Downtown parking meters are bad idea

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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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thewiz0oz
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thewiz0oz 12/21/09 - 01:29 am
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xxxx

xxxx

thewiz0oz
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thewiz0oz 12/21/09 - 02:01 am
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Revitalization of a historic

Revitalization of a historic district like Downtown Augusta is a process, not a destination. One wave of change is taken over by another and then another if the process is successful. Downtown Augusta doesn't need train-tracks, subsidized housing, homeless residents or parking meters but all have existed, do exist and will exist until solutions are developed to eliminate or to adapt. Downtown Augusta began its decline in the 1960s and resistance to change resulted in the dark days of the 1980s. Now, ironically, resistance to change raises its ugly head once again. For Downtown to become the vibrate center of speciality retail, art galleries and fine dining the revitalization must continue. That means attracting upscale shops and interesting destinations that require additional private investment and the utilization of shuttered buildings. To do this there must be greater access and better use of parking resources. Only a fool loves parking meters but it is very naive to think the status quo will support future growth. All day parking in critical parking spaces by non-shoppers is not the answer.

omnomnom
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omnomnom 12/21/09 - 02:05 am
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oh. my. god. i am agreeing

oh. my. god. i am agreeing with the greenbaums. there is no global warming, because hell hath frozen over.

Brad Owens
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Brad Owens 12/21/09 - 03:17 am
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Gloria is a great, a real

Gloria is a great, a real lady. Despite my disagreemets with Lowell she always has been one thing Lowell has had going for him (that was a joke). But what is not a joke is their dedication to the arts. It is well known that the Greebaums not only live downtown, they have helped to make it better through hard work and support of many great groups and projects over the years. These are the people that have EARNED the right to be heard on issues that will have a negative effect on their many years of hardwork. Are you listening Commission? Because the DDA isn't.

One who cares
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One who cares 12/21/09 - 06:02 am
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Anyone can write in a rant,

Anyone can write in a rant, rave or disgusted comment-it really doesn't matter, Commissioners are going to do what they want, when they want and whatever they please. By the time we hear about it- they have already made up there mind of what will be done. I think the Greenbaum's are great people and I have been to many of the shops and shows at the Imperial, but I do worry about the Security going and coming.
This is another expense we do not need. Homeowners are paying a lot more taxes now, instead all these people that receive free money, health care and checks for all the kids they keep having should have to pay tax on everything they receive. This would make it a little more fair and equal.
I am sick to death of paying for all these kids having kids and all these sorry folks who don't work and live like they own the world. Come up with a plan to tax them
I can not say enough about the parking meters but it will hurt downtown shoppers and patrons. Do what is right

csrareader
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csrareader 12/21/09 - 06:06 am
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Greenbaum and her Democrat

Greenbaum and her Democrat cronies don't want to pay to park? What's the surprise? That's the democrat way -- take a free ride and expect Government to pay for everything. Has anyone been to Athens lately? The city has parking meters and it certainly hasn't hurt the downtown businesses there.

thewiz0oz
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thewiz0oz 12/21/09 - 06:19 am
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So nobody wants parking

So nobody wants parking meters -- is that a surprise?? What I want to know is if Downtown Augusta becomes the success it is capable of becoming and the empty stores attract tenants & traffic increases 25% --- WHAT DO WE DO? -- I KNOW !! THE ANSWER IS WHAT WE ARE FAMOUS FOR DOING --WAIT UNTIL IT BECOMES A CRISIS & COSTS US MORE THAN DOUBLE WHAT IT WOULD COST IF WE PLANNED.

dashiel
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dashiel 12/21/09 - 06:41 am
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Athens also has centralized

Athens also has centralized collection for panhandlers, a truly baffling concept. Try looking a homicidal maniac in the face and telling him you gave at the office. Gloria is right.

omnomnom
3964
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omnomnom 12/21/09 - 07:15 am
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Keep parking meters out of

Keep parking meters out of downtown Augusta... Facebook group 1,104 strong and growing... http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=245028416056

Runner46
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Runner46 12/21/09 - 07:30 am
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Parking meters will only

Parking meters will only discourage more people to avoid downtown Augusta. Someone in Planning forgot about incorporating a secure parking garage in the "Big Picture". There is not enough parking during daylight hours. I would not park my car a leave it to attend anything downtown after dark.

