1000 x 90

Council Votes To Extend Time Limit on Parking Meters to Two Hours ASAP in Trial Period

Smart meters are installed across downtown Boone. Photo by Ken Ketchie

By Jesse Wood

On Thursday, the Boone Town Council heard from a liaison with the Downtown Boone Development Association regarding a recommendation to extend the time limit for on-street parking meters, which exist on King, Depot and Howard streets, from one hour to two hours.

After receiving complaints from downtown merchants and analyzing a survey, where 96 percent of more than 1,000 respondents favored two-hour limits, the DBDA recommended a six-month trial period with two-hour limits.

Virginia Falck, downtown coordinator for the Town of Boone, said even though one-hour parking existed before the meters were installed, merchants were able to give out validation stickers if a patron exceeded the one-hour limit.

Falck and other council members, such as Lynne Mason, who is also a downtown merchant and co-owner of the Lost Province Brewing Co., said that she hasn’t heard people complain much about actually paying for parking. The time limit seem to be the main concern.

“All I’ve heard is it needs to be two hours,” Councilwoman Jennifer Pena said.

The Boone Town Council was unanimous in extending the time limit for two hours, so much so that they even asked how soon it could change. The DBDA initially recommended the six-month trial period begin on July 1 and end on Dec. 31.

“Even this weekend?” Councilwoman Lynne Mason asked.

Falck and Town Manager John Ward said that the meters were easily programmable and that staff would try to coordinate on Friday morning to ensure that the change happens as soon as possible.