Fayetteville Considers Parking Meters For Downtown Square

One local community could be installing parking meters on its downtown square in the near future, but some business owners in that area are concerned about how customers might react to paying extra for parking.
The city of Fayetteville is talking about hiking parking rates on meters around the square from 25 cents an hour to 50 cents an hour, and they might install new meters on the square. Some business owners say that might force customers to go shopping in other parts of town.

Monday nights crowd at City Hall was a vocal one, as business owners and city officials met to discuss the idea of more expensive parking on and around the Fayetteville town square.

We dont want to force our citizens to not dine downtown. We dont want to have them pay for the evening, so it forces them to go out to north Fayetteville to chain restaurants, one business owner said.

Some in the meeting scoffed at even having to pay for parking in the town square area at all.

How much would you save if got rid of that little parking guy, and didnt have to pay him a salary and people could just park for free? another business owner asked.

City officials said the current system of parking on the square might already be detrimental to local business. Currently vehicles are only able to stay on the square for two hours without being ticketed.

Fayetteville Parking Manager Sharon Crosson said, A lot of people want to park longer than two hours because they've come to shop and then they leave for a while, then they want to come back and do banking and do lunch.

Crosson said metered spaces on the square will allow people to eat, shop and play there indefinitely, as long as they keep putting money into the meters.

We have citizens that have come to visit and they have gotten a ticket, and they have vocalized that they want it to be paid so they know how much time they are going to be able to spend there, Crosson said.

There aren't any formal proposals to change the parking rates on and around the square. Officials said they'd like to finish up with public input sessions like the one held Monday night before they submit anything to the city council for vote.

Officials said parking rates for downtown meters have not increased in 14 years.
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