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Should We Still Be Paying For Parking Downtown

Should We Still Be Paying For Parking Downtown

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Is it time for Midland to remove parking meters and sell them to other municipalities or sell them for scrap? Do parking meters still accomplish anything? Do they curtail shoppers who could go to box stores where there is always free parking? Has the parking meter era past its prime?

Can the parking authority show taxpayers that meters are still essential and still serve a useful service?

There is no doubt that downtown shop keepers and their staff would naturally park as close as they could to their place of employment.  Not certain if that wouldn’t be fair but maybe they realize the value of leaving those spaces open for each other’s customers – whom they share. Maybe workers would be required to use a staff only parking lot near First Street or Midland Avenue. Only one of the lots could be designated as such.  Just thinking out loud.

What do you think?  Are we hurting our downtown or making enough in coin to offset any impact?

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Comment(65)

  1. Your point about the employees using the parking is a valid point. They may see the value of leaving them open. But would the apartment above just use them as their own permanent parking? If they got the spot when the shops were closed they could occupy the spots all day, or for days. If they had family gatherings they could take up a considerable portion of the downtown parking.
    Also, the average meter revenue is 10k monthly. That is a substantial amount of money. Note as well that we do give free parking in December.

    1. 10000 dollars a month from the metres? That’s revenue so what are the monthly costs of maintaining them and collecting money from them. If there were ticket dispensers tenants would need to buy tickets and there could be an overnight parking fee and ?way of monitoring that or purchase on street parking passes from the town for overnight as some cities do

    2. thats 120k a year. where does that money go. how much does it take to maintain the meters. how much does that lecroix make giving everyone tickets $35k a year? where does the rest of the money go. is there a breakdown someware

    3. Your customers have to leave because their meters are up. But if the residents upstairs take the parking before your store even opens, your customers will have no parking. 120k minus the wages of our bylaw staff, minus the cost of maintaining the meters doesnt leave much left over in terms of “profit” or as you called it, cash grab. If we did not have this revenue stream it would go on to the tax base, which we are working very hard to reduce. This is a great conversation because there are good arguements on both sides.

    4. I don’t get a breakdown of where the money comes from specifically. Just the monthly parking income on the MLEO report. I get another one this Thursday. Note, with the free parking in December we were able to donate the revenue from that to 3 local charities from the people who paid unknowingly.

    5. Cody Oschefski it wasn’t necessarily people that paid unknowingly. Many people paid willingly knowing that the town had instituted the policy to donate December’s meter revenue to charity.

    6. Robert Contois I was aware of that but if people are staying in the spots then maybe parking permits are need and then enforced

  2. I rarely use the Main Street parking as I rarely have coins the back lots are not always full. I have not been in many towns that have our old fashioned metres but they have moved to the ticket machines even for their lots. I have no objection paying a fee for parking as long as it is reasonable. Collingwood is very reasonable. Might want to look at their model.

  3. for once i have to agree with Cody Oschefski I have seen it staff and tenants taking up the spots for a whole day. What i don’t get it that they made 4 handicap parkings in the back parking lot behind the bakery and none up front. If you are handicapped you think walking around the block to get to the stores will be the way to go. Some people just sit behind a desk and don’t even think, making up rules that are no sense

  4. I agree that the parking meters are a deterrent from doing business downtown. My understanding is that the parking meter program is a break-even program, i.e. revenue equals costs such as monely collection, meter maintenance, enforcement, etc. In response to Cody’s concern about local residents taking up the spots, downtown street parking should be a 3 hour limit, same as on the parking lots right now, with one or more lots allowing for longer term parking to accommodate local residents.

  5. paid parking and parking tickets. this is chasing shoppers and guests away from downtown. you cant imagine how many of my customers say “sorry i cant stay, my meter is up.”

  6. paying a dollar to enjoy a good meal is a small price to pay. Even tossing in a dime to run in the bank is minor. the cost is very minimal and has never entered my mind when parking on king. at least its free after 5 and on weekends. could be like the big smoke and cost you a fortune.

  7. Your customers have to leave because their meters are up. But if the residents upstairs take the parking before your store even opens, your customers will have no parking. 120k minus the wages of our bylaw staff, minus the cost of maintaining the meters doesnt leave much left over in terms of “profit” or as you called it, cash grab. If we did not have this revenue stream it would go on to the tax base, which we are working very hard to reduce. This is a great conversation because there are good arguements on both sides.

    1. Also, a customer goes to a store knowing they only have “X” amount of time to shop. This makes them buy what they need and leave the store and the parking space. Making room for the next customer. No meter means I could park there, browse stores for several hours and not buy anything. The whole time taking up a spot that a paying customer could have had.

