In last week’s Paper, it was reported that the village Planning Board will consider whether to install parking meters at the municipal parking lot on Fair Street once paving and line-painting are complete. I write to express my sincere hope that the board will once again step away from the thoroughly unpopular idea of metering Cold Spring’s parking for all the reasons that this idea has been shot down in the past — and more.
As the merchants of Cold Spring are glad for good weather every weekend to welcome hikers and antique hunters to Cold Spring, the four-hour and five-hour parking durations on Main Street and the cross-streets provide the necessary mix of an invitation to stay (and spend) a while and the need to move these visitors on (or at least into some other space) so that others can have their chance. Why discourage these visitors with the additional cost and hassle of feeding meters or — much worse — dealing with a parking ticket when the meter expires?
And since the current plan seems to be to meter only those spaces at the edge of town (in the municipal lot), how much more trouble are we asking our visitors to deal with when they are running down Fair Street every few hours to put in additional payments or rushing to move their car before a meter expires? And why would someone pay to park at the edge of town when she could park right on or off of Main Street for free? This differential cost arrangement will only worsen the parking crunch in the downtown village, as drivers hunt ever more persistently and aggressively for the free spaces.
What are the locals supposed to do when snow is on the way and they are directed to put their cars in the municipal lot at the specified time? Remember last winter when the snow was up to people’s car doors in that lot and no one could back out for days? When do the meters kick back in? When the plows have finished their job (of pushing the snow up under people’s bumpers)? When the snow melts enough to drive safely away? When the driver of a legally snow-parked car gets around to moving his vehicle?
Please, village planners, no meters in the municipal lot — or anywhere else in Cold Spring.