METAMORA — It’s been a week since the new two-hour parking limit in Metamora’s village square and it has been successful so far, according to officials. This time limit is enforces Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 3 pm.
This comes after some business owners in the area noticed an increase in high school students parking there, in the past two years. This was limiting parking availability to their customers. They took their concerns to the village board last Spring and they took action.
Mayor Ken Maurer said business owners have noticed high school students are not parking there anymore thanks to these new regulations.
The new parking signs were up last, Thursday, which was also the first day of school. Signs were up only on one side last Thursday, but they were all up by Tuesday.
Business owners said they have nothing against students, but they want to make sure their customers, especially the older ones, have easy access to their buildings.
Metamora High School officials responded with the following statement:
“MTHS has two parking lots on campus for students to park. Combined there is enough room for students that wish to drive to school to park on campus. Some students choose to park in public parking on the village square instead of on our campus. We have encouraged our students to park on campus. We have and will continue to work with the Village of Metamora and the local businesses on a solution to this concern.”
Metamora Mayor Ken Maurer said he’s not sure why students have inclined to park at the town square, but he’s heard that students can possibly be protesting a $50 parking fee from the school and the fact that the school has the right to search cars on their property.
“The school has done their part I think. My part is to try to get these businesses going. This is money for the village. This square is a beautiful park and we want people to use it but the students were just parking, they weren’t really using it,” said Mayor Maurer.
For now, Maurer hopes the new parking regulations will help businesses in the village square. He said he’s seen some disagreements on social media of people concerned for the students who have to find other places to park.
“I remember one of Abraham Lincoln’s quotes and it was ‘You can please some of the people all the time, you can please all of the people some of the time but you can’t please all of the people all of the time’ and I think that fits this situation. There’s always going to be someone unhappy out there but it was a full thorough discussion, it’s in the minutes of the board meetings and anybody can come to the meetings,” said Mayor Maurer.
There will be a village board meeting at Metamora’s village hall building Tuesday at 7 p.m. to discuss the creation of car hangers for people who live or work on the square, to allow them to park for longer periods of time.
The mayor invites the community to go and give their input on that, or any other matter.