By Mark S. Kenna
June 6, 2013. Parking meters will go up on King Street from Capone’s Pizza to College Street in a trial run to see if metered parking is a solution to Boone’s parking problem.
“The meters will be operational within the next two weeks,” said Boone Public Works Director Blake Brown. “The most time consuming thing is putting the posts in, which is what we’re doing right now.”
Twenty unused meters from Queen Street, each about $400 in value, will be used in the experimentation. The meters will start at 50 cents per hour rate, with a maximum run time of three hours. However this can be subject to change by Boone Town Council.
The only real expense for this experiment was the pipes, which only cost the city $300 and were taken from the 2012-2013 fiscal budget, Brown said.
Parking problems have always existed on King Street, which is only exacerbated by students, and tourists sometimes see the brunt of the ticketing.
Confusing signage on King Street that tourists rarely pay attention to because there are so many can easily frustrate tourists who are unfamiliar with Boone’s parking policies, a member of the Downtown Boone Development Association (DBDA) and owner of Doe Ridge Pottery, Bob Meier said, adding that most tourists do not even know the limited parking time is to discourage student parking – all of which can create a lot of bad feelings.
As a way to nix the confusion, Boone Town Council agrees that meters are the next step.
“People understand parking meters,” Boone Town Council member, Lynne Mason, said. “They know where there is a meter there is also an expectation to pay, but there is also an understanding of the consequences if you don’t pay.”
But the decision to bring back meters have been talked about for a couple years by the DBDA and was “essentially” decided on six months ago, Meier said.
Metering on King Street was abolished in 1983, when Boone Mall opened. Town Manager Greg Young suggested altering parking validation at the Town of Boone’s budget retreat last Friday.
“Putting up parking meters, that’s the plan,” Meier said. “Either that or they’re putting pipes along the ground for some other reason”