By Mary Spicer
Representing the Downtown Meadville Business Association, Isaac Pineo told members of Meadville City Council that the four-month-old organization is looking forward to an opportunity to meet with council at a future date to share its ideas about the city’s central business area.
Setting an appointment, however, wasn’t the only reason Pineo requested an opportunity to speak during the public comment section of council’s Wednesday night agenda. The group has already developed what it believes may be a solution to the problem of downtown business employees filling parking spaces that should be available for customer parking.
DMBA, Pineo explained, would like to see a portion of the heart of the downtown business district designated as “customer-only parking.” Surrounding the customer-only district, plenty of 12-hour metered spaces should be available, especially in the city’s parking garages and in some surface lots.
“We’re trying to relieve the competition between employees and customers,” Pineo said.
The group hopes to present more details during council’s Nov. 6 study session or the monthly meeting on Nov. 20, Pineo added, noting that it’s also hoping to talk to city staff and any interested parties between now and then.
Mayor Christopher Soff said that he will meet with both staff and council’s parking subcommittee, which consists of Nancy Mangilo-Bittner and Bob Langley, and see about setting dates.
During the parking subcommittee report scheduled for later in the meeting, Mangilo-Bittner expressed appreciation for the association’s efforts. “We want to encourage people to bring suggestions to us,” she said.
However, she and Langley are also ready to move into the next phase of their own plan for resolving the city’s parking issues — focusing on enforcement hours for metered parking.
“We have to move forward based on our survey,” Mangilo-Bittner said. “We distributed 250 surveys and got an 85 percent response. You can’t ignore that.”
Based on that survey of downtown business owners, “People feel that metered parking from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. is too long,” Mangilo-Bittner said. “We’re going to recommend from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.”
Mary Spicer can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.