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After community feedback, the city of Jackson keeps meter-less parking downtown

Posted at 4:49 PM, Sep 20, 2022

JACKSON, Mich. — After getting feedback from business owners and the public, downtown Jackson will keep its meter-less parking system, but not everybody supports that plan.

Jeff Case has owned PostNet on 156 W. Michigan Ave. for four years. He says the parking, or lack thereof, is making him consider moving out.

“We have customers that have flat out told us, ‘I’m never coming downtown again because I can’t find a parking spot.’ So, when they have to walk a long ways to drop off one small package, they’re not going to do that,” he said. “They’re going to go somewhere else where they can have a quicker in-and-out time.”

Back in March, the Jackson Downtown Development Authority hosted several meetings to see what, if anything, needed to change with its parking.

Executive Director Cory Mays said after listening to the community, the people in City Hall thought the system should stay in place, for now.

“We also heard a lot of people talking about how great it is to come downtown and not have to pay for parking,” he said. “You can come and park and shop and eat. Even if it’s a two-hour time limit or a three-hour time limit, there’s ample places where you can come and not have to pay. That really creates a warm and welcoming environment here in the city.”

Parking has a two-hour time limit Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with charges for certain lots downtown. The city is also working on a free parking lot between Crazy Cowboy and The Foundry.

“It’s still in the works, but that’s a really positive change, and we help our employees here downtown and not charge them to park,” Mays said.

But back on Michigan Avenue, Case is still hoping for change and a second look from the city.

“That could be metered parking. That could be a parking garage. That could be a myriad of things, but something has to happen,” he said. “We cater, and I don’t mean this wrong, we cater to the restaurants. We put two-hour parking in front of stores that are just looking for customers that come in-and-out in a five-minute timeframe or a 10-minute timeframe. They won’t give us shorter parking times like 30-minute parking or less. They won’t do that. At the end of the day, give us a solution. Give us something that works because right now there’s just nothing coming forward.”

According to Mays, the city is close to finalizing a second parking enforcement officer to keep drivers in check.

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