Thursday, December 28, 2006

Downtown Fort Wayne parking

I go downtown about twelve times a year. I go to occasional meetings and events of a political nature and I sometimes go downtown for other reasons.

This week I went downtown twice.

When I go downtown I almost always park in the Parking Garage next to the City - County building. I pay more; however, I can leave my car parked as long as I want. I do not mind walking a few blocks so I have always parked there...

This week I decided to park at the parking meters on Berry Street. Did you know that the longest you can park in those spots is an hour? The meters only allow you to go up to 60 minutes at a time.

I like to walk. I often walk from place to place rather then drive my car a few blocks. These parking meters are VERY annoying.

Tuesday I went to lunch at the Dash-In. I had to leave lunch and go put more money in my parking meter. It was annoying. Those parking meters should allow you to park for 2 hours and pay for it all at once...

Today I had a meeting downtown and parked on Berry street again. There were 54 minutes on the meter when I pulled into the spot. Knowing that my meeting would take about an hour I decided to put a nickle into the meter anyway and push my time up to 60 minutes.

It turns out that was one of my better decisions today. When I got back to my car the parking meter was blinking... I was out of time. The "Parking enforcement" officer was about four cars down...

Parking is something that MUST be addressed if we keep pouring money into downtown Fort Wayne. There are good and bad things about the current downtown parking situation:

Good things:
There are generally plenty of places to park. I have never had a hard time finding a place to park. I have lived in a lot of places where the same could not be said.
It is inexpensive to park downtown.
It is inexpensive to pay parking tickets downtown.

Bad things:
Some of the parking meters allow you to park for only one hour.
People who do not go downtown have no idea what the parking rules are since some of the signs are wrong and different parking meters have different maximum amounts of time you can park at them without coming back and putting in more coins.

What do you think?

Mike Sylvester


Jeff Pruitt said...

I park downtown every day in a lot run by a private firm. This lot is essentially the cheapest in all of downtown at $30/month - this seems very reasonable to me. Most of the lots are in the $60month range with covered parking running upwards of $95/month (city county building is only $65 I believe but they do not have assigned spots).

However, the 1 hour meter limit is ridiculous. The meters should allow for 2 hour parking as you suggest.

I'm sure this inconvenience is intenional. If they were to raise the limit two hours at the current rate then I'm certain every single private lot owner would complain. Personally, I feel that if the city is going to provide meters then they should make them as convenient as possible...

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