City of Owosso to implement 'live tire' system parking enforcement Monday

Published: Apr. 27, 2019 at 12:36 AM EDT
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(04/26/2019) - The city of Owosso plans to implement a new parking enforcement system next week in the wake of Monday's appeals court ruling about chalking tires.

Local reaction to the planned change depends on just who you ask.

"It's important people respect the parking that's available," said Dan Gallagher, "there's limited parking available downtown, and some people would take advantage without some type of enforcement in place."

The owner of a downtown frozen yogurt shop is pleased with the planned changes.

Next week the City of Owosso will employ it's 'live tire' system through an electronic hand held device:

"You put the plate of the car, the make of the car, where the valve is of the car to see if it was moved," Public Safety Chief Kevin Lenkart explained.

After two hours- the vehicle will be cited if its parking in a spot with a two hour limit.

"It'll be more accurate," Lenkart noted, "it'll be more exact."

And unlike the chalk marks, it's more discreet.

"I like that they're getting away from the chalking," said Hannah Harwood, "it's going to be a lot easier to tell how long somebody's been there."

Harwood feels the new method will be more accurate, but as the mother of a toddler, she wishes they would up the parking limit outside of downtown shops and restaurants to three hours.

"We get really nervous over a two hour limit or close," noted beauty salon owner Margery Ziola-Newman.

A large portion of her clientele are seniors:

"Being in the beauty shop business, would rather see a 3 hour limit," she said.

While all downtown parking is free, if you go over the 2 hour limit, you face a $15 fine.

In addition to the two hour parking spots, there is four hour parking behind the shops, and a 72-hour parking lot located right next to the armory.

One of the shoppers we spoke outside of the Friday farmer's market thinks the fines penalize people who come downtown to shop.

She thinks parking should be completely free - meaning no limits on how long you're allowed to park:

"Then people don't have to worry about whether I'm going to one or three shops or have dinner," Patsy Morse said.

There is a reason for the limits. According to Lenkart, each downtown parking spot generates more than $11,000 dollars in revenue for the city each year.

"By keeping these spots open," he said,"allows other vehicles to come in for those two hours, do their quick shopping, stop at our area restaurants and move on."

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