POSTED: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - 5:17pm
UPDATED: Friday, October 7, 2011 - 4:59pm
EL PASO - Local business owners took a stand against the city today, in a move that's probably going to save you money for now. They said no to parking meters being put up in the area around the Cincinnati Entertainment District, but the battle isn't over.
If you've ever tried parking near the Cincinnati Entertainment District, you know it's difficult.
"We have had a series of complaints over the last several years of there is no parking in the area. 'We can't park. I always go there and I can't park.' So we came up with solutions on trying to solve that. The parking garage being one of them," City Transportation Director Daryl Cole said.
The second solution is a proposal to install parking meters to increase traffic for businesses.
"The college students come down here and park for free... all day, not just hours, all day," local worker Dustin Hammonds said.
So for the third time, the city met with business owners about the idea. After more than an hour of hearing complaints and fielding concerns, the city asked people to raise their hand if they wanted parking meters. No one did.
"With a big surprise and big relief, the meeting went very well," local coffee shop owner Kinley Pon said.
Pon, who's against the parking meter proposal, says it's the first time the city gave business owners a choice.
"I sensed, at least in my opinion, I was sensing that the business owners almost didn't have a choice," he said.
In fact, a few weeks ago a city spokesperson told us they were taking Pon's concerns into consideration, but they said parking meters were a priority project. Now that other business owners spoke up, the city has agreed to hold off on the parking meters, but only for another six months. Not everyone's happy with that decision.
"It's not right. Why not have parking meters down here? It's going to be a little cash for the city, and it's like downtown. I live downtown and I have to pay for parking downtown," Hammonds said.
Tonight the city is meeting with homeowners in the area to see what they think about the parking meter proposal, but for now it's clear the issue is not over. We'll hear about it again by next April.