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Parking meters

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Parking meters can be great things for dense urban areas because they increase turnover for on-street parking, which tends to be the most-prized type of parking in urban commercial areas. Adding parking meters to an area is similar to adding more parking spaces because ultimately, more cars can be accomodated.

I live in a downtown area with no parking meters. The city plans to add parking meters to one district within the next few months and is meeting strong opposition from both business and property owners in the area. I believe that the addition of parking meters will make the area businesses more successful. What can be done to show business owners that the meters will help them out greatly by allowing more people to visit their businesses?

If anyone knows of any good parking studies for other cities or general rules-of-thumb for adding parking meters, I would love to hear them.

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I'll tell you how it works in Hartford, CT

There is parking restrictions on all streets in the central business district and many restrictions about on street parking on most of the roads in the city's other neighborhoods. Downtown there are parking meters where you can only be parked for a 2-hour maximum and it costs 25 cents per 15 minutes, if there are no meters then there are signs posted about the space whether it be a loading zone (you need commerical license plates to park in these spaces, 30 min max in space) or handicapped space.

The parking meters right now are the old fashioned kind where you stick the coin in and twist but the city is working on purchasing new machines where you can pay cash or credit that are more user friendly. Area businesses can also buy passes to give to there customers so they dont have to worry about the parking fee that time. The cost of the parking in the city which is trying to draw people to live, work and visit is a little expensive compared to other places in the area. For example West Hartford Center which is an upscale New England village with more then 140 shops, restaurants, and offices gives the parker 1 hour for 25 cents.

In Hartford the meters do not help to make more parking in my opinion. There are numerous parking garages which are obviously closely monitored but in the downtown area many people park without paying the meter fees or overstay how long there supposed to stay in the space because the chances that a cop will give them a ticket are slim.

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