Columbia residents living around the North Village area have been facing parking issues for some time now, but tonight the City Council will hear out some proposed fixes.
Brookside resident Eleanor Clegg has to pay $80 every three months to park her car in a garage four blocks away from her apartment. She thinks there must be another option.
“I wish there was more free parking in general, like a parking lot that you can just parking for free,” she says. "But I think more meters will help."
When people in the North Village area approached the City Council about the issue several months ago, officers at Department of Public Works Traffic Engineering felt obliged to take some action. Spokesperson Steven Sapp says they are proposing traffic calming, more meters, and a permit program.
But, some people, like Niedermeyer Apartment resident Katarina Ruby, don’t think adding more meters on the streets would relieve the problem.
“I don’t think it will be as effective as they think it will be," she says. "Not many people are probably going to want to park that far away. So that’s the biggest issue. I mean they are trying to add parking garages, too, but I don’t think it really matters.”
On the other hand, Sapp says the permit program is a brand new concept that has never been used in Columbia before.
“Residents have always been able to park on the street at no charge," he says. "This will change that. This would require residents in the area to obtain a permit. If they don’t have that permit, and it’s parked on the street, then it would be subject to take it in or potentially, perhaps even towing.”
He says the effectiveness of the program still needs to be studied. The program would require a part-time employee and new equipment running the city $30,000.