessman, Bruce Broussard, has filed as a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Ron Wyden. Wyden has not yet filed. The deadline is March 9. Broussard is a veteran of the Vietnam War and claims to be an expert in urban and inner-city affairs.

– Sara Gundell