Archive for Tuesday, June 29, 2010

City adds 15-minute parking meters to Massachusetts Street

Several 15-minute parking meters are being put to use downtown starting Wednesday. The 15 minutes can be paid for with a single quarter.

June 29, 2010, 9:53 a.m. Updated June 29, 2010, 10:03 a.m.


Related document

Downtown Parking Map ( .PDF )

Going downtown to run a quick errand? Starting on Wednesday, the city is adding 15-minute parking meters for that reason.

According to the city, the meters will be clearly marked and located in the middle of each block, with two meters for both the west and east sides of Massachusetts Street.

A quarter will pay for the full 15 minutes.

There are currently seven free 2-hour lots and 10 metered parking lots downtown with 2-hour, 5-hour and 10-hour meters, according to Parking Control.


jafs 7 years, 11 months ago

I can't imagine there's really that much one can get accomplished downtown in 15 minutes.

nobody1793 7 years, 11 months ago

I'd be much more likely to pick up a pizza at Rudy's if I could get in and out quickly.

overthemoon 7 years, 11 months ago

So are the meter maids going to check these every fifteen minutes? Sounds like a fundraising effort rather than a benevolent attempt at providing convenience. As jafs said, IF you can nab one of these spots, what can you do in fifteen minutes?

b22 7 years, 11 months ago

still very affordable to park on mass with free options to boot, i like the 15min idea , if u need more time go park in the FREE garage!

Amy Heeter 7 years, 11 months ago

It is about uping the revenue but there has been alot of abuse related to meters in the past. Meters are intended for short term parking even at 30 minutes. If a person intends to spend a longer time downtown they should use the lots.

Kontum1972 7 years, 11 months ago

credit card meters are next...and pay tiolets

Danimal 7 years, 11 months ago

They already have pay to use toilets in Europe.

kef104 7 years, 11 months ago

What a great idea. I hear the quicker you kick people out, the more they spend. How about 2 minute meters for those people who only want to park and push coins down the slot? Nothing would make me more upset than finally finding a spot to park and then realizing it was only for 15 minutes. What a waste.

persevering_gal 7 years, 11 months ago

"Nothing would make me more upset than finally finding a spot to park and then realizing it was only for 15 minutes. What a waste."

I was thinking the same thing. If people don't want to spend as much time downtown, feed the meters less. Am I missing the point of the 15-minute meters?

gccs14r 7 years, 11 months ago

Both would be great ideas, as long as the toilets take cards, too. Pay toilets tend to be clean and stocked.

Mari Aubuchon 7 years, 11 months ago

How will we know when we pull into a spot that it is a 15 minute one? Will they be a different color?

wmathews 7 years, 11 months ago

Mari, the parking control website lists the labels for meters:

"Two-hour meters are mounted on brown poles. Five-hour meters are on green poles and ten-hour meters are on black poles. All non-standard decorative black posts, and all meters mounted on light posts, indicate zones and rates as marked."

No mention yet of the 15-minute meters yet, but like the others I'm certain they'll be marked.

Laura Wilson 7 years, 11 months ago

This is only beneficial if you want to shop in the store right in front of the meter. Heck, it takes my mom ten minutes to walk half a block with her bad knees and hips.

What do the regular meters on Mass charge? I know it's 5 cents for six minutes and 10 cents for twelve. Does that mean I'd get 24 minutes for 20 cents? Isn't that more cost effective for the consumer and you're not restricted to parking in the middle of the block?

One more silly waste of money by the City.

sourpuss 7 years, 11 months ago

There are plenty of free parking spaces in the garages and lots, all of which are within a 10 minute walk to any downtown store.

In Toronto, I pay $3.00 for 30 minutes of parking, if I can find any at all, and the parking tickets start at $30. Oh, and the sales tax here is 14%. Enjoy your cheap, easy shopping in Lawrence! :) I certainly will when I'm there next.

Homey 7 years, 11 months ago

I have been to Toronto -- Downtown Lawrence is no Toronto.

Munsoned 7 years, 11 months ago

Enjoy your free health care. Everything costs something.

sleepy33 7 years, 11 months ago

Wow...what an actually thoughtful, well-written comment. It' seeing a unicorn!

Mari Aubuchon 7 years, 11 months ago

Another thing: Why not put the 15 minute meters near or between the businesses that would benefit when possible. For instance, why put one next to The Gap or LJWorld when Starbucks/Coldstone and Liberty Hall/Prima are the places that people need to get into and out of quickly?

webmocker 7 years, 11 months ago

From the article: "According to the city, the meters will be clearly marked...."

