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Downtown Parking Meters Resurrected

Jerry NaboursYou may remember that in Cool Hand Luke, Paul Newman was sent to prison for cutting the heads off of parking meters. An indication that parking meters are not popular.

You may also remember that Flagstaff had parking meters downtown. Then, the downtown merchants figured the meters were pushing shoppers to the mall and elsewhere. So, the city cut the heads off.

Well, we have come full circle because now we are going to reinstall downtown parking meters. They will be state-of-the art kiosks that work from phone apps and take cards instead of coins. The metered streets will be on both sides of the tracks.

On the north side, the metered streets will be Beaver, Leroux, San Francisco, Aspen, Birch and Cherry. On the south side, the metered streets will be San Francisco, Beaver, Phoenix and Mike’s Pike. Some streets in the area will require a downtown employee permit.

Now, here comes the more complicated part. The non-metered areas of residences north of Cherry downtown and all the way south to NAU will have the option (block by block) to get resident permits and some resident-only parking on their block. Every water meter gets one free resident permit, regardless of the number of units on the meter.

Parking control has been requested by the downtown businesses and many residents, especially those near NAU. The funds (after expenses) will go to parking facilities – hopefully, a parking garage!

For details of the proposed plan and a map go to Flagstaff.AZ.gov and look for the parking link. FBN

By Jerry Nabours

Jerry Nabours is the mayor of Flagstaff.

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2 Responses to Downtown Parking Meters Resurrected

  1. Ben Bethel November 29, 2016 at 12:14 PM #

    Interesting… I support meters with the first 60 to 120 minutes free, just to encourage shoppers and discourage all-day parkers to take up spots directly in front of businesses. However, I’m not sure a parking garage will be needed 5-10 years from now, as self-driving and self-parking vehicles will be shared between more than just one driver, can seek out parking spaces far away from the drop-off point, etc. We’re already seeing cities remove non-spine route bus lines in lieu of paying for point-to-point transit via Uber and Lyft, and cities are planning for total removal of bus routes that aren’t heavily used. The future of transportation is going to be very, very interesting – but we’ll see all the pieces fall into place in the next 3 or so years… by 2020 we’ll see more and more adoption, and around that time we’ll likely have $500-$2000 retrofit kits to install driverless tech on existing vehicles, the cost of which would be offset by reduced insurance costs. I’m really interested in seeing what ‘constantly driving’ semi trucks will do to hotel business in Flagstaff… soon semis will be driving 24/7/365, possibly with no driver, but never having to make stops except for fuel.

  2. Rob December 1, 2016 at 6:18 PM #

    Thanks for the heads up. One more reason to avoid downtown.

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