Last year, when Mayor Kamal Johnson suspended putting quarters in the parking meters from mid-March until the end of May, we learned that parking meters are a fairly significant source of revenue for the City. That being the case, one wonders why maintenance of the parking meters seems to get so little attention.
Over two days toward the end of February, Bill Huston, the City of Hudson's harshest critic when it comes to public works and city services, surveyed some of the city's parking meters and shared his findings with Gossips. With Huston's permission, I share them here.
- Municipal Lot behind City Hall: 100 metered spaces--17 flashing "DEAD"; 4 blank
- Municipal Lot beside Hudson Lodge (601 Union Street): 29 metered spaces--4 blank
- 600 block of Union Street (across from municipal lot): 8 metered spaces--2 blank, 1 flashing "FAIL"
- Columbia Street, Public Square to 8th Street: 29 metered spaces--8 blank; 2 flashing "DEAD"; one double meter missing
- Municipal Lot beside First Presbyterian Church: 23 metered spaces--3 flashing "DEAD"; 2 blank; one meter missing
- Municipal Lot in 300 block of Warren Street: 19 metered spaces--2 blank; 4 reserved for the Youth Department
Huston's conclusions (the caps are his): "I observed 208 parking meters total, 45 of them were not working. 21.5 PERCENT, OR MORE THAN 1 OF EVERY 5, OF THE METERS IN THE STUDY WERE INOPERABLE."
It's not entirely clear whose responsibility the parking meters are. The Parking Bureau seems to be tasked only with issuing tickets and collecting fines. It would seem the Police Department has more important concerns, and the meters appear not to be in the purview of the Department of Public Works. But since it's been established that income from parking meters is a revenue stream of some consequence for the City, we probably shouldn't be giving up more than 20 percent of it because meters are broken or missing.
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