It’s not often that press releases from the City of Greensboro fall into the LOL category, but this one did.
The city issues a press release on Friday, Oct. 2 titled “City Parking Enforcement Resumes Normal Operations October 19.”
The city never issued press release that parking enforcement was not operating normally. In fact, in July the city parking enforcement division refused to confirm that it wasn’t writing parking tickets, even though it had not been writing tickets since March.
To get confirmation of that fact, the Rhino Times had to go to the Greensboro Department of Transportation Director Hanna Cockburn, who was very forthcoming about the fact that the parking enforcement division was not writing tickets for expired meters or other minor parking infractions.
The fact that the city was not writing parking tickets was finally officially noted in a report to the City Council on Sept. 15, but the parking enforcement page on the city’s website never included this information.
So people can go downtown through Sunday, Oct. 18 without having to worry about having quarters or losing track of time and being greeted with a parking ticket when they return to their car a few minutes late.
Since one of the biggest concerns people who don’t live or work downtown have about coming downtown is where to park without getting a ticket, it seems like not giving out tickets would be something the city would want to promote.
Downtown businesses have certainly suffered in 2020, first with Gov. Roy Cooper’s shutdown and then with the riots. Promoting the fact that on-street parking was free could have been a boon for downtown businesses.
There was also some hope that the City Council would take this six months with free on-street parking to take a comprehensive look at parking in the center city, which is nonsensical and unfair.
The businesses on Elm Street have the benefit of not having metered parking. People can pull into an on-street parking space and go on about their business. Most businesses that are not on Elm Street have metered parking on the street.
All the property owners in the central business district pay the additional Downtown Business Improvement District tax, but for some the city provides the additional benefit of free on-street parking, but not for others.
Repeated requests for an explanation of why some businesses receive this benefit and others don’t have received no response.
The only free on-street parking that makes any sense is that the only free on-street parking spaces on Greene Street are in front of the Federal Municipal Credit Union where many city employees have accounts. It may not be fair but at least it makes sense for city employees to decide that they should not have to pay for on-street parking to run in the bank.