COLUMBIA — The sound of coins clinking against metal can now be heard along Paquin Street following the installation of new parking meters.
The City Council approved an ordinance at its June 6 meeting allowing for the placement of the meters, Columbia Supervising Traffic Engineer Scott Bitterman said.
The goal of the new meters is to create turnover so one car does not occupy a spot for days or weeks at a time, Bitterman said.
The meters cost $840 to purchase and install, and they could generate an annual revenue of $1,840, a figure expected to rise following the increase in parking rates effective July 1, Bitterman said.
Kerby Mitchell, who owns properties on Paquin, told Bitterman that it is difficult to enter and exit properties because cars park too close to the driveways between houses, and Mitchell said he thought meters would help.
However, several tenants along Paquin Street and one property owner oppose the new meters, Bitterman said.
In an e-mail to Bitterman, Elliot Ewert, a tenant on Paquin Street, said the argument that meters will prevent cars from occupying spaces for long periods of time is an “illusory alleviation” and that the proposal establishes an “infringement upon (tenants') economic means,” according to documents presented to the council.
Nina Furstenau, who occasionally parks on Paquin, said she is disappointed parking meters were installed, especially since parking prices are already rising in The District. However, Furstenau said she understands why the measure was taken.
“They have to do it,” she said. “It’s one of those necessary evils.”