Do Not Put Parking Meters in Downtown Blue Ridge
The Blue Ridge Business Association, is very concerned that the Blue Ridge City Council is researching the feasability and expense of installing parking meters on East Main and West Main Streets in Downtown Blue Ridge. The City Council believes this measure will raise funds for city improvements and be a solution for our current parking issues by forcing turnover of our limited parking spots. After speaking with business owners (both downtown and on adjacent streets), residents and area visitors, the consensus is that this is a terrible idea for our area. The research that the City Council is citing was done on much larger cities, not cozy, one-lane, small towns such as ours. The information they are giving the community does not take into account the ongoing expenses of meter maintenance or payroll for meter readers, management and accounting which we believe will leave negligible profits. The meters will sour our image to visitors, rush people out of downtown and discourage locals from shopping in this area during a time when the Business Association is working hard to find ways to bring locals back downtown.
A large study, called Blue Ridge 2020, was undertaken recently involving local businesses, residents and state experts. Easy, viable solutions were found to increase the number of parking spaces available to downtown rather than running off visitors so someone else can use an existing spot. So, there are solutions available to us that will not have the negative consequences that parking meters will bring.
We encourage all business owners, employees, City and County residents and visitors to our beautiful town to express their opinion about this issue by signing this petition. We will be presenting these signatures and comments to the City Council. Please do not sign the online petition if you have already signed a paper petition as we don't want duplicates.
The City Council will be holding a Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday June 3rd at 6pm in City Hall to hear feedback from everyone. Please mark this on your calendars and be there to stand up for your town!