Does Extending Meter Times solve parking problems?


Does Extending Meter Times solve parking problems?

St. Paul, MN, has a problem – the people who come downtown are getting tickets and they don’t like it. There also appears to be a dearth of spaces at certain times and more than half the people who come downtown (although fewer customers than merchants) believe there is a parking issue. Read about it here.

The city is considering throwing technology at the problem (credit card meters, pay and display, better signage, etc). I agree that it could help. Howev, what is the real problem? It would seem to me that St. Paul would do better to look at their entire parking situation. Do they have plenty of off street parking but not enough on street parking? Are merchants and their employees taking up convenient on street spaces? How long do the average customers stay during the day, and how long in the evenings (when restaurants and clubs are open?) Once you know the answer to those questions, you can look to technology to help apply new rules to your parking operations.

As usual, I will posit – the rates are too low at certain times in the on street spaces, or too high in the off street lots. Using a “Goldilocks” approach to pricing (not too low, not too high, but just right) would solve the parking issues and keep the customers and merchants happy. Just Saying…

Hat Tip: Greg Leean


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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