Irish
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Irish 12/21/09 - 07:31 am
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I'll bet if the parking

I'll bet if the parking meters were only charging everyone else the Greenbaums would be in favor of it. Probably write and editorial chastising us for not wanting to pay.....

crackertroy
540
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crackertroy 12/21/09 - 07:42 am
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For the first time (and
Unpublished

For the first time (and perhaps the last time) I completely agree with Gloria Greenbaum! Maybe there is hope that liberals and conservatives can live at peace with one another one day.

thewiz0oz
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thewiz0oz 12/21/09 - 08:52 am
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A parking deck from

A parking deck from conceptual to operational takes about 8 years -- 2018 if we started now & we haven't -- worked on this project almost 10 years ago -- the new Master Plan calls for grade level parking on lots on Ellis St & one or two other locations -- that is the quickest way to get long-term parking off Broad Street -- but all I hear from Meter critics is no meters & a claim that there is no parking problem -- the honor system anyone for workers parking all day free in high-demand areas?-- seems like our only option is to keep out new businesses & discourage more residents -- sounds a little elitist to me -- surprised the Democrats aren't more thoughtful of the common folk who might want to enjoy the thrills of downtown also -- the new meters may accept food stamps -- or maybe follow the example of Boston -- prohibited replacing any parking eliminated due to new construction & no new parking places to limit the number of vehicles coming into the city to reduce pollution & encourage mass transit-- musical parking -- every month reduce parking places by, say 50 -- make more workers come to work earlier to get a free parking space.

LBenedict
2
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LBenedict 12/21/09 - 08:53 am
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"...subsidize artists..."?

"...subsidize artists..."? Are you kidding me?

crackerjack
153
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crackerjack 12/21/09 - 09:12 am
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How about only 500 meters

How about only 500 meters strategically placed so that stores that need parking meters to insure their customers a place to park. If you use a credit card and only running in for a minute, you can re-swipe your card to retrieve the money still left on the meter.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
11036
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ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 12/21/09 - 09:13 am
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Wiz, there are parking decks

Wiz, there are parking decks downtown that aren't being utilized. You may want to look into that!

thewiz0oz
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thewiz0oz 12/21/09 - 10:02 am
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CBBP - The 9th & Ellis deck

CBBP - The 9th & Ellis deck that was built to keep Whites, Davison's & Cullems's downtown was empty for a long time after they left & was the one everyone used to prove that new ones weren't needed--that one is now occupied 80-90% by the Board of Education; the one behind SunTrust is at capacity with corporate accounts as is the one part of Wachovia; the deck at Port Royal probably has some available space & the one at the Raddison & the new one that will be part of the expanded TEE Center will be used primarily by activities going on there; the deck that was part of the Richmond Hotel is privately owned & doesn't have enough clearance to handle the new vans & SUV's. There needs to be a deck built behind the Lamar Building & another in the 11-1200 block of Reynolds Street. The new Hilton will be building a parking deck under the hotel in the 800 block of Reynolds Street. If any deck is built with public funds by law is limited to the number of corporate spaces. The businesses in Downtown whose employees use the Broad Street spaces need to get together to address the needs of all concerned. I know there is a question of safety & other issues.

afskyefan
0
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afskyefan 12/21/09 - 10:03 am
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Wiz wants to make people come

Wiz wants to make people come to work earlier to get free parking spots. This makes sense on what level. You are supposed to be at work at eight, so let's get there at 7:30 for a parking space. And then what? You sit in your car and wait until the time you are supposed to report for work? Nonsense. Mass transit? From where? Some abandoned supermarket or big box store lot? Then you get to work all day and hope some criminal hasn't vandalized your car while you're at work or enjoying your bus ride. Which, by the way, you have to pay for.

