Meter parking could be coming to Kern Place

Stanton Street

Parking changes may soon hit the Kern area, that will make drivers pay up.

Right now, if you’re looking for parking, you can find free spots along the street in the Kern Place area.

But, the city is proposing putting in parking meters.

“The major issue is parking all the way from Cincinnati and, actually north of that, all to Kerbey and University,” said an El Paso resident.

City Council member for District 1, Peter Svarzbein, said the plan is to install 125 parking meters.

“This has been part of the university pedestrian improvement project, which is a holistic approach towards approaching issues to parking, pedestrian safety, security and overall quality of life,” he said.

Those parking meters would be installed along Stanton Street, Cincinnati Avenue, and Baltimore Drive. City officials said the meters will not go in front of homes.

On Tuesday, Councilman Svarzbein held a community meeting. Folks who live and work in the Kern area spoke their mind.

“Most of the residents we’ve spoken to are also in favor of it,” said a west El Paso resident.

Many of the people who spoke at the meeting said people visiting UTEP are the biggest concern.

“I mean, the big big pressure in our neighborhood is UTEP parking,” another resident said.

The city said that they are proposing for 100% of the revenue from the parking meters will go back into the district for various projects.

Those projects will be determined by a board made up of people who live and work in the area.

“Two things that they’ve identified. The first is additional security for the area. So we’re looking at that, as well as, maintenance of the upgrades to the streets,” said Elizabeth Triggs, assistant director of economic development for the city of El Paso.

She said they anticipate making about $80,000 a year.

The parking meters would cost $0.25 for every 15 minute increment.

But, parking fees would not go into the same pot.

“It creates an opportunity for residents and business owners to talk and also figure out what they want the future of this area to be,” said Svarzbein.

He said an alternative to the parking meters, would be parking in the garage on Glory Road and Mesa Street.

The parking meter ordinance will head to the El Paso City Council members on March 6.

If approved, city officials said you could see them by the end of March.

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