Another look at city’s downtown parking

City will cover meters for 90-day trial period

CLINTON — Over the years, Clinton has considered a number of variations on the downtown parking configuration.  Prompted by the concerns of a downtown business owner, the city is about to test the viability of the continued use of parking meters.

On Monday, Diane Peck, owner of Main Street Salon, talked to the city council about bringing what she hopes will be fairness to the downtown parking situation.  

While the city removed parking meters from Mr. Lincoln’s Square some time ago, meters remain along the outlying areas stretching a block in each direction.  Peck’s business has been at its current location for nine years.

“My main concern has always been the parking,” Peck said.

Commissioner Dan Ballenger, who oversees those outlying meters, said the city didn’t necessarily have a preference about the use of meters.  In his discussions with police chief Ben Lowers, Ballenger said Lowers told him that his department also had no preference.

“It’s whatever’s best for the business,” Ballenger said.

Under city ordinance, people who use metered parking spots must put money in the meters, Ballenger pointed out.

“The flip side to that is, if you don’t feed the meters, you’ll get a ticket,” he said.

Ballenger said that, without the meters, there was always the possibility that drivers would use those spaces even though they might not patronize the businesses nearby.

But, he also suggested the city was open to businesses making the decision about the use of meters.

“That’s up to the businesses.”

There was a question about renters from the second-floor apartments using the unmetered parking spaces intended for customers.  But, Peck said it was unlikely during daytime business hours when those people would probably be at work.

Ballenger said the city would start covering the meters as soon as possible.  In the meantime, he said, drivers still need to put money in the meters to avoid receiving citations.

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