Editorials

If you go downtown to eat, here’s why you should feed the meter

Belleville police chief talks parking in the city

After Belleville's parking meter department was shut down in 2010 in an effort to save money, the city police department assigned part-time community service officers to collect coins and respond to citizen complaints about parking violations. The
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After Belleville's parking meter department was shut down in 2010 in an effort to save money, the city police department assigned part-time community service officers to collect coins and respond to citizen complaints about parking violations. The

The secret is out: You don’t need to feed the parking meters in Belleville.

Most likely you will only get a warning ticket. Save your quarter.

The meter police are gone. Police Chief Bill Clay had better ways to use his officers, and there are no meters at the mall or O’Fallon shopping centers.

“If I come down with a bunch of friends and family, and we dine at a place and we do some shopping, I park at a meter and I put some money in there ... and I spend $150 down in Belleville. I come out, and I’m greeted with a wonderful thank you from Belleville of a (parking ticket) on top of all I’ve done,” Clay said. “That’s really going to make me want to come back here, is it not?”

Very true, so why not yank out all the parking meters?

Well, because there are too many people working downtown who will take advantage and park all day in the closest spots. If you want shoppers and diners, then you should make sure they have a convenient place to park.

And folks should still feed the meters because it helps maintain public resources. As C.S. Lewis said, “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.”

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