In just a month since the new parking meters have gone in Downtown to increase revenue for the City, we have seen weekday foot traffic to the Cafe decrease an estimated 10-20%. Apparently, just like the seniors affected in this article, there exists a whole class of people who would probably rather stay away from Downtown rather than pay a meter fee. Before the meters, on-street parking was hard to come by, but not impossible. I imagine the folks that would rove around looking for a spot are now preferring to stay away rather than pay or go into a parking deck. I just hope that there is a learning curve here and that folks slowly learn to use meters and start coming back. I would hate for something like parking meters to impede the growth of the City.
I wonder if the revenue gained by the City will outstrip the daytime business lost for Downtown businesses like the Bakery. What is the breakeven point? Fact is that there are so many places for folks to shop nowadays that we still need to give incentives to come Downtown. Just imagine what would happen if Southpoint Mall starting charging shoppers for parking to try to increase revenue?