Meters hurt businesses

This is an archived article that was published on in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Re "Parking meter ed" (Forum, Jan. 8):

Last spring, I decided to grab some food at a favorite downtown restaurant. The new, user-unfriendly parking meters had been installed. I kept driving.

Last week, I braved the meters and lunched at the restaurant — and discovered how much the price of parking had been raised. Paying $2 to park for an hour increased my $8 lunch tab by an unacceptable 25 percent.

I asked the owner how that was working for him. He said business — already down due to the economy — had dropped further since the rate increase. And now that the meters are being patrolled until 8 p.m., it's slashed his dinner sales, too.

It seems that the city regards the relationship between parking and business as one where businesses are located downtown to lure in revenue-producing parking patrons, rather than the opposite. The businesses' competition — the suburbs —charge nothing for parking.

There's more to the heart of Salt Lake than the chains in City Creek Center with its ample garage. The city's current parking philosophy may be the biggest let's-kill-downtown move since an earlier mayor pushed for The Gateway.

I'll be doing my parking elsewhere.

Jim Hayes

Salt Lake City