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New Test Meters

Parking meters in the 200 block of Main Street are shown on Wednesday, April 24, 2013, shortly after their installation. Racine Alderman Steve Smetana has proposed that the city eliminate its parking meters.

RACINE — Racine aldermen are expected to take up the issue of whether to remove the city’s parking meters within a month.

Alderman Steve Smetana, who represents the 5th District, initially requested the discussion in November. He previously told The Journal Times that he thinks doing away with the meters would make Racine a more inviting community. Some consider the meters a deterrent to people who might patronize local businesses if they didn’t fear parking tickets.

The city’s Transit and Parking Commission took up the matter at its February meeting. Commissioners at that time discussed concerns about the potential loss of revenue and the possibility that tenants who live above storefronts might monopolize the parking spots all day.

At that meeting, City Administrator Jim Palenick echoed Smetana’s encouragement for a conversation about Racine’s strategy toward parking.

“I don’t know the immediate answer, but we do have problems, and it’s time to begin the discussion,” Palenick said at the time.

The commission recommended the City Council send the conversation to the Committee of the Whole, a body made up of all aldermen but that cannot take final action.

As the City Council considered that recommendation earlier this month, Smetana requested that the Committee of the Whole’s parking meter discussion be scheduled within 30 days.

“I think we all have opinions on this, and I think it should be discussed,” he told his fellow aldermen.

The City Council voted unanimously in favor of Smetana’s request.

As of Monday night, a Committee of the Whole meeting on parking meters had not yet been scheduled, according to the city’s online meeting calendar.

“I think we all have opinions on this, and I think it should be discussed.” Steve Smetana,
5th District alderman


Sari Lesk covers the City of Racine, Gateway and UW-Parkside. She is new to the community and moonlights as an amateur baker.

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