Meadville Tribune

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July 7, 2013

Panel has plan for downtown Meadville parking

MEADVILLE — The ongoing effort of Meadville City Council’s Parking Subcommittee to eliminate downtown parking congestion is taking a step forward.

The subcommittee’s hope is to shift vehicles used to transport employees working for downtown businesses to and from work out of the parking spaces that are intended for the use of consumers wanting to patronize those businesses.

During council’s June 19 monthly meeting, councilmembers Nancy Mangilo-Bittner and Bob Langley presented the first phase of their report on the state of parking in downtown Meadville.

“We believe that there will be sufficient space available in the parking garage, city lots and private lots to house those employees currently parking in the metered spots, preventing possible consumers from visiting our downtown business area,” Mangilo-Bittner said.

“This is a good time for us to work with individual employees to get them where they need to be,” Langley said.

“Employees (parking) at meters are put on warning right now,” Mangilo-Bittner said. “You have to move out of those spaces.”

The game plan, City Manager Joe Chriest told the Tribune during a recent interview, is for the month of July to serve as something of a grace period, although cars parked at expired meters or in illegal locations will certainly continue to be ticketed.

“Summertime is the time to start freeing some things up so we can minimize the problem,” Chriest said. “As Nancy and Bob said, ‘One step at a time.’ Let’s see if we can get these people into rental spaces.”

The first step in freeing things up will be taken Monday, when the city’s parking enforcement officers will begin placing copies of a letter written by Chriest onto the windshields of vehicles they’ve noticed parked regularly at downtown meters.

“If people are just letting their cars sit there and plugging the meters,” Chriest said, “our enforcement folks will be collecting the license plate number and putting a letter on the car.”

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