May 11 – Mayor Cicilline told a gathering of Summit residents and merchants that he has seen no plans to install parking meters on Hope Street. In April, two SNA volunteers had separately confirmed a report from Miriam’s Monica Anderson that the meters were going in with officials at the Department of Planning and Development.

Board member John Bazik spoke directly to Director of Planning and Development Thom Deller. Mr. Deller stated that the meters were definitely being installed this year. SNA President Jon Howard called the designated city planner for the Summit area, Bonnie Lloyd, who asked for time to check the report with Public Works which is directly responsible for meters. After making that call, Bonnie also confirmed that meters would be installed on Hope Street within six to 12 months.

Hope Street merchants are almost unanimously opposed to the idea of meters on Hope Street. They believe meters would discourage quick shopping stops by area residents. Resident resent the expense and inconvenience of paying for use of the Hope Street area. Residents believe parked cars will migrate from the metered spaces to the unmetered residential streets around every corner.

Saul Spitz, a neighbor and respected Hope Street presence for 50 years, spoke for both merchants and residents when he rose to denounce the idea at a meeting called by SNA. (A report on other issues discussed at that meeting will follow.)

Mayor Cicilline arrived near the end of the meeting to report on his accomplishments and field questions. In regard to parking meters on Hope Street, the Mayor said that SNA should have checked its facts because no plans to install parking meters on Hope Street have crossed his desk. The Mayor told the audience that the matter of where to install new parking was the subject of a study by the City which has not been completed.

While grateful to learn that the Mayor has not approved the idea of meters on Hope Street, SNA remains concerned that a senior city official apparently provided misinformation instead of referring us to the correct source of information and that a second city official also passed along the same apparent misinformation despite her best efforts to investigate the matter properly.

We also note that the meters were not definitively ruled out yet. Watch this site for updates on the outcome of the city’s study.