Mari Aubuchon 7 years, 11 months ago

How? So that I can tell when I am pulling in or when I go to feed it? I just wanted more specific info.

sleepy33 7 years, 11 months ago

I don't think it's going to be written in farsi, or some secret code. I imagine it will be clearly marked with a sign, just like the handicapped spots are marked.

Mari Aubuchon 7 years, 11 months ago

Why would you see fit to answer my question such a nasty manner?

I wondered about this because I have pulled into two-hour spots when I wanted a five-hour one. I was unaware that the color of the meter pole indicated the time limit.

One other poster actually answered my question instead of just quoting from the article I already read or just being sarcastic.

Thinking_Out_Loud 7 years, 11 months ago

What is this antipathy you have for persons with disabilities, Wilbur?

workinghard 7 years, 11 months ago

I just paid a quarter for 30 minutes in front of the courthouse when I went to get my tags( free parking filled up).

Mari Aubuchon 7 years, 11 months ago

You just reminded me to get my tags renewed today. Thanks!

laika 7 years, 11 months ago


It is permissible to lock bikes to any parking meter, besides those in front of handicap spots.

So_tired_of_the_whiners 7 years, 11 months ago

Wow, the people who never leave their basement complaining about a parking change downtown.

I like the idea. It is great for picking up to go orders...

50YearResident 7 years, 11 months ago

Tired of whinners, you can be our test case. Make a list of 4 different errands you need to make down town that you think will take 15 min or less. Then drive down to any 15 min meter and park and run for the first one. Next move your car to another 15 min meter for each of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th errands. Make a note of how many of the 4 you were able to complete before the meter expired. Post the results back here after completed.

50YearResident 7 years, 11 months ago

Scoring: Completed 4 successfully = 15 min meters may work. Complete 3 successfully = Some shoppers will get PO'd Complete 2 successfully = May net be a good idea. Complete 1 successfully = Shoppers may not come back. Complete 0 successfully = A total disaster, terminate immediately.

spirit_level 7 years, 11 months ago

I guarantee that this is going to cause traffic snarls. The meters may be clearly marked, but at what point are drivers going to see this? After they've already pulled in? On high-traffic days, this is sure to cause increased back-ups and possibly a fender-bender or two.

I predict that the fix is worse than the problem, and the fifteen-minute meter won't last the year.

50YearResident 7 years, 11 months ago

Maybe not! They were talking about $25 or $50 tickets. Beter find out that info first.

silkiner 7 years, 11 months ago

What a bad idea, but great revenue producer for a city that can not manage it's funds correctly.

parrothead8 7 years, 11 months ago

I've never had a problem finding parking downtown, but I will say that I think having 15-minute spaces reduces the amount of available parking for the majority of people who go downtown.

huskerpower 7 years, 11 months ago

Why is everyone so concerned about the revenue side of a provided service? If you don't want to use the meters, there are plenty of other parking spaces available in which you do not have to contribute to the financial aspect of the city you live in.

consistentparker 7 years, 11 months ago

Why would a person want to deal with the hassle of plugging a meter? There is free parking in nearby places such as the Legends. As a worker downtown, I see employees of other stores constantly parking in 2-hour lots and un-chalking their tires. Is it too much work to write down license plates? Employees taking customer spots is ridiculous but goes without consequence. What does the money for tickets go toward besides meter maids and there little cars?

gccs14r 7 years, 11 months ago

Sure, I want to burn $8 in gas and lose an hour of my day driving to and from that cultural black hole that is the Legends area.

The problem of employees parking in customer spaces sould be handled by the employers. Basically, if you work for me and you're taking up a customer spot, then I don't need you, because the money you're costing me in lost business for lack of parking is what I would have used to pay you. I'll hire someone else who understands who should park where. If I ran a downtown business and saw the employees of other businesses routinely flouting the parking regs, I'd rat them out. They're hurting everyone, including themselves.

EarthaKitt 7 years, 11 months ago

Seriously? There's a meter post color key? I had no idea.

I'm all for the 15-minute spots. I love putzing around downtown as much as the next guy, and I either walk there or park in a long-term lot if I'm staying for a while. But I knife in and knife out of shops downtown all the time, and if there are open spaces created by specially designated 15-minute spaces I'm more than happy to pay a quarter for the convenience.

I don't see how it's not a completely fair way to raise some cash for the city.

whats_going_on 7 years, 11 months ago

Way to make things even more confusing for people who aren't familiar with parking downtown.

And I'd also like to know how the meter people are going to keep up with this. Don't they usually just go up and down the street? They'd have to go back to those spots quite a bit.

