BLOOMINGTON – A decision to put parking meters in downtown Bloomington will have to wait.
The Bloomington City Council voted 8-1 Wednesday night to delay a decision that has ignited a firestorm of criticism. Bloomington’s Chamber of Commerce had asked for a 90-day delay to examine the issue.
Instead, the council called for a six-week delay, giving businesses and the chamber time to explore alternatives and present them.
Mayor Mark Kruzan has touted metered street parking as the solution a cash-strapped downtown parking system. Kruzan said the city’s garages are bleeding money—while streets are crowded with parked cars. Parking meters, he said, would help create a new revenue stream for the city.
Critics of the plan—including several businesses—said the parking proposal would severely limit foot traffic because people would no longer come downtown if they had to pay to park. In addition, businesses are worried that their own parking lots would overflow with cars, forcing them to spend more time monitoring the lots and ordering vehicles to be towed away.
Under the proposal, meters would charge $1 an hour and garage rates would stay primarily the same. Enforcement hours for meters would run from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. with the exceptions of Sunday and city holidays.