City installs parking meters on Paquin Street

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 | 8:38 p.m. CDT; updated 2:11 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 24, 2011

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.


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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.”

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Mike Bellman June 22, 2011 | 1:38 a.m.

Is this revenue estimation based on 100% capacity for all hours of collection? Because that's unlikely to happen.

Additionally, if people do leave their cars for days at a time and don't fill the meter, this blocks the meter from getting filled by active parkers. Is the city going to increase the enforcement & towing while adding parking meter attendants? If so, how much if that salary negates the increased revenue?

We seem to be nickel and diming our side streets while pretending to do something about the curb appeal. The street conditions are atrocious at best and the paint jobs are laughable. The city has dedicated decades-long projects away from infrastructure and can not abandon any of those committed resources to help. We have lovely parks with crappy trips to get there. Oh well....

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