New Grand Rapids parking meters frustrating residents, business owners

Posted at 9:56 PM, Sep 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-21 22:12:26-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Earlier this month, Grand Rapids announced the addition of more than 100 new pay stations at parking spaces that were previously free. Drivers can pay at the meter or use the Motu app, but there is still some confusion about how it works.

Residents like Josh Cohen and Haile Kulczyk used to be able to park on the street in front of their Cherry Street apartment for free until the meters showed up.

"We’re parking at this closed building right here, on the weekends we’ll park at J&H Auto," says Cohen. "So we’re trying to figure out ways to park now that there’s meters."

Kulczyk adds that simply running errands around the neighborhood has suddenly become more difficult.

"We have to go to the laundromat and go grocery shopping and having to walk down the street with our groceries to get into our apartment, when originally we could just pull right up out front, is kind of an inconvenience."

It's also frustrating local store owners like Sandra Otte, who owns Under the Vines on Cherry Street. She fears the paid parking spaces will hurt business.

"We have a lot of older people that come during the day that frequent the Cherie Inn and a lot of them don’t have cellphones, they don’t do the computers and some of the them are handicapped, and it’s just going to be hard for them to understand how to put their license in and the pay."

Otte has two designated parking spaces outside her store, but she's worried about people parking there to avoid the meters.

Residents can purchase monthly parking passes but everyone else will have to pay to park Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You can read the letter from the city with more details here.

View a map of all newly added paid parking spaces here.