By Rebecca Martin
Last year, we did a poll to get feedback from citizens on the parking meters in Kingston.
I’m no expert on the subject, so I’ll rely on good old fashioned common sense.
How is it sensible to provide limited parking, poor signage for shoppers on where to park when street parking is not available and then issue parking tickets while someone is dropping a hundred bucks at one of our small businesses that aid in their staying afloat? The meter maids are the most organized game in town.
I don’t think meters are the answer. I have heard city officials proclaim that the meters were meant to keep business owners from parking on the street all day long. It has failed in doing so as many simply feed the meters all day long while the parking problems persist.
What is more likely to be true is the money the city raises through parking meters help supplement the city budget in a major way. Probably to the tune of $200,000 throughout the year.
What Kingston needs is a long range parking plan in our business districts. I am sure there are many successful models to look at in choosing one to fit in our community.
Here are some of the comments that we received. I ask that readers see this as a token – for if the city of Kingston chose to do a true study on proper parking practices, there would be a great deal of good information made available to help encourage instead of punish patrons while instructing business owners or operators and others to park in designated areas.
1. Don’t enforce the meters on Saturday and after 4 or 5pm during the week.
2. During the holidays, it was a pleasant surprise to park in the Village of Saugerties and find red bags over the parking meters with Happy Holidays on them. If nothing else, the goodwill generated by the gesture made the pain of spending Montano prices for my son’s shoes a bit more tolerable and we return (far too frequently!) for new shoes. But, I think about that whenever I park in uptown Kingston. How about a cheery bag over the meters on Farmer’s Market day saying “Welcome to Kingston Farmer’s Market” and likewise for the holidays, other significant days, etc. More than the quarter saved to park, it makes the city seem friendlier. AUTHORS NOTE: The city of Kingston placed Santa Hats on the meters during the holidays. It ain’t much, but it’s a start.
3. I think that each driver should get one pass/warning. But I also know that the city installed meters due to the fact that a lot of the motorists were parking all day which left no empty spaces for out of towners or customers to shop within the city limits. It is quite the quandary because people will not do a lot shopping within city limits if they have to worry about keeping the meter full while conducting their business. So without the business the parking dept, has to resort to meters to generate revenue. The money they spent on meters should have gone to construct an attractive parking that would have allowed people to park for free.
4. As long as you feed the meter, parking time should be unlimited. Weekends should be free to encourage browsing, sightseeing, and shopping.
5. I would like to see expanded municipal lots & possibly no charge parking on certain days or at certain times
6. I’d like to see the penalty $ by lowered to $10. Give us a break!
7. The Parking Meters, that used to be .10/hour in Saugerties are now .50/hour just like Kingston. Saugerties is now a complete ghost town.
8. Well, I’d sure like the city to put up P-signs for Parking: there are no signs on the lots, no signs directing people to them. I’m a resident and I had not reason to believe they were not private. There is one on Broadway on the north side near ONeil and one just off Broadway on Franklin… and they are totally neglected
9. Actually, the meters are important in deterring workers and business owners from preventing customers from parking. Bigger problem: more parking is needed in uptown.
7 thoughts on “Parking Meters in the City of Kingston”
I completely agree with the last point. I work on Wall St, and it is often very difficult to find a place to part, even before 9am. I honestly have no idea where customers park, because both sides of the street as well as most of the municipal lots are full first thing in the morning.
This is something I would like to see as front page news in the Freeman.
As to the revenue raised? After the costs, the salaries, I would have no idea of the net revenues to the city and how that money is spent. That never was made clear.
Then there are the meters that are never paid into, like those where the Domino Pizza delivery people part all day.
And the 3 parking places along the Corridor at Broadway coming up to 587 where the traffic is reduced to one lane before becoming 2 again, and of course it is in Ward 4.
This city needs really really good government and it will take off and fly! It has labored under the burden of poor government and representation for decades, with the exception, I think, of Mayor Gallo… what a loss.
I reside at 121 Queen St. When exiting the underground garage onto Bagot St., it is difficult to see past a vehicle if one is parked at Meter #Y702. The larger the vehicle the more difficult it is to see. One must almost go into the middle of Bagot street to see on coming traffic from the north heading south.
Could this parking spot be removed in order to prevent an accident?
I think you are in Kingston, Canada? Is that correct? We are Kingston, NY.
I hope you find a solution to your problem!
I wonder if this stance has been rethought in light of Donald Shoup’s research?