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When the city jacked up the parking meter rates, some downtown business owners wondered why other districts are not metered. They believe it gives their crosstown competitors an advantage.

The short answer is, there aren’t meters in the South Wedge or Park Avenue because it’s always been that way. The longer answer is to get meters on main thoroughfares in those districts, you would need to petition the City Traffic Control Board. The board has to approve any proposals for meter installation or removal.

Would meters hurt or help shop-lined streets like Park Ave. and South Ave.? If you want to make it easier for your customers to find parking, meters help. They ensure turnover. Parking meter systems in some cities allow for pricing based on demand, which also helps keep parking available. Xerox made a video about the concept.

On the other hand, there’s a perception people will avoid an area if they have to pay to park. Meters could also push people to side streets where residents might not be so welcoming.

One way to make it easier for businesses along metered strips is to allow grace periods, something suggested in a 2008 Rochester downtown parking survey. That could include programming meters to allow the first 20 minutes for free, allowing people to do quick errands or pick up takeout lunches. Another idea is first-hour-free programs at downtown garages. The study also suggested token or sticker programs in which businesses would offer returning customers free parking.

Links of the Day:

– Darien Lake concert goers describe a “nightmare” traffic experience at a weekend concert.

– Attendance in the Rochester City School District is probably much worse than data indicates. A flawed record-keeping system has been exposed, revealing extremely troubling information. Truancy is a problem even in elementary schools. Can schools truly be blamed?

– Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver will feel the heat over his handling of sexual harassment complaints against a powerful lawmaker.

– A Tioga County judge accidentally fired his gun in chambers. Whoops.

– As Los Angeles assesses its prospects for getting an NFL team, the Buffalo Bills do not appear to be in the mix.

9 Responses to Parking Meters on Park Ave.?

  1. August 28, 2012 at 8:41 am lynn e responds:

    People who live on Park and South have to park on the street. It isn’t just commercial and it isn’t just because it’s always been that way. Parking meters are used to control parking in short term, high volume commercial only areas. It makes me angry that you don’t see that.

  2. What happens to the people who live on Park Avenue and in the South Wedge? My daughter lived on Park Avenue for a couple of years and only had on-street parking. It was a disaster! Parking tickets, dented fenders, scratches from side swipes; she would have been better off paying more for rent in another area.

    Park Avenue also has its own money-making device. I believe the signs state all cars must off a certain side of the street for street cleaning each Thursday morning at 8 a.m. Officers come by and ticket any cars there after 8 a.m., however, my daughter never once saw a street cleaning truck come by on those mornings.

  3. August 28, 2012 at 9:05 am AtomicRobb responds:

    I live right off of Park Ave and most of the people who live around me do not have off street parking. I don’t mind having to switch sides every night on the side streets and I have never had issues on parking on Park. But the idea of not being able to park on Park Ave without paying isn’t appealing at all. The area is largely residential and to think that right now I sometimes park 2 blocks away because that is the only spot available I can’t even imagine what it would be if the residents that do park on Park Ave had to park on the side streets too. Also, those that do come into the area for shopping/eating/whatever would go to the side streets first pushing residents further away or making them pay for parking and I could see that pushing people out of living in the area.

  4. August 28, 2012 at 11:24 am theodore m kumlander responds:

    remember the more students the rcsd reports in attendence the more state aid it gets to educate the students that are there, which i think is a good thing.

    • But it needs to be true or the district is committing fraud. The city especially is supposed really pay attention to the attendance rosters and make sure they are accurate. Attendance is brought up in criminal courts where a suspect can be released if they were marked as attending school that day leaving the DA no choice. They can be brought up in child custody cases and cases of child neglect and abuse. Is necessary for all districts to be careful but the city attendance rosters are most often called into courtrooms and are legal documents.

  5. August 28, 2012 at 12:05 pm Eduardo Ricardo responds:

    Now that the idea has been proposed, maybe Rochester might just do that.

    Thanks Rochesterian.

  6. This is a horrible idea as previous people have pointed out. No where else in the city is really a good comparison to Park Ave and South Wedge in terms of parking expect for Corn Hill. All three are older neighborhoods that don’t have off street parking capable of handling residents and visitors. Putting meters on Park Ave or South Ave, would create a situation very similar to Corn Hill, people trying to avoid pay parking will move to the side streets and create a giant hassle for residents. The solution in Corn Hill is to give residents and neighborhood workers the option of buying parking passes that allows them access to resident only parking areas on the street. Now this means the city would have to administer a program for a much larger amount of people and residents get to pay another “tax”. Sounds like a lose lose to me. If we want to help the businesses downtown, I’m for a grace period so people can come downtown to shop and eat. The turnover will still be there because people will move their car before pay time starts.

    The bigger problem is how car dependent Rochester is. We’ve made walking, biking, and transit so unfriendly to use in this city. Many streets are dangerous for bicyclists, there are major stretches of streets with no crosswalks, and unless you want to go downtown first buses take you way out of your way. The city’s zoning laws seem to discourage dense mixed use development and favors the suburban segregated model. This separates the people (residential) from the shops and restaurants (commercial). Funny how a city that has lost 80k people in 40 years while demoing buildings left and right for parking still has problems.
    Parking “shortages” are a symptom of a bigger people with our city, it isn’t the problem.

  7. September 7, 2012 at 10:10 am Havahd St responds:

    I wish the city would worry less about trying to extract money from us, and more time working on ways to save us money. I live (and park) on Harvard St, and meters on Park would fill up my block with tons of terrible parkers who turn 5 spots into 2!

  8. I’m in favor of trying out parking meters in front of businesses on Park Ave to increase turnover. If I hadn’t read Walkable City by Jeff Speck i’d be reacting the same way as most ppl on here, with outrage that the city was ‘taking away’ needed parking spaces. But the real world examples Speck gives of where meters were added show that it can actually help. I don’t think you’re losing too many spaces by putting up meters in front of business locations only.

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