MADISON (WKOW)-- A small group of business owners on Madison's East side are breathing a big sigh of relief. They were able to convince the city to remove a handful of parking meters outside their shops.
In the average person's day-to-day life parking your car doesn't sit high on your list of things to worry about, but for this handful of business owners it's an issue that's never far from their minds.
"Everybody on the block was ecstatic when I walked down there with a petition and said will you sign. They were like, oh finally. Somebody is doing something about this," Wendy Allen says.
For years, Players Bar and Grill manager Wendy Allen endured the constant complaints from customers regarding the parking meters outside her bar. With a 25 minute maximum many felt it wasn't enough time to enjoy a drink or a quick bite to eat.
"It's nice that people can come in and have a lunch and not walk out and get a $20 ticket. Even though they did plug their meter but missed by 40 seconds when they went out," Allen explains.
Walking down the block and counting the number of poles that are left over from where the parking meters used to be, it looks like there were 13 of them that were removed. It may not seem like a lot, but for businesses in this area it's a game changer.
Over at Block Cleaners, manager Kevin Burditte is giving out fliers and handouts that ask customers to call and thank the city for taking away their meters.
"After years of hearing about Madison being business unfriendly, to me this says the opposite," Burditte says. "That they are considering the needs of the businesses that pay the taxes along with the residential tax payers."
The change is only temporary. For the next 90 days the meters will be replaced with a 2-hour parking zone. The city will enforce it until they can determine whether or not to make it permanent.
"The goal is to get them removed permanently," Burditte says.
Managers say that since the meters have been removed they're already seeing a difference. Customers are more relaxed in their stores and are happy when they leave.
MADISON (WKOW)-- Parking meters can be a pain, but a handful of Madison shop owners thought their parking problems were getting out of hand.
In the 2000 block of Winnebago Street on the East Side, owners are happy to see the city removing the meters outside their shops. To the average person this may not seem like a big deal, but for a business owner parking is a big issue. Managers say that if people can't get into your business chances are it won't last very long.
With several nearby businesses being restaurants and cafes customers were complaining that they would have to re-fill their meter two to three times during one trip. That's why one business owner decided to start a petition to replace the meters with a 2-hour parking zone.
The city has decided to give two-hour parking a 90 day trial. Owners say they've already seen an increase in business.
"Frankly it's a win-win situation for the city. It builds up the local neighborhood. Face it, people are going with what's convenient. If it's not convenient and they're getting tickets, they're just not going to go there," Block Cleaners manager Kevin Burditte says.
Several businesses are putting fliers and handouts in their stores asking customers to call the city and tell them what they think about the meters being gone. They're hoping some positive feedback will convince the city to keep the meters away for good.
Parking tickets in that area will cost you $20. Several people who work there say they sometimes have gotten several tickets in a weeks time. They're happy they can now focus on their work and not have to worry about their windshield filling up with tickets.
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