Market Square diners now have more time to savor their meals.
City parking authority officials have extended the limit on metered parking in the square from a maximum of one hour to two hours.
The change came after a number of Market Square restaurateurs complained that the one-hour limit did not give diners enough time to eat lunch or dinner without risking a $30 ticket. It is not known when the change was made, but it was in effect today in the square.
Yarone Zober, chief of staff to Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, said that once the issue was brought to the city's attention, the mayor asked the parking authority to make the change.
Sergio Muto, owner of La Gondola Pizzeria and Restaurant, welcomed the move.
"That's very good," he said. "That's where we wanted it all along."
Extending the limit is the second bit of good news Market Square restaurateurs have received this week regarding parking. City Council on Tuesday rolled back enforcement hours at the meters citywide from 10 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, until Dec. 31. Nick Nicholas, who owns a coffee store and co-owns two restaurants in Market Square, said he is hoping council will decide to keep the enforcement hour cutoff at 6 p.m. permanently.