I’ve covered downtown development for more than a dozen years. In that time, I’ve heard one discussion after another about various eyesores downtown and potential solutions. Not once have I heard mention of the most obvious eyesores to be found pretty much everywhere downtown – our parking meters. To the left is what we see right now. They’ve not changed much – regular old meters on ugly poles installed decades ago. Maybe, just maybe, city crews brushed on a new coat of silver paint on the poles. And that’s it.
Ward 7 Councilman Skip Kelly has been challenging the status quo with these meters. He asked a good question over the summer – why is parking banned at some meters between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.? The restrictions were placed years, if not decades ago. City staff did an analysis of traffic patterns and guess what? The restrictions weren’t needed at all.
The photo on the top of this post shows a parking meter along Dewey Avenue just south of Main Street. The photo to the left shows another parking meter on the same block with a new cover on the pole. Is there any question as to which one looks better?
I don’t know who is installing these covers, but I’m curious as to whether we might see these covers added throughout downtown?
And is there any chance of painting the meters black so they match the poles? I’ve got more questions coming soon.