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Bloomington Chamber Comes Out Against Parking Meters

parking meters

The Bloomington Chamber of Commerce says it will officially oppose the City of Bloomington’s plan to install parking meters downtown.

A statement from interim Chamber President Jim Shelton says metered parking “could potentially compound parking challenges and create unintended consequences that may possibly have a negative impact on businesses and downtown as a whole.

A survey of the Chamber’s more than 800 members about adding parking meters produced about 400 results, which Shelton says were mostly negative.

“Of the business owners, employees, customers and volunteers who responded, 60 percent were in opposition to metered parking,” Shelton said in a statement. “Based on those concerns, we must oppose the City’s proposal and ask for the opportunity to continue to work with the City to create a thoughtful and comprehensive plan to shape the footprint of the downtown.”

The Chamber says the city does not have a comprehensive plan that addresses concerns involved with parking garages, privately-owned lots, downtown neighborhood and future growth.

Last week, Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan said the city could greatly benefit financially from metered parking. He says meters would also offset yearly losses from downtown parking garages.

“We’re losing, a ballpark of $400,000 annually on those garages,” he said. “You have to pay them off, you have to maintain them, you have to pay to manage them, and even with the rates we are charging there, we are not able to afford those garages.”

The parking plan is slated to be presented to the Bloomington City Council at its Wednesday meeting.

Stan Jastrzebski contributed to this report.

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