Councilman proposes moving parking meters to make room for stree - Tucson News Now

Councilman proposes moving parking meters to make room for streetcar

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Parkwise budget is expected to be up for discussionduring a Tucson city council study session on Tuesday. 

Ward 6 Councilman Steve Kozachik tells Tucson News Now, he plansto ask Parkwise to consider reducing the number of parking meters and offstreet parking spots they have downtown.

Kozachik said he was part of a group that rode the entire streetcar route last week, to explore potential safety issues that could come upalong the route.

"Your station reported this, it was you guysthat reported a couple weeks ago about a car that was illegally parked,just barely, outside the Chicago store and it stopped the street car deadin it's tracks for hours," said Kozachik.

After going down the whole route, Kozachik said they discoveredseveral areas where the parking spots, bike lanes, and street car tracks werevery close together, making it a big safety concern.  He called theseareas "pinch points."

Kozachik said he planned to ask Parkwise officials to considerremoving parking meters and parking spots along these pinch point areas. He said this areas along all of University from Park Avenue down to FourthAvenue.  All of Fourth Avenue from University to the underpass, and all ofCongress street.

Tucson News Now asked Kozachik if he felt Parkwise officials wouldembrace that idea.

"No, not at all.  Parkwise's fixation is on theirbudget, I get that, but you can't balance your budget on the backs of safety orin this case, pinch points on the street car route," saidKozachik.

Parkwise officials declined to comment on Kozachik's request, butthey did give us information about revenue generated from metered parking spotsdowntown.

Donovan Durband, the program administrator for Parkwise saidrevenue generated from parking meters downtown is about 18% of theirbudget.  53% of their parking revenue came from parking garages.

Durband said in the fiscal year 2013, Parkwise raked in about$687,000 from parking metered spots downtown.  The money was helpingParkwise offset the debt they were in after building two expensive parkinggarages downtown.

Parkwise planned to put in more than 120 new metered spots alongFourth Avenue.

Kozachik planned to ask Parkwise to reconsider that number.

"We have to understand if we have those kind ofvulnerabilities when we go into revenue service on the street car.. we can'thave those in the way of the street car anymore," said Kozachik.

Kozachik said heplanned to raise his concerns during a discussion of the Parkwisebudget, during Tuesday's study session. 

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