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Paid Parking Ordinance OK'd for Downtown Summit

Residents and merchants filled the council chambers to share opinions about Summit's new paid parking plan.

Although several residents spoke out against a move to abolish the free shopper parking at the lots on Deforest Avenue, an ordinance to do so passed 6-1 by the Summit Council on Monday night.

Councilman Pat Hurley was the lone dissenting voice calling the move risky since downtown shoppers only would have 30 minutes of free parking versus 2 hours.

"I can't support this," he said of the ordinance. 

Councilman Dr. Robert Rubino, who voted for the ordinance, agreed that free paid parking was a topic of sensitivity.

"Thirty minutes might not be enough," Rubino said about the unpaid time shoppers would get under a new parking system. Rubino said he was glad the council was moving forward on the issue, but that flexibility was key. "We try to compromise," he said.

Effect on Residents: According to City Administrator Chris Cotter, improvements to the lots and the addition of a parking gate could be completed by the fall, with most of the work happening over the summer months. The council also approved , 6-1, a $750,000 bond ordinance for the work.

SummitMom May 18, 2012 at 12:58 AM
It's actually a 10 year payback which doesn't begin until the second year.
Bruce F May 19, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Even a young, health person will take 10 minutes round trip to walk from the lot to Union Place. That leaves 20 minutes to eat lunch or shop without paying for parking? The board should consider adding 10-15 minutes for walk time.
Bruce F May 19, 2012 at 05:24 PM
For those supporters of regressive tax policy - you just shifted your town's costs to a progressive, socialist model from a slightly-subsidized business-friendly model. Yes, the parking fee is regressive, but hurting downtown businesses will prove to be far more **progressive**, when businesses close leading to tax revenue drops that must be balanced by other local taxes. Also, hurting businesses (jobs) will increase unemployment costs for the state - and UI is a PROGRESSIVE tax. Thanks for hurting the economy AND making our cost structure more progressive. Then again, when you help your cronies, maybe it doesn't matter.
Robert Steelman May 21, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Improvements to downtown parking facilities are overdue. User fees are needed to move this project forward. The proposed fee changes may also help solve downtown employee use of shopper/visitor lots while decreasing the ticketing of visitors who are not aware of time limit enforcement. Sure, a change from 1.5 hrs. of free parking to 30 minutes may not go down well for everyone. That said, it is important for downtown stakeholders to assess these changes and be prepared to offer input if defects in the program are found and improvements are needed. Let’s not leave the feedback loop to only the parking authority or some other narrow interest group.
CAMERON January 14, 2013 at 07:15 PM
Ok. Parking is not the only problum. Car's DO NOT LET YOU CROSS IN THE CROSSWALK THEY turnon red light on deforest where there is. ONLY ONE turn on red Howmany are going to get hurt crossing. In the crosswalk before SOMETHING IS DONE? To me that is more important then parking. (paid)

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