Residents, business owners decry Grand Ave. parking meter plan

Hundreds decry Grand Avenue parking meter plan
Hundreds of St. Paul residents and business owners held up signs urging Mayor Chris Coleman not to put parking meters on Grand Avenue.
Curtis Gilbert | MPR News

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman's plan to put parking meters on Grand Avenue has run into furious opposition.

Hundreds of nearby residents and business owners jeered the proposal at a public meeting Monday night, as Coleman made the case that meters have helped alleviate parking problems elsewhere in the country.

"Now, other communities have begged for parking meters. Clearly this one has not," he said. "I'm not sensing that you're begging for parking meters on Grand Avenue. But the fact of the matter is that other businesses that have had problems with traffic and problems with parking, they've successfully implemented parking meter strategies that have made a huge difference."

Michael Schumann, who owns Traditions Classic Home Furnishings, sees meters as an underhanded way to raise money.

"If you need the revenue, then raise our taxes, but quit pretending and quit shoving this stuff down our throats," he said. "We are not Chicago. We are not Uptown. And parking meters are going to destroy Grand Avenue."

The parking meter pilot is part of Coleman's 2016 budget proposal. It's projected to bring in about $400,000 in revenue.

Coleman has also proposed enforcing downtown parking meters during the evenings for the first time.

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