Will new parking meters be the city’s financial cure?

We realize that these are tough economic times for the City of Hamtramck.
In fact, many cities are facing a financial crisis now that coronavirus has caused a massive economic setback.
Hamtramck is now in its second year of deficit spending, with no end in sight. One more year of this trajectory and the city will be broke.
So it is with this in mind that city officials agreed to replace the existing parking meters, many on which don’t even work, with fancy hi-tech ones.
Not only that, but drivers will be paying more to park.
It’s unknown how much in revenue this will produce, but it will be something more than whatever is collected now, which is not much.
We understand that the city needs to drum up revenue sources.
We also understand that the metered and enforced parking will result in more turnover, and thus more open parking spaces for shoppers.
But we also question the timing.
Most of the businesses on Jos. Campau are independently owned. Retail is just now reopening up for shoppers who have been quarantined for the past couple of months and were unable to shop for non-essential items.
In the meantime, a number of folks have gotten used to shopping online and by mail.
Amazon is reporting huge profits because of the increased amount of online shopping.
It begs the question, will our businesses be able to bounce back?
Will metered parking and stepped-up electronic enforcement turn off would-be shoppers?
Should the city perhaps wait a few months to allow businesses to recover?
Again, we know the city is in dire financial straits.
But if it were up to us, we would hold off on installing the meters, and allow the city’s business community to heal.
Posted June 19, 2020

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