Downtown parking meters garnering mixed reactions after first three years of operation

Words by: Caelin Mills and Nicholas Hunter Local business owners have started seeing the changes Kent City Council promised the new parking meters would bring to business since their installation in May 2015. Bridget Susel, director of the Kent Community Development Department, said meters had not been used downtown since the 1970s. “They were brought back because when the downtown redevelopment was completed,” Susel said. “Many of the first floor restaurants and retail operations wanted to fulfill greater turnover for patrons.” Lauren Heroux, the general manager of Tree City Coffee, said the local coffee shop was not directly involved in the decision-making process. “I know the owners definitely paid attention

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A yellow pouch worth $15: Where does the money go?

General Definitions City Controller: The City Controller is the paymaster and chief accounting officer of the city. Parking turnover: The ratio of the number of vehicles parked in a duration of time to the number of parking bays available. General Fund: It provides resources necessary to sustain day-to-day operations of a city and pays for operating expenses. When governments say they need to “balance the budget,” they typically are referring to the general fund. Compliance Officers: They are part of the police department who make sure residents of Kent are complying with the parking standards. It’s been just over two years since the City of Kent implemented parking meters, and

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Campus Expansions Force Students to Find Parking Alternatives

Some Kent State main campus students are finding new alternatives to on-campus parking, even as most students report having problems trying to find parking spaces in and around campus. Since 2011, Kent State’s main branch attendance has seen an average annual increase of 2.6% every year, without a significant corresponding increase in parking space. Alterations to the campus, such as the University Green and Aeronautics building have taken a combined 340 spaces  previously reserved for parking. The commuter, C Science, and R 8 Liquid Crystal lots have added all spots to make up for the loss caused by campus expansions. Parking Services Manager Lawrence Emling said there is no current

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The fight to simplify parking in Kent

By Andrew Bugel, Tyler Trill If you ever get the chance to take a stroll throughout downtown Kent, it’s almost a given you can hear a steady rush of vehicles. Some of those vehicles are carrying people to their jobs downtown. Some are carrying students on their way to class just a mile or less up Main Street to Kent State University. Whatever the case may be, it is safe to assume that there is a lot of activity in the city of Kent on any given day. The life of a student at any given college is busy. Students at Kent State University are no exception. According to suburbanstats.org,

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City of Kent finishes parking meter installation

The citizens of Kent heard about the new parking meters when they were proposed, they saw their posts slowly make their way in front of many of the 2-hour parking spots lining the streets of downtown Kent, and now they are finally obligated to abide by them. The city of Kent entered an agreement with the parking meter contractor IPS Group on Nov. 14 of last year, assenting to the purchase of 230 brand new Smart Meters to be installed in downtown Kent. According to a press release on Sept 22, 2014 by kentohio.org, single-space meters will be installed in 225 of the 1,150 spaces downtown. The release states that

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Kent ordinance requires owners and occupants to remove snow

Story by: Chelsey Milkovich and Martin Harp Video by: Jenson Strock As the city of Kent blisters through the harsh temperatures during the winter, residents and visitors also trudge through the snow and ice that cover the sidewalks. Kent City Ordinance 521.15 requires all owners and occupants of businesses and households to shovel their own sidewalk for the safety of the community. The problem with this ordinance is although it is an order; it is not always one that is practiced by the community, which can keep walkers in the Kent community from a safe and painless commute. According to the ordinance, it is also illegal to push snow into

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Parking Meters Are Popping Up Downtown

Video by Aja Philips and Story by Julia Adkins   ParkingOrdinance from Aja Phillips on Vimeo.   Parking in downtown seems to be a common concern among those who frequent downtown regularly. The Kent City Council came up with a solution to this problem, a new parking plan for the city of Kent. “The plan looks at parking issues associated with the PARTA deck, the surface lots and the on-street parking,” said Bridget Susel, Community Development Director. “It is an approach to parking planning that makes sure all the parking elements complement each other and work to meet the various parking needs of the downtown stakeholders.” “City Council adopted a

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New signs in downtown Kent provide direction, character

Story by J. Tyler Singleton Video by Mike Drake All throughout downtown Kent, new signs now direct visitors to the nearest parking lot or farmer’s market and tell them “You are beautiful!” or that “Graffiti goes here.” Downtown Kent signs have character from Michael Drake on Vimeo. The city of Kent placed the new signs as part of the Signage and Wayfinding program which started in 2011. The city of Kent paid $230,000 for the new signs and the banners coming to downtown Kent in spring. Jim Bowling, the superintendent of engineering in the city of Kent, said the city utilized a tax increment-financing (TIF) program to generate the funds

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City Council Meeting – October 15

Mayor Fiala held the City of Kent monthly city council meeting Wednesday evening, while TV2’s reporter Candace Monacelli looked into one issue further.                 The bridge is currently still closed while work began on the repairs over the summer. The repairs were said to take 75 days to complete but still continuing today. The Main Street bridge should open in the near future. Here below are live tweets from @CandaceMonacell during the City Council meeting.   More details for all other issues can be found in the full City Council Meeting Agenda with the Main Street bridge issue at the bottom of the forth page in

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