You can now park in North East for free, for now, here's why
Should they stay or should they go? That has been a debated discussion between business owners, and the borough council in North East.
Owners want the meters gone, but the borough is not quite ready to remove them completely.
ERIE, P.A (WICU-WSEE/CW) – When you visit and drive through the Borough of North East, you can see and explore all the businesses and attractions the town has to offer.
And whether you're headed east or west, north or south, you may also encounter several coin-operated parking meters, there's roughly 200 lining the streets.
But starting Tuesday, the meters will be out of service for the time being.
During a meeting on Monday, the borough council approved a motion for the meters to be covered with bags, allowing you to park for free for the next six months.
The machines will still be fully intact.
In the six-month time span, the council will observe public and business reactions to the move before ultimately making a final decision on the future of the meters/
The move was made to appease area business owners who say their customers are constantly being ticketed while in their stores and restaurants, which they say is bad for business.
The cost of a parking ticket in North East is $10.
Owner of Michael’s Pizza, Michael Yori was at Monday’s meeting when he addressed the council before their decision.
"Get rid of them, get rid of the meters at this point." Yori said
While he wants a more permanent move, he believes there's a greater need for more available parking spots in general, to keep up with added storefronts. He suggested the possibility of adding a two-level parking garage.
"The town keeps growing, and more businesses come in." Yori said
Borough Council President, David Hall says he agrees with Yori, but he believes business owners may not end up as satisfied with the new plan as they had previously hoped. Hall says the free-for all style parking with no time limit, could result in people abusing the amount of time they keep their cars parked in front of businesses.
"I think it's going to be a balanced approach, whether it's with meters or without meters, we’re gonna have to figure that out." Hall said
Hall says if the plan doesn’t seem to work, the borough may explore an installation of app-compatible meters.
We asked Hall for the revenue numbers raised from meter tickets, but he did not have an exact estimate.