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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.

Just the Facts May 16, 2012 at 11:35 AM
Out of curiosity, with a $750,000 spend, does anyone know what the payback is on this? Thanks
Patch Up May 16, 2012 at 12:06 PM
City Hall is so anxious to give out tickets, I'm surprised they are not worried about the loss of revenue. My last ticket was given to me for not having enough money in the meter when my husband and I decided to have breakfast at Peppercorns at 8:30 in the morning. Not a store was open, few cars on the street and yet, I still got a parking ticket! Can you imagine! This is not a kind city.
Deb McCann May 16, 2012 at 02:50 PM
My understanding is that it's approximately a 2 year pay-back.
T Durden May 16, 2012 at 02:57 PM
this went through? surprise!! has there been any vote that hasn't gone 7-0 or 6-1 ....bueller...bueller... i guess this is what we get. kudos to the councilman who voted against it, although this was a done deal after the election results..at least its good optics that there was a single vote against. by the by, if you are a local gov't charging a fee for something that was once free (like parking) it is indeed another tax on the residents...and one that sure smells and looks regressive.. just saying. also to the councilwoman that was pontificating that we, the minions, don't understand that parking generates a $200K annual surplus...please enlighten us on why then this can't be funded without the bond ordinance and where the $200K goes..oh wait u probably don't know never mind.....finally, when all the upgrades are completed and the gate is installed, why in the world do we need 1 to 3 "ambassadors" to help users with the gated system?...really?..how long and how much are these "ambassadors" going to cost?...this is better than installing the bank street parking system less $350K+? ...on the projections of the payback period on this investment, lets see... 1. there will be less overall spaces and ,B, some aggressive assumptions about 2-6 hr shoppers generating gobs of revenues...i'll just say, you can make the #'s dance to whatever music you play..
Chatsum May 16, 2012 at 06:34 PM
How much will the parking cost to see a movie?
Summit Resident May 16, 2012 at 07:17 PM
What a ridiculous ADDITIONAL impost on the city. It is not as if the shops along Springfield Ave and adjoining streets are suffering enough. To have the threat of the parking pest ruin your enjoyment of the city - please. The council are killing ANY effort of storeowners to attract residents or visitors to just stroll (and hopefully purchase) along our town's fine streets. How many additional parking authority staff are being employed to enforce this new restriction? What is the quota (I mean payback) here?
Max-M May 17, 2012 at 12:38 AM
I applaud Mr. Hurley's dissenting vote - I have been previously critical of Mr. Hurley (his comments directed at the BOE) but fully support his thinking on this matter. As stated in the above comment this was "a done deal after the election" which is truly unfortunate. With the fragile state of our economy taking this on is quite a risk to impose upon Summit. I am sure the SDI expressed their opinion and are aware of the risk(s). I certainly hope this parking change works and is the "solution" for downtown merchants, shoppers and commuters alike. Although, I believe this is Step 1 towards a bigger risk to be underwritten in the near future.
Andrew May 17, 2012 at 04:17 AM
OK, so we can only park 30 minutes in the 2 hour lots now.. When all the people do at the paid meter spots on union pl etc feed the meters.. Yeah, ok thanks for rewarding them and hurting us.
T Durden May 17, 2012 at 11:49 AM
these data pts are all disturbing...an RFP was requested with the vendor (probably only a single vendor) before final public comments could be heard or the final vote was made... RFPs are generally requested for projects that generally guaranteed to move forward...not sure what the aggressive push and rush is with this paid parking plan....most things in this town with this kind of price tag move fairly slowly, again this has a rushed feeling to it...is there a timing issue/deadline with the real estate project on deforest? ... we should all take pause in the recent voting patterns on this council..at least with former mayor Glatt there was some sense of checks and balances..lastly, after observing the patronizing tone and attitudes on display by the council during the public comment section of the meeting, we should all be concerned...back to project mayhem
CAMERON May 17, 2012 at 06:34 PM
VERY BIG MISTAKE THIS WILL HURT THE STORE'S THE PROBLUM WILL NEAVER BE RESOLVED WANT TO DRIVE SHOPPERS TO MALL WELL PAYED PARKING WILL DO THAT.
ressummit May 17, 2012 at 07:34 PM
I suspect we are hearing from disgruntled employees whose free ride is over.
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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