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Tulsa Mayor Delays Plan To Expand Metered Parking Downtown

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum has delayed a plan to expand the hours and days for parking meter enforcement downtown, in favor or establishing a working system first before changing the existing regulations.

Bynum spoke to the City Council Wednesday about improving the existing system that has three different styles of meters and many that aren’t working. He called the existing system an “embarrassing example of City incompetence.”

The original proposal, according to a news release from the City, "will include adding a parking district in the East End, which is needed to accommodate growth in the restaurant and retail business there. The language in the ordinance is changing but not to increase the number of districts but to clarify the district boundaries."

The release also states, "As written, there would be no change to the rates: $1 per hour with a two-hour limit. Hours for parking enforcement would be expanded to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday."

Wednesday, Bynum said the plan needs to be rolled out in phases. He said he's focused on getting the parking meters working and then they'll go back and consider any changes to the hours and days of enforcement.

Bynum said his plan is the result of a long study and has lots of recommendations, many of which can go forward - more and better signs, better street markings, and the option of using an app to pay for parking.

But, Bynum asked the council to delay the other elements for now.

"My suggestion is that we not act on extending things into the evenings or on Saturdays until people recognize that we have a system that works," he said.

Bynum said, from now on, money from parking meters would go into repairs and replacing meters, something that hasn't been done before, and the whole system has fallen apart for lack of maintenance.

Mayor Bynum and City Councilor Blake Ewing both said business owners had asked for the changes, to discourage all day parking on the street.

Bynum and Ewing said they had received many responses from people upset by the possible changes, and Bynum said he decided it would be better to reboot the system first before making changes to the hours.

1/9/2018 Related Story: Downtown Tulsa Business Owners Frustrated With Parking Changes

The City plans to keep the rates the same, $1 per hour, with a 2 hour limit.

You can read the full news release the City sent out on Tuesday, January 8, 2018, below:

"To update the parking system with newer technology, offer more convenience by allowing multiple payment methods and to promote more turn-over of on-street parking spaces in front of restaurants and retailers downtown.

"The system has been in need of an update for convenience and improved operations.  Many of the parking meters in downtown are out of service or outdated. Over time, the goal is to replace those parking meters throughout downtown.

"The proposal to the Council will include adding a parking district in the East End, which is needed to accommodate growth in the restaurant and retail business there. The language in the ordinance is changing but not to increase the number of districts but to clarify the district boundaries.

"Motorists will have the opportunity to pay using multiple methods – but the biggest, most exciting change is that they will be able to pay by App. The City will use the App that has been developed by contractor Parkmobile.  In addition, drivers may pay by phone, by coin or by credit card – where available. Purchase and installation of parking meters with credit card features will be phased in over time.

"Directional signage improvements will be made in order to provide higher visibility and accessibility for parking meters as well as posted instructions for how to use the pay stations and parking meters.

"The ordinance:

"As written, there would be no change to the rates: $1 per hour with a two hour limit.

"Hours for parking enforcement would be expanded to 8 a.m. to 8 pm Monday- Saturday."

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