Downtown parking meters are bad idea

As one of the original members of the Main Street committee that preceded the work of the Downtown Development Authority, I am appalled at the proposal for meters on Broad Street.

When the Main Street committee first convened, most of the storefronts on Broad Street were empty. There were no restaurants, no art galleries, no book store and little else. At the suggestion of Annette Bush, we requested then-Mayor Charles Devaney to subsidize artists by underwriting their rent on some vacant stores for one year. As a visionary mayor, he did so and that, in the early 1990s, began the revival of the business section. Then came the restaurants, hairdressers and many other businesses.

As one who frequents those shops and restaurants, I am familiar with the parking situation. It may take me a few minutes to find a spot, but invariably I have found parking within a short distance of my destination.

This million-dollar proposal sounds like a pot of gold for the meter manufacturer, a target for vandals and no benefit for the citizens of Richmond County. Downtown needs cleaner streets, more visible security officers and more advanced ideas, not million-dollar meters.

Gloria R. Greenbaum, Augusta

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