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Archive for Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Parking meter costs to increase

July 15, 2009

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City commissioners agree on parking rate hike

Parking rates will soon go up in downtown Lawrence, but not as much as once thought. Enlarge video

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Stock up on quarters, and make sure your watch is working.

City commissioners on Tuesday unanimously agreed to increase the rates at Massachusetts Street parking meters and also to raise the fine for overtime parking in downtown.

But not before a little hand-wringing.

“We need to be very careful to not do anything to turn visitors or shoppers away from downtown,” said Commissioner Mike Amyx, who owns a barber shop on Massachusetts Street.

Commissioners, though, felt comfortable enough in making some changes. Among the increases slated to begin as soon as crews can reprogram the meters sometime in August are:

• The rate for parking at Massachusetts Street meters will increase to 25 cents for a half hour. Currently, 25 cents buys one hour at the meters. Under the new rates a dime will buy 12 minutes instead of 24 minutes and a nickel will buy 6 minutes instead of 12 minutes.

• The fine for overtime parking at any meter or parking lot in downtown will increase to $3, up from $2 currently.

• Hours of parking enforcement will extend to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Currently, enforcement ends at 5 p.m.

• The city will create a new habitual violator ordinance that will allow the city to charge people who have five or more parking violations within a 30-day period a $50 fine plus court costs.

Commissioners, though, rejected two other proposals made by staff. Staff members originally had proposed reducing the amount of time on Massachusetts Street meters from two hours to 1.5 hours. Commissioners said that would not give people enough time to find a place to park and shop or dine in the downtown area without breaking to feed the meter.

Commissioners also rejected the idea of creating four new 15-minute parking meters in each block of Massachusetts Street. Commissioners said they thought those meters would create too much confusion for visitors who might believe they were pulling into a regular two-hour parking stall.

Downtown Lawrence Inc. had endorsed the increase in fines and fees, but commissioners did hear from one Lawrence resident who said the stiffer penalties could end up hurting downtown.

“Getting a ticket places a whole negative experience on your time downtown,” said Stanley Rasmussen, who encouraged commissioners to consider whether parking meters were still needed. “I could have a great experience downtown, but then get a ticket and it just poisons the experience.”

Other increases

Commissioners also unanimously approved several other fine and fee increases. Those included:

• In Municipal Court, fines for going at least 10 miles an hour over the speed limit will increase to $50, up from $38. Fines for traffic offenses such as running a stop sign will increase to $80, up from $68. Fines for various “notice to appear” parking violations will increase to $55, up from $40. The fines will be in addition to $52 in courts costs, which will remain unchanged.

• In the Parks and Recreation Department, weekend greens fees for the city-owned Eagle Bend Golf Course will increase to $25 for 18 holes, up from $23. Weekday greens fees will not increase. Cart rentals, for both weekends and weekdays, will increase to $16, up from $15 for 18 holes. At the Prairie Park Nature Center, the city will begin charging a $1 entrance fee for adults and 50 cents for children 5 to 12 years old. A $40 annual pass for families also will be offered. At the South Park Wading Pool, children will be charged a $1 entrance fee, unless the city can find a sponsor to pay for the roughly $3,000 it costs to run the wading pool each summer.

The fee for the wading pool won’t begin until next year. Fees for the golf course and Prairie Park Nature Center are expected to begin later this summer.

Other business

Commissioners on Tuesday also:

• Agreed to place on next week’s agenda a discussion about placing a fire engine in North Lawrence while construction on North Second and Locust streets takes place this summer and fall.

• Tentatively agreed to extend a maintenance agreement for the Bowersock Dam. Under the agreement, which would run to 2077, the city would continue to be largely responsible for the maintenance of the dam, which helps keep river levels high enough for the city’s Kaw Water Treatment Plant to operate properly.

• Agreed to rezone the 503 acres that make up the Lawrence Municipal Airport. The new general industrial zoning would allow for aviation-related companies to locate on the property, if the uses were approved by the city and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Comments

Eride 4 years, 9 months ago

"oliveoyl (Anonymous) says… I paid over $1000 in parking tickets over a span of almost a decade working downtown…so it does affect the downtown employees. Not everyone can leave their shop unattended or if it's busy. I know there are hundreds of downtown employees but there should be a little relief. Not everyone can park on Ohio or afford an annual parking pass."


