By Alyssa Schnugg
The Oxford Board of Aldermen has approved almost 100 new parking meters along the streets surrounding the Oxford Square.
During the board’s regular meeting last week, the Downtown Parking Advisory Commission recommended placing about 118 meters on streets surrounding the Square that will cost $.75 an hour to park once the new parking garage is complete.
One of the recommended eight areas included the streets next to the Oxford-University United Methodist Church. Alderman Mark Huelse said he is concerned that if those spots are metered, it will push people into the church’s parking garage.
“I spoke to Pastor Eddie Rester and he said he wasn’t opposed to the street parking meters but that he’d rather them not be metered,” Huelse said at the meeting.
The reason for putting up the meters is not just about providing additional income to fund the downtown parking garage, according to the DPAC, but to manage parking in the downtown area. The city will be metering the outer parking lots that are currently free after the garage is complete, with the exception of the parking lot under the city’s water tower, next to the Oxford Park Commission office.
The commission felt that if those spots were left open, they would be taken up by people trying to park for several hours for free close to the Square.
The other streets that could soon have parking meters include:
- 11th Street, between Harrison Avenue and University Avenue – 15 spaces
- Jackson Avenue East between 13th and 14th Street – 12 spaces
- Monroe Avenue between 14th Street and North Lamar Boulevard – 19 spaces
- Harrison Avenue between 14th Street and North Lamar Boulevard – six spaces
- Tyler Avenue between 10th Street and 9th Street – 12 spaces
- County building lot at 9th Street and Jackson Avenue – 30 spaces
The aldermen approved installing the meters on seven of the eight recommended areas, leaving the spots near the church un-metered until further discussions are had between city, DPAC and church officials; however, the board approved purchasing the 118 meters.
“If we don’t meter those spots, we can use the remaining meters for replacements if others break,” said DPAC chairman Tom Sharpe during the aldermen meeting.