  8. i own down here. i work down here. im here everyday. i see it and hear it. my livelyhood depends on downtown. PARKING METERS CHASE CUSTOMERS AWAY. PERIOD. i see this everyday.

    1. paid parking benifits him personally because he rents out parking spots. and he drives on my property to acess them. and hes town goverment lol. thats my view of town government. everyone out for themselves. like they say, one bad seed ruins the whole crop

    2. You are certainly entitled to your opinion. You won’t see me lining my pockets. 🙂 Not saying he is, just responding to your comment.

  9. Christmas can’t hurt either, David Lee. I’m sure Walmarts numbers are highet in December as well and they have free parking all year long.

  10. When you hire a person with no personality or common sense writing tickets for blocking a sidewalk, kind of makes u want to go to the mall.

    1. She’s just doing her job, the same as you and I both do everyday. I’ve gotten tickets for being a couple minutes expired on my metre. That’s her job.

  11. exactly pat. i get tickets galore down here. from $10, it turns to $15, then $30 something, then $64. that ticket monkey probably makes 35k to 50k a year

  12. Ok we all have our opinions but personal derogatory remarks on a public forum are not appropriate in my opinion. And calling someone a monkey has ALWAYS been considered derogatory.

  13. I thought when the town hired the consulting firm last year they said there was a disproportionate amount of free parking in comparison to other towns of this size. Also, I don’t go to Orillia very often, but I’ve gotten more tickets downtown Orillia then Midland, and YOU CANNOT park anywhere near downtown for free in Orillia, except at the bottom near the Legion. I stop downtown nearly every day for something, and I almost always park on the main street, and sometimes I forget to throw a dime in the metre, so I guess that might be luck but I really can’t complain. If somebody doesn’t want to stay in your store because they have to throw a quarter in the metre they probably can’t afford what your selling anyways.

  14. Yes, the downtown masterplan said we have an abundance of parking downtown. I believe there were more downtown parking spaces than the Walmart parking lot.

  15. the way the mall is going…i would think it would be a great idea..to drop the meters for awhile…maybe get some increase in old fashion down town shopping

  16. the price of parking is not the issue. the issue is the tickets you get if you re a minute late. thats how they ding you

    1. The parking enforcement officer does not have a magic beacon that tells her your meter is expired. If you’re worried about being a minute late, put an extra nickel in the meter. It’s simply. Parking meters are an effective way of keeping customer flow.

    2. That is the parking officers Job. They get paid to give tickets. Just like we all get paid to do our jobs correctly. I’ve gotten tickets before, kudos to that poor person who walks around in -10 to give tickets. Not a job id want!

  17. paid parking and parking tickets. this is chasing away the few shoppers and guests from downtown. you cant imagine how many of my customers say “sorry i cant stay, my meter is up.” i own down here.i rent down here, i work down here. im here everyday. i see it and hear it. if you dont believe me, ask ANYONE thats trying to make a living down here

  18. If you take them out renters above the stores will be parking there all day and nite, that’s what will hurt the downtown more then the meters. Also you see how busy the downtown was before the malls, Walmart etc, that’s the way the downtown needs to be brought back to.. Meters didn’t hurt the downtown!!!

    1. good point john.. it would be great tho if they could do something to bring downtown shopping back….get some stores worth coming down to(not saying theres not some now)……i always thought a great idea would be to close the main street off to traffic during the summer months and have street venders as well….they do it a few times now

    2. totally agree. This town has so much to offer in the downtown/town dock, the street should be closed to traffic 1 Saturday a month for that, May to Sept.. It would be a success and would better the stores exposure as well, classic cars, motor bike show n shine, farmers and artesian market. This downtown could be even greater then it is now!!

  19. Personally I have no issues with meter parking on King St. As I believe it’s a great source of income for the town as well as a great way to regulate those that may abuse the spots if they were free.
    I do however feel that each merchant or employee that does work in the downtown area and does not have a designate parking spot, should be able to obtain a parking pass that allows them to park without worry in the lots. Having to run out every 3 hours causes unnecessary congestion, takes away from providing services and the cost to get a yearly permit is not reasonable. Really what is the difference?? Most are parking for free all year anyway by moving every 3 hours. Just a thought that may come in handy to those business owners that are already struggling to keep doors open as every bit of savings helps.

  20. Every block downtown has free parking on either Midland Ave. or First St. There should be no employee parking on Main Street, I think it is very affordable for employers to buy parking passes if needed for employees for permit parking areas..

    1. We don’t have a permit over $500.00 The most expensive is $431.21. And no, they are not always all sold out.

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Should We Still Be Paying For Parking Downtown

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