Parking Meters in Town – Pros and cons need to be aired by all parties

With the issue of installing parking meters in street parking spaces and the 14 public lots in the town having been raised at the monthly meeting of the Chamber of Commerce, public discussion and evaluation of the matter now can begin.

Town Manager James McKenna said the topic “was like touching the third rail,” and no doubt it will bring considerable discourse from people on all sides.

Cindy Levins, a business owner in the Center, was present at the Chamber meeting and noted that the one-hour parking limit in the Center is not being observed, a situation that meters would help alleviate.

In addition, the installation of parking meters would bring additional revenue to the town, which certainly would be welcome. But there are many factors that have to be weighed; for example, whether the Winthrop Police would have to use their manpower to enforce the parking rules or whether a private company would be brought in to handle the meter operations and issue tickets.

Also, this clearly is something the Town Council and Traffic Safety Committee should weigh in on before any decisions are made.

In the end, it comes down to a cost/benefit analysis, and we’re sure that all factors will be weighed before a final decision is made.

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