North Texas Daily

Parking meters removed from Fry Street

Parking meters removed from Fry Street

Parking meters removed from Fry Street
July 20
11:07 2017

The parking meters on both Fry and Hickory Street have been removed, in favor of free parking, limited to two hours. The time limit will still be enforced by UNT Transportation Services, but students and shoppers are no longer required to carry quarters and dimes in order to park.

Mark Nelson, the director of transportation for the City of Denton, said parking will be free from 8 am to 5 pm, but it will be restricted to two hours. It will also be open on weekends and after hours.

“We’ll do a pilot program, and see if that format works in that particular area,” Nelson said. “Understanding that often times, students may see the 2 hour parking as free parking, and go from 2 hours to maybe a little bit longer and create some congestion.”

The decision to remove the parking meters was approved by the city council during their June 20 meeting, with business owners, merchants, and other stakeholders utilizing the area being included in that process.

Revenue collected from the parking meters was split between the city and UNT, with the city receiving a third of the funds, as Hickory and Fry are public roads.

Local businesses vary in their opinion on the removal of the meters.

“We can park in the loading zone, our drivers can, if they have a topper,” said Laney Brown, manager at the Jimmy John’s located on Fry Street. “We do all get tickets if we park right in front of the store [without a topper], or even with sometimes. It just depends how they feel… so no tickets is good.”

Ariel Neuf, a shift leader at Salata, a salad restaurant on Hickory Street, said she thinks it’s a good thing.

“I think that certain people weren’t as eager to come in because of the parking situation,” Neuf said. “I’ve had people say that all the time, like ‘oh I never came in because I didn’t know where to park.’”

Other local business, such as Caskey’s Bar and Grill, weren’t as thrilled at the idea of free, extended parking.

“If they’re just trying to make it free parking, like completely free, I think that might suck,” Mitchell Hooten, a manager at Caskey’s said. “That might hurt us, because then people are going to come down here and park all day while they go to class. Then people can’t come down here and park to pick up meals, or come sit in the bar for an hour.”

Rachel Kidwell, a bartender for Lucky Lou’s, says the free and extended parking might even prevent drunk driving.

“If the people can leave their car until the morning before they start ticketing, or do the two hours, that’s good, because I feel like it might take away a little bit of drunk driving,” Kidwell said. “When I first moved here 2 years ago, I used to always worry about my car, because I’d be drunk, and then I’d have to get somebody to drive my car – can’t leave it, because I’m gonna have a $20 ticket in the morning. And it’s because I was being responsible and not driving.”

Nelson said if the current parking situation is successful, it will likely remain indefinitely. An evaluation is planned on the new parking rules’ success in six to eight months. The results would determine whether the rules will stay, according to Nelson.

“I think it’s a good idea,”  said Eddie Chavez, a mechanical engineering and Spanish senior at UNT. “If it’s only 2 hours, you’ll still get a free spot, instead of just like, ‘hey, I’m gonna risk it for the biscuit’ and eventually [getting] a ticket that you’ll have to pay $35 for.”

Featured Image: The parking meters on Hickory and Fry Street were removed in favor of free parking. Cameron Roe

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Alexander Willis

Alexander Willis

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