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City Council Discussing Meters on Main Street Again

It looks like parking meters on Main are being considered again by the City Council.  They were discussed for some time at the 1/6/14 workshop/meeting.  Instead of "old school" coin machines, the City Council is looking at "smart" meters.  So, when you park on Main, you would walk to a one of the 10 or so meters, pay for some amount of time, and enter your license plate.

I would love to hear more from this community about your opinion on this issue?  What are the pros and cons?


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Comment by TC on January 20, 2014 at 6:02pm

So there's a relevant factoid. Kevin's off the payroll. So if we're adding parking meters, what is the yearly ROI?

Comment by Gregory Richards on January 17, 2014 at 2:07pm

I'm against this. I have as most of you know, the Karate school on main street. People come two to three times a week and this would just be another thing to discourage them from joining here and taking their money to another town. We have over 90 families this would impact.

TC, Beacon use to have a Parking enforcement officer, his name was Kevin, he use to drive around in a scooter and mark the tires, he loved his job, then he retired and moved to Florida and they never replaced him.

Comment by TC on January 16, 2014 at 6:47pm

If you've ever called the BPD for a non-emergency issue you'll know they immediately complain about under-staffing. How true this is, I don't know. With this in mind, my concern is about enforcement. Are we going to have to hire additional staff to enforce? Without knowing anything about the numbers, I'd assume we would be spending a lot more money to enforce parking meters than we would take in from them.

It's something to keep in mind.

Comment by Amy Brosey on January 16, 2014 at 12:42am

I've seen parking officers marking tires with chalk in Cold Spring, to enforce the parking rules.  Why can't that be done in Beacon as well?  A real two-hour limit on Main Street would help a lot, I think.  The lots could have a longer limit.

Comment by Anna West on January 15, 2014 at 10:45pm

I hope they talk to a couple other towns, like Kingston and New Paltz.  New Paltz just had an issue where they had put a bag on all them for a couple months a lawsuit though I only heard part of the reason.  They are the old style, coins.  The tickets are $10.  They don't really keep people from staying there all day though, as people can keep entering coins all day.  Beacon needs to limit it to two hours, so stores don't hog the spaces.

Kingston also has the old style too and they are a big problems. You need dimes. Any store you go in, there is a sign..."no change"      They limit you to an hour, I think. I just remember being someplace for two hours and needing to come out and find change.

Any type of metering system, modern or old style won't work if two thing are not addressed. Still limiting parking to two hours and shoveling, getting around it when there is snows.  It was really horrible to get to the curb both in New Paltz and Kingston during bad snow.  

Isn't someone marking the tires with chalk?  Why doesn't that work?


Comment by Ben Royce on January 15, 2014 at 11:41am

It should be part of a deeper discussion about parking general on Main. At first glance, I'm against meters, as it discourages commerce on Main, which is needed badly. Convenience, convenience, convenience.

And although I agree with Mark Roland and other bike proponents in general about promoting bike use, I think convenience for tourists outweighs that consideration on this topic.

The simple fact is people come to Beacon by car, we're right off i-84. We need to cater to these people, as a simple matter of promoting business on Main. And they need to find it easy to get here and easy to shop.

Furthermore, it's not a zero sum game: you can cater to the automobile, and promote bike riding, at the same time. Different audiences. An i84 tourist is not a local, and not a tourist by train from the city (bike rentals should be right at Dia/ the train station).

Borrowing from a post of mine from last month: what is New Paltz doing? Copy them:

Most areas of Main have municipal parking close by, a block or two away off Main.

I would be fine with a study identifying areas of Main with poor parking, and a property or two half a block over from Main being purchased by the city, and turned into public parking, to complete this model.

Then: parking on only one side of Main.

I was in New Paltz recently, and I used the paid municipal parking off to the side. I don't think we're ready for paid parking, and they have their own problems (heavy thru traffic), but they seem to be doing ok. What are they doing right that we aren't doing?

Parking on only one side of the main drag:

Of course, the huge student population that travels on foot/ bike helps commerce-wise and traffic-wise at the same time. My point is, even with the differences, I think New Paltz is a good model for Beacon to follow. If they can deal with parking, with such a heavy pedestrian/ automobile thru traffic, we should be able to too.

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