By Andreas Butler
For Hometown News
More parking meters could be coming to Daytona Beach in the near future.
The Downtown/Ballough Road Redevelopment Area Board discussed the issue at its February and April meetings.
The city has plans to put the meters on the west side of Beach Street from Magnolia Avenue to Orange Avenue.
"We are exploring different options for making parking more convenient for customers, but there has been no final decisions made yet. We are researching the issue," said Jason Jeffries, Daytona Beach Project Manager.
"Nothing is final yet. A lot still has to happen. The idea is that people will pay for parking if it's convenient," said Al Smith, chairman of the redevelopment board.
The purpose of the meters isn't to create revenue for the city, but to help the businesses in that area with parking.
"Some merchants have also asked for this. The business owners and employees would have to not park in these spots, which will also help the situation. A recent study also gives research showing that people will pay for convenient parking in regards to where they are shopping," Mr. Smith said.
"The issues being raised by some of the merchants in that area is that we aren't having the parking turnover that their businesses need in regards to the parking spaces immediate to their store fronts," Mr. Jeffries said. "Research shows that meters encourage more customer turnover of parking that is immediate to the shops."
Also right now the need to put more meters in other areas of downtown is not needed.
"We are starting with that area for a period of time and will see how it goes. Doing this is also better than what has been done in the past. In the past we have marked tires with chalk over a two hour period," Mr. Smith said.
City officials don't believe that more parking meters would discourage people from parking and shopping in that part of town.
"We are looking into how to make more parking turnover immediate to the buildings," Mr. Jeffries said. "It's not about putting parking meters throughout Downtown. We do have free parking downtown."
City officials say there is adequate parking Downtown.
"We have sufficient parking in terms of what is there," Mr. Jeffries said.
"We have plenty of parking downtown, but not in front of the shops. Where these meters will be put is also where the lots are almost always full," Mr. Smith said.
There are parking meters in other parts of Daytona Beach. Most notable are the meters that are on the beachside. Those parking meters serve a different purpose.
"The beachside meters are more about financing the parking structure that is there and they are there for a different situation," Mr. Jeffries said. "The ones for Downtown are about customer convenience, parking turnover and providing spaces close to the stores."
The final decision will be up to the City Commission.
"I don't believe the Downtown Board will be discussing this again in the near future," Mr. Jeffries said. "We will give them updates on the situation and the research. The final decision will come from the City Commission."