Does Downtown Need Parking Meters?

September 19, 2008 74 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Each year, Downtown vision conducts a survey of downtown business and property owners of things that can be improved in our center city. Consistently, parking ranks as one of the top concerns of stakeholders. Despite the fact that DVI has been in existence for eight years, nothing has been done to improve the situation.

In fact, if Bob Carle, the City's Public Parking Division Chief gets his way, the parking situation will get dramatically WORSE (if you didn't hear his visionless proposal that he was bouncing around the City Council, click HERE ).  Basically, he wants to enforce Parking Meters 24 x 7, meaning you can get a ticket on Tuesday night at 9PM when there isn't a car in sight for blocks.
It is staggering to comprehend how on one hand, we have a JEDC which has been tasked with making downtown a friendly place for visitors, and on the other, we have Parking Enforcement that wants to make sure that visitors never return to the smoldering remains of downtown.  Shouldn't they be working together towards a common goal?
As they are, the parking meters serve no purpose whatsoever, other than to generate revenue for the city.  The city claims that the meters keep time limits enforceable.  However, this is a garbage excuse - San Marco, Five Points, and The Shoppes of Avondale, all have time limits for parking (with a sign that says "2 Hour Parking"), none have meters, all are thriving.

Free on street parking in Downtown Greenville, SC.

I'm not saying that time enforcement isn't necessary - it is, particularly on the busier streets like Laura and Adams.  Otherwise, the early bird office workers would get there, take the spots, and keep their car there all day.  We need to have time enforcement, however we need to have time enforcement that makes sense.  Two to three hour enforced time limits will work fine - 2 hours on the more populated streets, 3 on the less populated, and perhaps none on the "Ghost Town" streets, like Davis and Madison.
What do you think?  Is this something they you think will work or not? Let us know below.

Article by Steve Congro