Omaha businesses weigh pros, cons as parking enforcement picks back up

(Source: MGN Online)
(Source: MGN Online)(WRDW)
Published: May. 19, 2020 at 6:04 AM CDT
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For several months parking meters have been free in Omaha but we are seeing things slowly turned back to normal. The city began enforcing time limits Monday, and on June 1, we will need to start feeding parking meters again.

People who rely on parking enforcement have seen pros and cons.

Depending on the parking setup you have around your business, enforcing time restrictions again could help or hurt. The city says its resuming restrictions on behalf of businesses.

Ken Smith, a parking mobility manager for the city of Omaha said, “We actually had a couple of business groups ask us to start doing the enforcement so their customers can reach or access their services.”

As Omaha comes back to life, parking is becoming a commodity for food and drink districts once again.

“This isn’t just a saying hey we need to do it this is the businesses which is a good feeling. It’s nice to feel wanted again,” said Smith.

In districts with ample parking like The Old Market, some places are asking for enforcement. But in Blackstone — a district known for its lack of parking — some are not as excited.

Duncan Joyner, the Noli’s manager said, “Without a dining room nobody is eating here for long periods of time so people are really just using the spots around here to dash in for 5 minutes to 15 minutes.”

Though parking enforcement creates turnover so businesses can get in more customers, Duncan Joyner worries people will steer clear of businesses in Blackstone if what a quick pick up ends up taking a little longer – risking a ticket.

He says things are not back to normal enough just yet to justify it in Blackstone.

By stopping parking enforcement the city predicts it has lost a half-million dollars in revenue A chunk of money Ken smith with the parking division tells me will be creating ripple effects into the future.

As we are getting back into the swing of things, you’ll be issued one warning before receiving a parking ticket.