Borough Parking Metrics
Borough Council’s General Government Committee has been considering changes to parking meter payment fees and duration that would make it more convenient for visitors and Swarthmore residents to park in town and support local businesses. One idea was to lower (to $.25 per hour) the fees at 2 and 4 hour parking meters…but that would eliminate the cost incentive for train commuters to park in 12 hour parking spaces created with them in mind. Commuters could possibly replenish the 2 and 4 hour meters using the Passport app, leaving fewer spaces for customers of shops, salons, and restaurants in the town center. And of course, lowering the meter fee would also have an impact on a Borough revenue source.
At its monthly meeting on Monday, June 17, the GG committee discussed these issues with merchants. Shannon Elliott, a spokesperson for the merchants, stated that it was important to do anything possible to remove barriers for consumers to come into town and frequent our businesses. Anita Barrett, Swarthmore Town Center Coordinator, shared information indicating that while Swarthmore’s current meter rate is similar to several neighboring municipalities, only Swarthmore does not enforce meters on Saturdays or past 5 p.m. on weekdays.
General Government chair Sarah Graden said that the committee discussed other changes – e.g. replacing more, or all, 2-hour meters with models featuring a push button for 10 minutes of free time. Information on replacement costs and rate changes’ impact on revenue will be grist for the mill at GG’s next meeting in August. Once meter changes are finalized, new stickers will be placed on every meter to clear up any confusion regarding meter rate and enforcement times.
In the meantime, a resolution to convert six meter spots (close to salon service businesses) from 2-hour to 3-hour meters will come before Council for a vote at its meeting July 1.