Lack Of Downtown Parking Creates Financial Headache For Residents

Tuesday, March 17th 2015, 11:04 pm
By: News On 6

The city is trying to draw people to live in downtown Tulsa, but the parking situation has some second guessing that move.

Parking meters were designed to keep customers moving in and out of local businesses and are nothing new in downtown Tulsa.

Director of Tulsa's Asset Management Department, Mark Hogan said, "That is where parking meters came from way back when and we've run them the same way since."

What used to be businesses are now apartments, and downtown resident Tina Queen said the two hour limit is costing her a lot of money and causing a lot of headaches.

“I don't have time every two hours to come down and put quarters in the meter. They also, they don't take cards, so you have to have cash handy," Queen said.

The city writes more than 700 tickets a month, averaging $27 dollars each and $19,000 per month.

The city said it brings in more than $25,000 a month from parking meters which then goes into a general fund used for a number of things, including buying new parking meters.

"Why not take the money we put in the meters and make a designated parking area for our residents," asked Queen.

Hogan said a number of possibilities are on the table.

“We are looking at how we can best serve the citizens with what we have based on looking at other cities," he said.

In the meantime, some downtown residents believe it's cheaper to pay the fines rather than the meters.

Once you have two unpaid parking tickets, however, you run the risk of being put on the city's hot list, and when that happens, the city will boot your car until you pay the tickets.