My response: There are 10 hour lots close by and a parking garage.

That is the biggest thing hurting downtown, people like you, the employees of the establishments TAKING up all of the front facing parking that should be kept free for the paying customer. Any form of increased fine aimed at preventing that class of people from taking up all of the spots will do wonders for Mass St business.

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Marion Lynn 4 years, 9 months ago

RE: parking cost increases:

"You can't fix stupid!"

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not_holroyd 4 years, 9 months ago

one-eye must be getting "infirm," or he just lies once again, because as recently as a couple years ago, there was no parking in downtown KCMO after 6. Maybe his friend Max1 can look it up for him. Ooops. He got disappearded too?

Besides, the only nickles, dimes, and quarters, coming out of the old geezer's pockets are into those little booths in those "stores." Good to know he parks out front.

People who only agree with 1% of the people should move to Dalhart, where they are unknown by those 99% who know him here.

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toe 4 years, 9 months ago

Downtown is being killed by the city.

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oneeye_wilbur 4 years, 9 months ago

posts within one minute apart, maybe there is truth that the J/W staff is posting on this site

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oneeye_wilbur 4 years, 9 months ago

skank has arrived, that's right, kansas city missouri has charged for years for parking at night downtown, Lawrence is just so behind the times. wasting time having meters for nickels and dimes.,goes to show you that the patrons downtown during the day don't have any money to pay and those who got more than 1% vote are ruining the city from within. so see, even the winners have turned out to be losers.

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spiff 4 years, 9 months ago

oliveoyl-

over $1000 in less than a decade is less than getting the annual parking pass?

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oliveoyl 4 years, 9 months ago

I paid over $1000 in parking tickets over a span of almost a decade working downtown...so it does affect the downtown employees. Not everyone can leave their shop unattended or if it's busy. I know there are hundreds of downtown employees but there should be a little relief. Not everyone can park on Ohio or afford an annual parking pass.

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not_holroyd 4 years, 9 months ago

one-eyed-wilbur sure has a thing for evening parking charges. Odd, isn't it, that hawkperchedbytheriverfront had the same issue.

It wouldn't affect him after all. By then he is in the video stores with those private booths or home on the internet doing you-know-what.

Of course, old one-eyed hasn't noticed that Eudory, or Dalhart, or Topeka, or Kansas City, or virtually anywhere else does what he wants with the meters.

It really doesn't matter, because one-eyed is smarter than the rest of us. So he types the same thing a hundred times.

6 % of Americans think that the Apollo 11 moon landing was a fraud. That is 5% more than people who agree with one-eyed, based on his 1 % vote years ago.

With a couple of years hard work, I bet he could get to 5% in Dalhart. They don't know him there after all. And he could get a real date with one of those red-hat ladies. Take her to "downtown" Dalhart which I am sure must be better than Lawrence.

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oneeye_wilbur 4 years, 9 months ago

why have these commissioners wasted time on nickels and dimes, it goes to show they have not a clue about parking fees.

nickels and dimes, that stuff is found on parking lots, QUARTERS should be the stuff that feeds a meter.

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budwhysir 4 years, 9 months ago

I for one am not worried, I know the real money comes from the fees assigned to parking in yer own driveway and you havent seen the breakdown of that yet but believe me, its included in some type of tax we pay

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cthulhu_4_president 4 years, 9 months ago

"Those metered spots are for your customers. "

I must've missed the signs by the meters that say:

"Paying customers only!!! Merchants will be towed at their own expense."

Or maybe, just maybe, anyone is free to park in a public parking spot. Shocking, I know.

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SettingTheRecordStraight 4 years, 9 months ago

Unfortunately, most of us have been conditioned since childhood to think that higher fees and higher fines are acceptable ways for government pay for itself.

We need to reduce the size, reach and rake of government by at least 20%.

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Andrew Stahmer 4 years, 9 months ago

Good incentive to 'Take The T'! Tomorrow you can even try it for free! (am I trying to rhyme, well....MAYBE!)

