Downtown Merchants Support the Parking Meters

The overwhelming consensus downtown is that the meters are working! Downtown business owners were interviewed and business surveys were conducted over the past two weeks along Main Street in downtown Ventura. The downtown merchants gave the managed parking system a thumbs up with 83% surveyed in support of the meters, 13% neutral, and 4% not in support the meters.
Ask most downtown owners and they support the meters because they channel those dollars directly into maintaining a secure and clean downtown. Unfortunately, a select few are creating a lot of negative noise against what is really a good thing for downtown. We do ask our customers and I would say 99% are positive about the meters and the overall downtown. stated Chuck Menzel, Owner of Wetsand, 446 East Main Street.

Restaurateurs support the meters too. I like the meters; theyre good for downtown and the customers love it! I never have any complaints. People like to park close to the restaurant. The meters have also brought additional security downtown. All great cities have parking meters. This is a good indication that Venturas downtown is growing in the right direction. stated Ubaldo Foschoi, Sicily Pizzeria & Trattoria, 563 East Main Street.
 
The meters provide a managed approach to parking downtown. Employees and merchants are no longer parking in prime spaces, thereby freeing up these spaces for customers. Now, shoppers, diners and visitors can quickly find a place to park thats close to their destination.  
 
Only 318 of the total 2,915 public parking spaces downtown are metered. There are 48 free green parking stalls conveniently located for quick errands under 24-minutes and 34 free yellow loading zone spaces to be used for deliveries and pickup of materials and goods (20 minute limit).

In addition, the revenue generated from the meters is being reinvested into the downtown. The funds help pay for a dedicated police officer and nine police cadets. This has resulted in an overall decrease in crime by 40% and a 15% decrease in calls for service. Funds are also used for new improvements like additional lighting for parking lots, new planters and plant materials, and a cross-the-street banner planned for installation this summer.

Free Wi-Fi is yet another benefit made possible by the meters. Residents and visitors can stay connected through the outdoor network provided by the Downtown Parking Management program.

The Downtown Parking Management Plan and the Downtown Specific Plan were adopted in 2007 after extensive outreach with the support of the Downtown Ventura Partners/Organization DVP/DVO, the elected body that represents property owners and merchants. The DVO/DVP board, made up of 21 downtown business owners and property owners, voted unanimously at their recent board meeting in support of the meters because of their positive effect on managing the parking problems as well as funding much-needed improvements.
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