I want to talk about the 'differences' between what the Business Owners want and need when it comes to the 'parking issue' and what the City Of Meadville wants and is doing to achieve 'their' goal.
The Business Owners need a permanent fix to the parking issues. One that is NOT dependent on who is on city council. Those fixes must include changes to the existing parking code.
• A 'Customer Parking Only' zone, that is in the heart of the business district.
• Long term meters to accommodate part time employees.
• Business sponsored 15 minute parking spaces.
• A tier system for tickets. Violating the 'Customer Parking Only' zone would be higher, $25.00 than customers, running out of time on their meters. $5.00.
• Changing the hours that the meters are enforced from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. to 9:00 am to 5:00.
• A clear and concise definition for validating customers tickets.
• Business owners that need to park near their businesses for Loading And Unloading, need to get a uniform yearly pass, to display in their window during times of Loading And Unloading.
• A clear definition of the rules of conduct for the Meter Men.
The City Of Meadville:
• To coax employees to rent spaces and not change the code.
• To have have part time employees share rented spaces amongst themselves.
• City Council has not addressed this issue.
• Not clear on the city's point of view on the ticketing issue.
• Changing the hours that the meters are enforced from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. to 9:00 am to 4:00.
• The City does not have anything on the books as far as validating parking tickets for customers. This is at the discretion of the Chief Of Police.
• Business owners make up their own signs and it is up to the Meter Men to decide who can Load and Unload in front of their businesses.
• The rules of conduct on the books right now only apply to the Meter Users NOT the Meter Men.
The parking problems that plague Meadville have been a part of and contributed to the death of the downtown for over 70 years. Businesses come and go due to lack of customers. No parking spaces, no customers. The Parking Authority was established 50 years ago to help solve the problems and meters were installed at that time to try to fix the problems.
Two $5,000,000.00 parking structures were built to give the employees a place to park. But because of 'bad attitudes' about the parking structures the employees refuse to use them.
These are the key points the sub-committee feels needs to be addressed. They were presented to council at the March 2013 meeting.
• Fines for parking violations, which start at $10 for an expired meter, are too high.
• Designated hours for enforcing metered parking, Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., are too long. Mangilo-Bittner and Langley recommend reducing the hours of enforcement from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.
• Options for employee parking are limited.
• The two-hour maximum time allowed for parking at some meters is not long enough.
They have written a letter and had the meter men place those letters in the windshield of the cars that they think are employees, feeding the meters. Many employees have moved away from the core business area. But many still remain.