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Free Parking Trial in Canonsburg May Be Delayed

Council said a vote on whether to approve a 45-day free-parking period downtown likely will not happen Monday.

Council may delay its plan to bag downtown meters for a 45-day “free parking” trial run—at least for now.

During a discussion at its agenda meeting Monday, some members of council, as well as Mayor David H. Rhome, questioned how permit parking—which is paid in advance and guarantees a parking space—would be handled during those 45 days.

Rhome also said the borough may lose up to $7,500 in meter income, and that one of his employees—his parking enforcement officer—would have little to do during that 45-day period.

Some members of council, as well as the mayor and police chief, also said they were concerned that "homesteaders" would take up the free spaces.

The feasibility of free two-hour parking was mentioned, and many members of council said it was unfortunate there was not more input from local merchants on the matter.

But council President John Bevec reiterated several times: Council has to try something to spur economic development downtown.

“We need to consider change if we are going to move forward. This experiment might not work, but it also might work," he told fellow members of council. "We know the merchants have been saying free parking will help business. Now we can find out if that’s true.”

In reference to what to tell those who have permit parking, both Councilman Rich Russo and Bevec said that permit parking guarantees a spot, unlike free parking.

Bevec added: “Parking is never free—someone is always paying for parking, whether it’s the customer or the business or the borough. If bagging the meters generates more business, that’s great, we’ve answered the question, but ultimately someone is going to have to pay for that parking space.”

A motion for free parking from Oct. 1 to Nov. 15 will remain on the agenda, but Bevec said it is likely council will delay the vote pending input from other communities which offer free parking—such as Waynesburg and Sewickley.

durf September 12, 2012 at 12:48 PM
These other towns you speak about (Sewickley/Waynesburg) have Starbucks, Crazy Mocha, Pizza Roma, Drug Stores, Shops and other restaurants or bars located directly in the town. Canonsburg has some of the same things...However, they already have free parking and you dont need to go into town! How much is parking at Mcdonalds, Starbucks, Wai-Wai, Walgreens or Shop-n-Save? Nothing...its free and thats why i go to those place but none of them are in the town. Vocellis delivers and i am not into Chinese Massages or tattoos outside of that what else is there? Do something to promote businesses to come into town...then get the free parking...Right now there is nothing worth for me to park at..
Tara Smith September 12, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Well, they was sad that there wasn't more input, I never heard anything until this article came out! I think right now it's gonna have to be on a trial basis.
durf September 12, 2012 at 03:13 PM
its not going to bring more people to shop...there is nothing to shop for. Hey, free parking is free parking...i am sure anyone will take it. Like I said all the places to shop or eat at have free parking already except Big Fellas.
Tara Smith September 12, 2012 at 03:51 PM
No I couldn't agree more with you but I'm sure it will be of benefit to some people though. I go to the Doctor's there in that building and get a couple prescriptions at that rite aid because walgreens doesn't carry what I need. Plus the couple banks. There isn't much there but the parking lots are usually full so it'll help to some benefit.
durf September 12, 2012 at 06:59 PM
and i agree too. you dont hear anything about whats going on till after it happens. Canonsburg can be a great town but needs to really modernize and get people into the actual town. I actually go around the town to get somewhere. Traffic down by Walgreens is awful. Most people go to the shopping center down there for fast food, 19 for dinner and drinks and Sarris all of which is outside of the town. If there was a Panera Bread and or a good place for drinks and dinner in CBG, i would be all for it. Carmens which was in the town is long gone..Like I said, i have no reason to go into the town...and i would like too...
Tara Smith September 12, 2012 at 07:36 PM
i moved down here after dairy queen was gone, i heard the dairy queen down here was pretty bomb hahaha. Then again, I do live like a two minute walk from sarris, so why should i complain , ha.

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