New Orleans retailers not sold on extending metered parking

New Orleans retailers not sold on extending metered parking
November 16, 2009

Mayor Ray Nagin wants city drivers — or, more specifically, those parking — to help plug an estimated $70 million shortfall in New Orleans’ 2010 budget.

Among other wide-reaching proposals that aim to bolster city coffers, Nagin last month floated a plan to expand metered parking, calling for the installation of new parking meters across the city and extending metered parking to 13 hours per day, six days per week.

The proposal, if enacted, should generate more than $1.7 million in revenue annually, the city says.

But some merchants worry the plan could cut down on foot traffic at their stores.

Tanga Winstead, manager of Magazine Street furniture store Villa Vici, is concerned that extending metered parking to Saturdays would tamp down a tradition of people hitting up multiple businesses during a single outing.

“People would get started on a six-mile stroll and realize their meter is running out,” Winstead said, referring to the two-hour time limit on city parking meters.

The city did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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