Sounds like more of a pain in the a** rather than a convenience. I see people abusing this just like they abuse the regular spots.

whats_going_on 7 years, 11 months ago

Also, what happens when you do just have to run in to a store for something, but theres a long wait, and it takes you more than 15 minutes? You're getting punished for something that should have taken 30 seconds but turned into a wait-fest.

whats_going_on 7 years, 11 months ago

ALSO, for the people who do want to stay longer, and are too lazy to walk a block from a free lot or side street, this is going to piss them off and then downtown might lose business anyway.

Why can't everybody just suck it up and walk in the first place? It's not hard to find a space even one block from Mass.

LadyJ 7 years, 11 months ago

How much are the meters downtown, including the 2,5,and 10 hr ones? Seems like it should have been included in the article. Anyone park downtown regularly that can enlighten us?

workinghard 7 years, 11 months ago

So workers can park for a dollar a day? Sounds cheap to me.

huskerpower 7 years, 11 months ago

That depends...

Are these new meters or are they just re-programming the old ones and slapping on new labels?

The later obviously makes the most sense and wouldn't be that expensive.

50YearResident 7 years, 11 months ago

Starting Wednesday the loss of meters in the 4 business district blocks, 2- 15 min meters in each block on both sides = 16 fewer meters for shoppers that are actually going to stay long enough to buy something. Not a good deal for Business or Shoppers.

Anyone know what the new parking meter violation penalty fee will be on these 15 mim meters?

huskerpower 7 years, 11 months ago

Wouldn't the fact that they were only going to be there for 15 minutes or less mean they already had an idea of what they wanted and an intention to buy it? Why else would you park at a 15 minute meter?

I would think someone parking in a 2 hour meter would be much more likely to window shop and walk around than someone who only planned on being there for 15 minutes.

50YearResident 7 years, 11 months ago

O fcourse you are correct, the 15 min meter parkers will be attempting to complete a quick preplaned purchase or pickup in those 15 min, but the question is will they be able to do it in the 15 min allocated time without getting a parking ticket?

The people planning on spending 2 hours to complete their business will have 16 fewer parking places to be available for their trip to town. This will be a problem for both groups of shoppers.

huskerpower 7 years, 11 months ago

I wonder why they felt 15 minute meters were more appropriate than say 20 minute meters?

50YearResident 7 years, 11 months ago

Ticket revenue would be my guess, plus quicker turnover. Remember they were talking about raising the ticket violation fee when these meters are inforce. I can't remember how much was suggested but I do remember you would not ever want to park there again. I think it was something like $25 or more for 1 st ticket and $50 for second. I don't know if that passed or not.

windjammer 7 years, 11 months ago

The only problem is One Eye is just all talk. Never any comments of value.

BruceWayne 7 years, 11 months ago

so it will take 76,465,293 fifteen minute quick-parks to pay for the cleanup at Toxicland Industries? SWEET!

Arana 7 years, 11 months ago

I really don't see why people are complaining about a few parking spots. I work downtown and won't believe the amount of places you can park. Most people in town are able bodied enough to park at lot or garage and just walk if this is seriously a problem. Funny story, but the lots... wait for it... are free. Hell the parking garage is rarely ever full.

Lisa Rasor 7 years, 11 months ago

Yes, Did_I, we already saw that you posted it earlier. It's very clever. I'm sorry we didn't give it the attention you thought it was due.

workinghard 7 years, 11 months ago

Oh, oh I think I have done the same thing for the same reason, didn't realize it was offensive to some.

naturalist 7 years, 11 months ago

Stupidest idea for downtown parking so far. Why can't someone just put 15 cents in to park for 15 minutes? This will leave downtown shoppers less room for parking, which will have a direct effect on downtown businesses. Who's bright idea was this?

gccs14r 7 years, 11 months ago

Because dumb*ss downtown employees take up too many of the spots on Mass. This means that there will be at least four spots available for people who want to run a quick errand (unless there are already four people in them running errands, in which case it's a rousing success), since even the most die-hard downtown Mass parker isn't going to be able to leave work every fifteen minutes to plug a meter.

Arana 7 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, I don't recommend saying that to any downtown employee's face, especially if they are making your coffee. People who work downtown don't get much choice on wear to park, most of the time we end up paying for parking tickets.

gccs14r 7 years, 11 months ago

There's a whole parking garage available. There is no need for employees to park on Mass. Ever.

50YearResident 7 years, 11 months ago

15 min parking meter complaints will start as soon as the first tickets are issued.

huskerpower 7 years, 11 months ago

Judging by the majority of the above posts, its probably fair to say they've already started.

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