Attend a parking-meter powwowAs it held with downtown business owners Feb. 16, River Falls invites citizens to attend a public meeting and talk about parking meters 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, in the City Council chamber at City Hall.
As it held with downtown business owners Feb. 16, River Falls invites citizens to attend a public meeting and talk about parking meters 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, in the City Council chamber at City Hall.
Police Chief Roger Leque and Management Analyst Paul Fagin will lead the discussion, presenting information about the city’s parking meters and the different technology available for them.
After giving information, Leque and Fagin will answer questions and facilitate discussion.
As part of its 2011-2013 work plan, River Falls considers once again -- as it has many times before -- what to do with or about its 42-year-old parking meters.
General options discussed at the early February meeting included replacing the current ones with digital meters and/or pay-with-plastic kiosks, raising prices, having the meters accept only quarters, and removing them all.
Leque and Fagin said at the last meeting the object was to gather public input and eventually make a decision on the city’s future with parking meters. They mentioned a goal of presenting the City Council with options by May.
The topic historically draws a range of opinions. Business owners, employees and patrons as well as local citizens and out-of-town visitors all use the spaces a little differently.
River Falls has 513 meters throughout the city that have a mix of time limits and accept a variety of coins including pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.
One of the issues seems to be that people don’t carry coins anymore, especially smaller ones.
Fagin gave parking-meter statistics:
- Main Street has 167 meters, nearly even amounts of a one-and two-hour limits
- Second Street has 62 two-hour meters
- Walnut Street holds 80 two-hour metered spots
- Elm Street has 30 two-hour meters
- Locust Street holds 21 two-hour meters
- Maple Street has 17 two-hour meters.
All the others are meters are in various parking lots and have a 10-hour limit.
Concerns about the meters include wet coins that cannot be deposited in the bank until they’re dry, much time and difficulty finding replacement parts and freezing or malfunctioning problems during winter.
Critics of the idea to get rid of meters say the parking control is needed to make sure downtown shoppers find a place.
Business people who attended the February meeting raised a number of points. Whatever the options implemented, they didn’t want people to have to walk farther. Everyone seemed to agree that a price increase was reasonable.
They suggested getting single-space meters that would accept coins or credit cards and asked if the new technology would be reliable.
Attendees also said: Keep free parking in Heritage Park, and if the city picks pay kiosks, they should be covered to shelter drivers from weather.
Leque and Fagin also welcomed people to send them suggestions regarding parking meters. Their e-mail addresses are: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.