Should Hamtramck keep its parking meters or upgrade?

It’s an understatement to say that the subject of parking meters has long been an issue in Hamtramck.
Since at least the 1980s, there have been on and off again debates or discussions on whether to keep parking meters on Jos. Campau and in city lots.
Talk even included expanding parking meters to Conant.
The reliability of the meters has long been argued over, as well as the cost to maintain them and the revenue return to the city.
The biggest argument to get rid of them has been that the city can’t afford to turnoff would-be shoppers and visitors by charging them to park here.
Now, the city council has approved hiring a company to install state-of-the-art meters that do all sorts of fancy things, and make it easier to monitor time and issue tickets.
This comes at no cost to the city, as the company will receive half of the ticket fees and money collected.
These are the types of meters you see in cities like Birmingham, Royal Oak and Ferndale.
Those are cities with thriving retail outlets.
Hamtramck’s main business district – Jos. Campau – is anything but thriving. In fact, as the year 2019 closed out, three Jos. Campau businesses announced that they are closing.
Take a close look at the retail space on Campau and you’ll realize much of it remains vacant – largely because the owner of most of the empty buildings has an unrealistic requirement for would-be retail outlets.
While the revenue projections for what the new meters will bring into the city coffers is optimistic — $180,000 over the next five years — we view that figure with a healthy bit of skepticism.
We believe the new meters and their increased enforcement will only serve to turn away visitors.
Hamtramck is not anywhere near the point that Birmingham, Royal Oak and Ferndale are with their retail offerings.
We need to encourage people to come here – not drive them away.
If it were up to us, we’d rip out all the meters, and concentrate on ways to boost foot traffic on Jos. Campau.
But, that’s our opinion. We know there are strong feelings about this subject, and we encourage our readers to also weigh in.
Jan. 24, 2020

14 Responses to Should Hamtramck keep its parking meters or upgrade?

  1. Nasr Hussain

    January 25, 2020 at 12:49 pm

    According to the new figures you published today. The city is making around 48 cents per meter per day in profit which is laughable.

    These meters should be eliminated and the new contract discarded.

    Hamtramck Businesses need more welcoming environment for their business to thrive. Making people pay for parking just drives them away to other cities where they can park for free.

    A lot of business will be happy to pay the $150 annually, money generated by the meter in front of their business to have it dedicated for their customers without the need to feed the meter.

  2. Nasr Hussain

    January 25, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    DDA should step in and pay the city the 35K per year and remove all these meters for the sake of its members who are not getting anything back for their taxes that’s being spent on useless races and donuts.

    This is a win-win situation, business will be happy and money going to the DDA fund,by the increase in property values, will more than cover this expense.

  3. Nasr Hussain

    January 25, 2020 at 12:59 pm

    This contract will make the citizens mad (check)
    This contract will make the business mad (check)
    This contract will show that our city officials are incompetent (check)
    The city will lose more money than it’s making now from the parking meters (check)
    The city will be subsidizing a privately run corporation whose reviews online is down the drain (check)
    The city will pay a steep price for breaking the contract before the 5 years hostage term is over (check)

    Therefore: This contract should never be approved or even considered in the first place.

  4. Fatema Hossain

    January 25, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    These parking meters have been termed “RoboCop meters”.

    They can be modified to operate as video surveillance as an auxiliary function; they can also be outfitted with 911 emergency communications instruments.

    The city leaders should be contacting other municipalities who have hired this company as references to see if they are satisfied how it has worked out.

    There are consumer complaints from other cities about frozen “smart meters” which ticket motorists unable to place coins or credit card into the non-functioning meter, erroneous tickets being issued, and of course, the general disgust of consumers having the risk of a ticket due to going shopping in an area where meters have been installed.

    Will the City of Hamtramck have to augment the one parking enforcement officer it has due to the expected spike in violation tickets to be issued? Will it divert police from other and more important duties?

    Greektown merchants over the years have bemoaned the effects of parking meters on their businesses. Why should Hamtramck take on a similar problem?

    Will this be another unwise decision in hindsight? Time will tell…………………

  5. Nasr Hussain

    January 25, 2020 at 7:40 pm

    As a worst case scenario, the city should limit this experiment to one year only.

    If the company is confident of their service and satisfaction rate, then they should have no problem doing so.

    We should be very cautions about any company that is seeking a five year contract term.

    Also, the full contract should be posted for the public to review and understand any damaging consequence it might entail.

