City won't give parking tickets during holidays

Local city to stop parking meter fines during holidays

The moratorium went into effect Nov. 15, just days after it was discussed by city administrators with a city council committee. During the moratorium, discussions and study will continue in the search the best solution for downtown parking.

“It is a good time to get a snapshot” of parking in the area during the holiday season, Patrick Titterington, city service and safety director, said Nov. 12 as city council’s streets and sidewalks committee discussed the proposed moratorium.

Fines would continue to be imposed for violations such as illegal use of handicapped spaces, and parking beyond 72 hours will be prohibited. It was agreed the moratorium would go into effect Nov. 15 before a countywide holiday shopping event scheduled that weekend.

The council committee recently met to discuss proposals for parking options designed to open on street parking spaces for visitors and educate visitors to downtown parking regulations. Those proposed changes were a unique one-time amnesty program for drivers who parked too long but could prove they were spending downtown and a paid placard program for reserved spaces in two parking lots to those who work, live or have other business downtown.

Bobby Phillips, chairman of the council committee, said discussions he had with fellow committee members and others showed there was not support for the placard system unless it was addressed as part of a longer term project. That project would also include a parking garage and be done in conjunction with Miami County, whose main offices also are downtown, he said. There was no consensus, either, for the amnesty proposal, he said.

Phillips did say, however, that, “The holiday is a good time to move forward with an experiment.”

Titterington said that, during the moratorium, staff would monitor and review parking convenience, turnover, vacancies and other demographics to obtain a better understanding of downtown parking habits.

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Nicole Loy of the Troy Main Street downtown advocacy program told council at an earlier discussion that merchants’ biggest concern was the two-hour time allowed for free parking. The ticket for violating the two-hour limit was $20 before the moratorium.

Council committee members asked for continued public input on parking concerns, the reaction to the moratorium and possible longer-term options to parking downtown.

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