Parking meters will not, repeat not, be coming soon, if ever, to the Hope Street commercial district.
That was the message relayed by Pernilla Frazier, co-president of the Hope Street Merchants Association, to the regular meeting of the Summit Neighborhood Association’s board of directors.
She was reporting on a presentation by Providence Parking Administrator Leo Perrotta to the merchants group on the city’s plans to expand the use of parking meters.
Frazier said Perrotta told the business owners that there were no plans in the immediate future of six months to two years for parking meters on Hope Street and perhaps not at all. He said the Summit area is unique in the concentration of residential streets abutting the commercial area and the resulting problem of parking overflow is extremely complex. Perotta also said a solution might have to involve some sort of residential permits, and the city is not prepared to undertake that at this time, Frazier reported.
Although the city says there is some evidence of stagnation of parking along the Hope Street business district, it is currently not worthy of being solved by the imposition of meters, Perotta said. If a survey shows that 85 percent of available parking spaces in an area are taken, the city tries to intervene with management by metered parking, but that concentration has not been demonstrated on Hope Street.
In addition, there is still the question of how to define a parking spot as a right or a privilege, Frazier said, adding that the HSMA is planning to consult with an urban planner on the issue.
The SNA board, which has not formulated a position regarding parking meters, promised Frazier to work closely with the merchants as the situation develops.