  6. csercombe

    January 26, 2020 at 10:37 am

    there is no contract yet, but here is the resolution:


    WHEREAS,The City of Hamtramck and Municipal Parking Services, Inc. (MPS) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding on June 26, 2019 wherein MPS provided Hamtramck with a trial program of the MPS “Smart City Parking Platform;”

    and WHEREAS,the trial program period has expired, and the administration and the Parking Committee have reviewed the results of the trial program; andWHEREAS,Hamtramck and MPS want to enter into to a parking services agreement whereby MPS willprovide parking meters, kiosks, CameraSticks™, and SafetySticks™ on streets and parking lots identified by the city administration;

    andWHEREAS, the Administration is committed to working on the updating of city parking ordinances;

    andWHEREAS,Hamtramck and MPS have agreed to the basic terms of the agreement:

    NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVEDby the City Council of Hamtramck, Wayne County, Michigan that Hamtramck may enter into a ParkingServices Agreement with MunicipalParking Services, Inc. containing the following terms and conditions:

    1. The initial term of the contract shall be for five (5) years, with an option for an additional five years;

    2. MPS shall be responsible for the cost of the equipment and thecost ofinstallingthe equipment required under the Parking Services Agreement;

    3. MPS shall provide the necessary software to operate the equipment and generate tickets for violations of applicable parking regulations;

    4. The revenue collectedthrough parking fees and fines for the spaces monitored by MPS equipment shall be shared 50% to Hamtramck and 50% to MPS;and5. The initial area to be included in the Parking Services Agreement shall be Joseph Campau, between Caniff and Holbrook(approximately 94 spaces); municipal parking lots in the same area; and the area on Caniff near McDougall including the parking lot;
    and at a later time additional streetsand municipal parking lots, identified in the chart attached, may be added upon mutual agreement of the City Council, Administration and MPS;

    NOW THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVEDthat the Administration is authorized to negotiate and execute the final Parking Services Agreement with Municipal Parking Services, Inc. incorporating the terms and conditions stated above.PASSED AND APPROVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF HAMTRAMCK, WAYNE COUNTY, MICHIGAN THIS ____ DAY OF DECEMBER 2019.AYES:NAYS:ABSTENTIONS:ABSENT:ATTEST:

  7. Nasr Hussain

    January 26, 2020 at 11:58 am

    This is crazy. Do our city official read the resolutions they approve!!!!!!

    Resolution states:

    Administration is authorized to:

    ********* negotiate and (execute) the********* (final) Parking Services Agreement********** with Municipal Parking Services, Inc.*******************

    Does this mean that the council will not have a say in the final agreement signed with this company?

    this contract must not be signed until at least the residents and businesses of Hamtramck read it first and it should be brought in front of council for a final approval.

  8. Nasr Hussain

    January 26, 2020 at 4:47 pm

    There is something really strange here:

    The city collects about $70,000 per year from the old meters plus all the revenue generated by the parking tickets.

    Now they will only collect $35,000 per year while giving 1/2 of the parking tickets revenue to this company.

    We’re being robbed here.

  9. Resident

    January 26, 2020 at 11:14 pm

    City should replace all parking meters with one hour free parking. This will be great for businesses. One hour is a lot of time to shop on Jos Campau. City could enforce one hour free parking by requiring drivers to move their vehicles and issue citations to those who don’t follow the parking rule… I came across this rule on certain parts of New York City.

    I used to live on a street facing the parking lot behind Shopper’s World during early 2000’s. Most of the spot had no meters, and the parking lot used to be full. Every time I wondered into Shopper’s World, the store used to be packed…Then the city repaved the parking lot and installed meters which caused fewer and fewer people using the lot. Shopper World store started seeing fewer and fewer customers. I suspect the new meters on this lot started the demise of the Shopper World store.

    City council should reject this resolution. City should not bind itself with any agreement with Municipal Parking Services (MPS).

    (Charles – I get duplicate comment detected message. But, I only attempted once. If there are duplicates, please remove and keep just one post. Thanks.)

  10. Nasr Hussain

    January 27, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    A one hour parking limit plus increasing the parking tickets to $20 per ticket ( Which will eventually happen if this company is hired) is a much better bargain for the residents and businesses of Hamtramck.

    Let’s hope that our city officials have common sense.

  11. Poor Hamtramckian

    January 30, 2020 at 7:41 pm

    I like Resident’s idea. Free parking limited to 1 hour. This can easily be implemented with chalk and boost the city visitors and increase traffic.

    The city council will have to answer to the voters next time around if they approve it, it will be a dark spot on their record.

  12. mz

    February 6, 2020 at 4:31 pm

    The City of Royal Oak has two large banners, 30 ft. long from one side of the street to the other. First two hours of parking in the parking structures are free.

  13. Dennis Nowak

    February 8, 2020 at 7:08 pm

    What I have seen also is some municipalities giving a 50% discount to parking violators who pay the ticket within 10 days.

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