Curtain Closes On Free Parking In Brady Arts District

Monday, August 31st 2015, 6:26 pm
By: Emory Bryan

The City of Tulsa plans to start metered parking in the Brady District Tuesday.  One thousand parking spaces that have always been free - will now be metered.  

The city has installed 21 multi space meters around the Brady District  One model is being used, and there are two other models being tested before Tulsa decides which meter to use throughout downtown. 

The new rate for parking is $1 an hour, during the day and it will still be free in the evenings and on weekend. It gets rid of free parking for 1,000 parking spots in downtown and roughly increases the number of metered spots by 50 percent.

The new meters take change and credit cards - but to use one - you won't need to know the space you're in - you'll need to type in your license tag number.  

Starting Tuesday, the city plans to enforce paid parking - and the two-hour time limit.  

 "If you pay for an hour parking and you want to continue that transaction, it will only allow you to extend that to two hours," said Mark Weston with the City of Tulsa.

8/27/2015 Related Story: Free Parking Backing Out Of Brady Arts District

The city plans to try them out for three months, then go with one model, eventually for all of downtown.

"We'll be able come across the vehicle and check the tag.  Now if we come across the vehicle we have to go to the meter and check it, now we'll be able to stay at the vehicle and check the tag," said Mark Weston with the City of Tulsa.  

The City placed 21 meters across the Brady District - from Archer north to Cameron, from Cheyenne east to Greenwood Avenue. The metered spaces are roughly everything on the street between those boundaries - 1,002 parking spaces in all.

They're on street corners in the busiest parts of the Brady District. Those spaces are among the last convenient and free parking spaces for workers downtown, and that's part of the problem.

"Those are the areas where we need higher turnover because people park there all day, walk over the bridge and go to work and not pay to park, so we've always looked at having meters down here to create that turnover for commerce," said Bob Fleischman, Brady District Merchants Association.

Fleischman wants his fellow business owners to track sales to see if it changes. The paid parking only applies during the workday - 8 to 5, Monday through Friday.

"If you live downtown or work downtown, you have to expect there's going to be a fee to park, and it should be cheaper than paying parking tickets," he said.

The change in parking policy and technology comes as the city opens up dozens of new back-in spaces. With a tag number, drivers can park in any space and pay any meter.

And paying at any meter only works for now in the Brady District. They'll enforce the time limit by chalking tires as they've always done.