No meters: All quiet on the downtown front of River FallsFour and a half months and counting into the one-year parking meter moratorium and the transition seems smooth and popular.
By: Phil Pfuehler, River Falls Journal
Four and a half months and counting into the one-year parking meter moratorium and the transition seems smooth and popular.
Both Police Chief Roger Leque and City Planning Intern Adam DeKleyn say early data and feedback point to successful meter-free environment.
Leque and DeKleyn will hold a parking meter moratorium meeting starting at 3 p.m. Monday, Dec. 17, in the City Hall’s lower level training room.
DeKleyn, a UW-River Falls graduate in land-use planning, will present preliminary findings on downtown traffic without meters.
The meeting is also meant for the public -- merchants and citizens -- to speak up about how traffic and parking is doing without pay meters.
DeKleyn has analyzed parking data since September for 23 zones on Second and Main Streets, as well as the streets in between those two.
Merchants can see how parking-use data applies to their business addresses.
DeKleyn has gone out daily for at least two hours inspecting streets and parking spots with the shuttered meters. Leque also walks the streets regularly to make observations.
“I really haven’t gotten any negative feedback so far,” said DeKleyn, who also did a random survey in late November of employees, business owners and people parking downtown.
“Generally, everyone who I talked to seemed pleased not to have the meters,” DeKleyn said. “They are happy not to have to pay for parking, not to have to deal with carrying small change, and that they could pull right in, do their business and then leave fast.”
DeKleyn said most seemed to value the convenience of not bothering any more with parking meters.
He added that before the moratorium, there were complaints that some parking meters -- in use since to the early 1970s -- had “operational problems,” such as breaking and jamming. This frustrated drivers who parked and needed to use them.
For more, please see the Dec. 13 River Falls Journal print edition.