Starting on January 1, 2009, the price you pay to park in downtown Ballard will be $2 per hour, up from the $1.50 that the city currently charges. The Seattle City Council voted earlier this week to raise the fee by 50 cents to help with a 2009-2010 budget shortfall. According to the Ballard News Tribune, the Ballard Chamber of Commerce and businesses in the area are against the rate hike. They worry that the higher fee will drive people to the malls and shopping centers that offer free parking. Other neighborhoods are also being hit with the higher rates. Lower Queen Anne, SLU and the U District fees will go up 50 cents, while rates will increase in Belltown, Pioneer Square, the waterfront and the International District by $1 to $2.50 per hour.