New Parking Meters Could Be Hurting Businesses
Some locals say they're shopping in Hyattsville now.
In what started as an online survey to learn where local shoppers are spending their money, residents are airing their grievances about parking in the city.
The survey results won't be made public, but it's the comments that might shed the most light on what influences consumers when deciding where to shop now a days -- the new parking meters in downtown College Park.
“I am not alone among my neighbors in boycotting College Park shopping center since they installed those money-hungry inconvenient parking meters,” wrote Michele Leonardi, referring to the credit card parking meters that replaced the coin meters this summer.
“I find the new pay station at the shopping center so annoying. The meters were so much easier,” wrote another commenter, Lisa Holt.
Both Leonardi and Holt said they have started shopping in Hyattsville because of the new meters in College Park.
The minimum amount a parker can pay is 25 cents for 20 minutes of parking. Credit card users are forced to pay a 75-cent minimum for an hour of parking since the city must pay a 25-cent fee for every credit card transaction, Patch reported in August.
The acting director of the College Park Neighborhood Business Alliance (CPNBA), which is administering the survey, said she wasn’t surprised that parking has become the hot topic of discussion.
“I knew a lot of business owners had complained about the parking,” Chrissy Rey said. “I think it’s a little unfortunate [shoppers] are calling for a boycott, and I don’t think it’ll do anything about the parking situation.”
She said that CPNBA will collect the information and provide it to the city, but the organization can't actually do something to resolve the parking issue.
City staff told Patch that the meters were put in for convenience.
Not everyone is against the new machines though, which also accept coins. “It doesn’t make much of a difference to me. The first time was hard, but I got used to it,” Ellie Miskobic, another patron said this summer.