Have a great Thursday!

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oneeye_wilbur 4 years, 9 months ago

what a joke, meters that go for 6 minutes..hahahaha , that is better than anything on Saturday night live.

have the minimum 30 minutes and charge 75cents. the fact is , it has not been thought through and puddlegum, you might ask "how much is NOT generated from parking lots that have no meters?"

why only 9pm? are there no fine dining establishments serving after 9pm, after all Lawrence is "special" without the special dining establishments.

The staff and commission are killing the city from within.

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puddleglum 4 years, 9 months ago

yeah, how much is generated from the meters per month?

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jjt 4 years, 9 months ago

Fine = $3.00 that's not a fine, for $3.00 I can not be bothered to get up from the table. We have 2 hours plenty of time to shop have lunch what ever. Cost should be dollar an hour to park and 20 fine. To much you say if you can afford 15 a head for lunch and drive a gas gussler (like I do) well you get the point. I would love to know how much is raised from Mass St parking broken down into fee and fine.

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couranna1 4 years, 9 months ago

The meters in downtown lawrence are a joke Why downtown lawrencee is never a destination Love the Malls in JOCO

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puddleglum 4 years, 9 months ago

xbus: "Informed: Maybe we should offer the bums free bus rides to Club Axis. They could set up shop in the parking lot….. Two problems solved. "

give the bums a free pass on the T, and let them set up a 'homeless camp' in the parking lot of cluube axis... Four problems solved.... :)

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pace 4 years, 9 months ago

Good moves by the commission. They seemed to have thought it through. I agree, parking meters should run to 9 pm.

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budwhysir 4 years, 9 months ago

pay to play, pay to park same thing

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solsken66 4 years, 9 months ago

I hope parking on Mass decreases, then many of us can park in a space right in front of the restaurant or store we want to visit.

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solsken66 4 years, 9 months ago

Those who work downtown can park on a street that does not have meters and walk just like I do if I don't feel like feeding the meters.

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solsken66 4 years, 9 months ago

Yes, the $3 parking fine is ridiculously low. It should of been increased to $5 at the minimum.

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gsxr600 4 years, 9 months ago

Keep the metered price the same, increase the parking fine to $10. Heck on campus it's $10 already for meter fines and $20 if you park in the wrong place. $3 is a ridiculous low fine.

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Jeanne Cunningham 4 years, 9 months ago

Yet even MORE reasons to NEVER go down there unless I have to.

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oneeye_wilbur 4 years, 9 months ago

malehrman, and why do you suppose they spend more than they take in? could it be that they are not smart, this new move won't change much in the way of income unless the city is doing some creative bookkeeping or maybe has been doing so,

the merchants who operate in the daytime are dolts for allowing free parking all night long, but sticking it to the daytime patronage. Lawrence is dying from within, and it has started at city hall, each and every department changes rules daily, planning is constantly correcting errors in codes, because not one planner or head of that department and the city commission ever proof reads stuff,

vehicle traffic won't decrease on Mass street but parking on Mass might decrease, but then again there are so few spaces on Mass, this new change is hardly worth messing with.

the money to be made is in the lots, but so far the commissioners havn't figured that out, all of that valuable land (maybe 2/3s of downtown is parking lots) and they still don't get it.

no big deal by the end of the year, from what I am told there are four more businesses to fold downtown.

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malehrman 4 years, 9 months ago

I think it is also important to remember that the city is currently losing money in the downtown parking department:

"In 2007, parking fees and overdue parking fines generated $898,803, but the city spent $1.01 million in parking-related expenses."

I think what will happen will be that the people who refuse to park a block and a half off Mass for free and walk will now do so and therefore vehicle traffic on Mass will decrease.

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parrothead8 4 years, 9 months ago

@vermont

They didn't change the time on the meters to 1.5 hours. The story clearly stated that the City Commissioners voted against that. It is still 2 hours.

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d_prowess 4 years, 9 months ago

Very glad they decided to leave the meters at 2 hours!

And as for the wading pool, I had always thought the person there was not actually a lifeguard, but a monitor for the facility. But either way, since it is a wading pool, I would assume that parents are watching their children closely enough that the employee there doesn't have to be a keen lookout for drowning kids!