And for all you people that want downtown workers and residents to park in some lot on Ellis street; why don't you come down and lead the way? Bring your families with you and perhaps we will be inspired by your courage as you walk the gauntlet of panhandlers, beggars, and homeless people. And if you believe they all smile and say 'thanks' when you don't give them something then you are naive at best. Many become menacing or confrontational if you say no.

Parking may be an issue downtown, but safety and security are a bigger problem. But this one won't line anybody's pockets with money.

Yosemitesam
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Yosemitesam 12/21/09 - 10:20 am
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Wiz.....baloney. Construction

Wiz.....baloney. Construction professional here. Parking decks from conception to cars rolling in....less than a year, and under fast track system with land in place 6-8 months. Meters on broad street will do nothing to promote people coming downtown to shop, eat and stay for events. What's wrong with encouraging people to stay downtown longer? Used to have a business on broad street back in 80's when meters were there. They were a pain for everyone, customers and business owners. Parking spots downtown should not be treated like restaurant chairs, with success measured by how many times someone pays and goes.The only people clammoring for meters are the DDA people who cannot wait to get their grubby little hands on the meter revenue.
Sticking my finger down my throat while agreeing with something Gloria Greenbaum says

southernguy08
532
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southernguy08 12/21/09 - 10:21 am
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Congrats Gloria. For the
Unpublished

Congrats Gloria. For the first time I can remember, you didn't post some idiotic rant parroting your husband's vision of all evil coming from George Bush and the Republicans. I actually agree with you. Who knows, maybe you'll start voting conservative soon? At least you're not advocating the rich pay more as usual.

dhd1108
1
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dhd1108 12/21/09 - 10:25 am
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OMG I agree!!

OMG I agree!!

stillamazed
1488
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stillamazed 12/21/09 - 10:27 am
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I see nothing wrong with the

I see nothing wrong with the meters, other towns have them and I don't really think a few quarters will deter anyone from going downtown. They will only be used during day hours anyway.If it will generate money for Augusta I am all for it. People in Augusta hate and fight change at every possiblity to do so. That is why Augusta has and always will lag behind other cities of it's size. Back woods instead of forward thinking.

cleanup
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cleanup 12/21/09 - 10:30 am
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1126 members and

1126 members and counting--Facebook, Keep Parking Meters Out of Downtown Augusta: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=245028416056&ref=mf

Wiz, these 1100+ people would probably be your customers if you didn't own a parking meter company.

cleanup
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cleanup 12/21/09 - 10:33 am
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1127

1127

cleanup
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cleanup 12/21/09 - 10:37 am
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Wiz, tell us what business

Wiz, tell us what business you own downtown, so your customers know that you want to charge them to shop at your establishment. Many downtown businesses have joined that FB site, and many more owners have come out in opposition to the meters. Why? Because they care about their customers and employees more than they care about lining the pockets of the corrupt DDA. We know where you stand. Tell us what you own so we know not to shop there.

cleanup
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cleanup 12/21/09 - 10:41 am
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5:00 No, it will generate

5:00 No, it will generate money for the DDA for another trolley study or something, and YES it will keep people away. Backwoods was thirty years ago when Augusta had parking meters. Change for the sake of change is stupid. There is no parking problem.

cleanup
0
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cleanup 12/21/09 - 10:46 am
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This article and its comments

This article and its comments will be in oblivion tomorrow, but that FB page isn't going anywhere, except to the DDA, commissioners, mayor, and meter company. Join. Let your voice REALLY be heard.

corgimom
38346
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corgimom 12/21/09 - 10:51 am
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Not having parking meters is

Not having parking meters is a crisis? A CRISIS? Oz lost his mind. He left it in the Philippines. Cleanup- let's just say that Viagra has not been a good thing for Oz' business. And Crackerjack, that's not the way meters work. You pay a $1,00, stay 1 minute, it costs $1.00. No refunds.

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 12/21/09 - 10:54 am
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Disband and Defund the DDA

Disband and Defund the DDA now!

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