Medina will keep 2-hour parking limit in downtown business district

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 October 2022 at 9:18 am

Village officials frustrated some business owners, employees park too long on Main Street

MEDINA – The Village Board again debated whether it should scrap a two-hour parking limit in the downtown, saying that limit is hard to enforce. The board also doesn’t want to do away with the two-hour signs because some people might park on Main Street for many hours.

Trustee Tim Elliott has raised the issue recently, saying there are a few people, including a business owner, who park for several hours on Main Street.

“I brought up because people complained we’re not enforcing tickets,” Elliott said during Monday’s board meeting.

However, the board doesn’t want strict enforcement where it would chase away some customers who visit multiple shops and go to a restaurant, exceeding the two hours.

Deputy Mayor Owen Toale said doesn’t want to see the village writing parking tickets to downtown customers.

“It would be counterproductive to our Main Street being busy, and our retailers and restaurants being successful,” he said.

The business owners and their employees should be encouraged to park in the municipal lots where there isn’t a time limit. Police Chief Chad Kenward said he has spoken to people with a reputation for overstaying the two-hour limit, but that hasn’t dissuaded them yet.

Village attorney Matt Brooks said the common way of enforcing a parking limit, by chalking tires, has been ruled unconstitutional in court.

Mayor Mike Sidari said the village would need a camera system with internet service to enforce the parking limit.

Sidari said he went into Monday’s meeting thinking it made more sense to eliminate the parking limit in the downtown because the village isn’t enforcing it. However, he agreed with Toale that keeping the two-hour signs posted is a deterrent to more people parking for multiple hour sin the downtown.

Sidari said he doesn’t want to put in parking meters, either.

“If we take the signs down, business owners and employees could take more spots,” he said. “We’re between a rock and a hard place.”

Sidari said the village has several municipal lots near the downtown that are only a short walk away from Main Street.

Trustee Marguerite Sherman said the village is looking at grants to make the municipal lots more inviting. She said she has spoken with several business owners who want to keep the two-hour parking limit.

If the board ends the two-hour Main Street parking, there would be a public hearing. But the board said it won’t be pushing that right now.

Toale said the issue of a downtown often full of vehicles is a good issue to wrestle with..

“The bigger problem is when there are too many spaces available because people aren’t coming to the businesses and restaurants,” he said.