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spiff 4 years, 9 months ago

They should move the "Post a comment" box to the top to save people the time spent scrolling before posting.


people post without reading beyond the headline

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biggunz 4 years, 9 months ago

This seems too complicated? What's complicated about spending $3 instead of $2 for a parking fine? No wonder Lawrence is in a mess.

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chargdup 4 years, 9 months ago

Just get an annual parking pass and be done with it. The cost per workday is way cheaper than feeding meters. http://lawrenceks.org/parking

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vermont 4 years, 9 months ago

This seems too complicated. Just raise the parking fine to $5 and keep everything else the way it is. 1.5 hours is not nearly enough time to eat and shop.

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PANICitsme 4 years, 9 months ago

I'm not complaining about walking. I do park on Kentucky when space is available, but since they have redone a lot of the houses at 9th and Kentucky, space is limited. Space is limited on Tennessee as well. And I do realize people in major cities pay a lot more to park, but this is Lawrence, not NYC.

Money is tight for everyone. I made a comment on a story in a public forum. My apologies if that makes me lazy, cheap and cheating customers out of parking spots.

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laiie430 4 years, 9 months ago

Lawrence is not Chicago or New York. There are a couple million fewer people in Lawrence, and I'm guessing downtown employers are not going to adjust employee pay to compensate for the increase.

I've thought our fees have been ridiculously low for a long time, $3 is still a joke for a ticket. But downtown employees should be taken in to consideration, maybe offered a discounted bus pass or parking pass. The habitual violator fee is going to hurt.

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deskboy04 4 years, 9 months ago

I wish that it wasn't so expensive to park.

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thefactsare 4 years, 9 months ago

$4 a day for parking....where are you parking? If you park in the 10-hour metered spaces then it's only $1 a day

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ChiHawkInKS 4 years, 9 months ago

PANICitsme, you have to be kidding me. People in Chicago and New York pay more than that for public transportation every day. $4 (a day) to feed a meter is not that much. If you don't like it park a block or two away (for free) and walk your lazy a$$.

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Bridgett Wagner 4 years, 9 months ago

So is it really $1 per child at the wading pool, or will they charge parents too? How are they going to collect the money? As is stands, there is one lifeguard who doesn't sit anywhere near the gate...I'm not sure how I'd feel about that person paying more attention to who is coming and going rather than focusing on what is happening in the pool itself... It'd be nice if the city actually does put some effort into setting up a sponsor so that the fee can be avoided. $1 isn't that big of a deal, but that little pool has been there for as long as I can remember, and I don't think they've EVER charged in the past...

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PANICitsme 4 years, 9 months ago

I work on Vermont. Paying .75 a day is cheaper than buying a permit and I don't live in town to take the bus. But thanks for the kind advice.

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SettingTheRecordStraight 4 years, 9 months ago

If you're outraged that our government owns a golf course (like I am), are you also outraged that our government owns a swimming pool?

Government needs to get out of the personal recreation business.

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RogueThrill 4 years, 9 months ago

Those metered spots are for your customers.

Get a permit and park in the long term lots off Vermont or New Hampshire or park in the garage.

Or take the bus.

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PANICitsme 4 years, 9 months ago

What about downtown employees? Its going to cost us $4 a day to park for work! I'm not going to be able to afford to work.

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Chris Ogle 4 years, 9 months ago

Informed: Maybe we should offer the bums free bus rides to Club Axis. They could set up shop in the parking lot..... Two problems solved.

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macon47 4 years, 9 months ago

anyone with 5 unpaid parking tickets should be spanked, and made to pull weeds in south park how childlish

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Chris Ogle 4 years, 9 months ago

Parking meter costs to increase, panhandlers will feel the pain....but say "we will tough it out"

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Norma Jeane Baker 4 years, 9 months ago

Good decision, Commissioners, in not decreasing the time limit on meters.

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bobberboy 4 years, 9 months ago

Just in time for the annual sidewalk sale..

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classclown 4 years, 9 months ago

What's the fine for going 9 miles an hour over the speed limit?

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