Dearborn to End Paid Parking March 24

Between now and March 24 paid meters, including the majority on the streets, will have been removed. As of March 15, the lots with attendants will be free and the gates will be open.

Between now and March 24 paid meters, including the majority on the streets, will have been removed. As of March 15, the lots with attendants will be free and the gates will be open.

After years of complaints from local businesses, many who are no longer in business, and countless residents, Dearborn will end user-paid parking for the parking decks and surface lots in west Dearborn on Tuesday, March 24.

It isn’t clear what this move will cost the city, but it could be a positive change for west Dearborn.

What taxpayers have had to shell out for parking booths, meters (the installation and removal) isn’t quite clear yet but there is a big cost. Between now and March 24 paid meters, including the majority on the streets, will have been removed. As of March 15, the lots with attendants will be free and the gates will be open.

However, Dearborn officials says that if drivers park at a spot with a meter at any time, they must still pay the meter or face a fine.

About 40 meters along Mason, Howard, and West Village Drive will remain after March 24 to encourage customer turnover. These spots are among the most convenient parking spaces to nearby businesses.

Parking restrictions will still be enforced at the meters on the three streets. Meters will remain along Howard, from West Village Drive to Garrison; Mason, from West Village Drive to Michigan Avenue; and West Village Drive, along Mason to Howard.

The City of Dearborn has transitioned away from a user-paid parking system in the west downtown business district to promote greater interest from real estate developers and to boost customer activity.

Dearborn officials say the de-commissioning of the user-paid parking system “addresses the perception that paid parking is an obstacle to redevelopment.

“It also addresses a popular sentiment that paying for parking in public lots, decks and on-street spaces discourages customers who would otherwise patronize west Dearborn businesses,” the city of Dearborn said in a prepared press release.

The City Council voted on Oct. 21 to phase out the user-paid system, based on a recommendation from the Mayor and the Parking Advisory Commission.

Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Jr. stated in advocating the change:

“This is a very positive step that will help us achieve our goal of promoting more investment and activity in the west downtown. To get the best results for our local economy, we need to be realistic and remove anything that is perceived as an impediment to recreating a robust and vibrant business district.”

The public parking system will continue to be financed with money from the West Dearborn Downtown Development Authority (WDDDA) and the City’s general fund at a lesser amount than in previous years.

The City is also discussing the re-instatement of a Special Assessment District (SAD) to cover the operational costs of the parking system since someone has to cover the cost of the two large parking decks.

Under an SAD, which is a public version of a Common Area Maintenance (CAM) charge implemented at private malls and multi-client centers, businesses that use the public parking spaces will be required to pay for their upkeep, insurance and snow removal, but not infrastructure improvements.

The boundaries of the SAD and the cost allocation assigned to each business would be determined at public hearings before the City Council.

In conjunction with new businesses opening this spring, the WDDDA will launch a marketing campaign promoting the downtown district, including the end of almost all user-paid parking spots.

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8 Responses to “Dearborn to End Paid Parking March 24”

  1. Bill Peretto says:

    Its about time!!!!!

  2. D says:

    Dearborn officials had no clue when they instituted the paid-parking system back in 2007. (Now if someone wants to correct me and say that Dearborn residents voted on it, fine: they are the ones who were fools.) And, given that they’re not 100-percent getting rid of these meters, they still don’t know.

    I live in the neighboring city of Allen Park. Dearborn’s problem, in this area of Michigan Avenue, is that it isn’t zoned to bring in notable retail outside small independent shops, coffee shops, cigar shops, a UPS store, some other small-scale operators who, for the most part, don’t last long.

    The occupants, with any name recognition, who left are numerous: Au Bon Pain, Caribou Coffee, Cold Stone Creamery, Moe’s Southwest Grill and, opting for relocation to Allen Park, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.

    I don’t know if this is accurate; but I was told that after Jacobson’s was taken down (circa 1997), with nothing replacing it for ten years, Dearborn could have had a Kohl’s. If that was true, the residents’ mayor (and his allies) failed them.

    This area of Dearborn isn’t going to have a future unless it goes through a major re-zoning. That will take millions. Short of that, it will continue to age out while other destinations continue to draw in more patrons.

  3. Donna Hay says:

    “It isn’t clear what this move will cost the city”- someone knows what it will cost and I wish they would let the taxpayers know.

  4. Sad old Dearbornite says:

    Only the city of Dearborn can take a packed downtown and reduce it to crumbs. The mayor & council are a 100% guilty of the death of west Dearborn. They have driven life long residence to leave and find work elsewhere. Now they have turned the heart of Dearborn into a buffet table of empty business for immigrants that hate Christians and the American way to slide in. So mayor & council eat your halal food in the Dearborn public schools & face east and kiss your city goodbye. Congratulations you have officially ruined Dearborn.

  5. Dearbornite says:

    Well guess Doug Thomas was right. He was one of the only council members that was against the paid parking and knew what would happen. Too bad the Mayor and other council members didn’t listen. The city definitely has gone down hill, which is a shame.

  6. Tim Blake says:

    It’s Aimee (Blackburn…Scholles… Whatever’s) fault

  7. Anthony says:

    Wow. Government-bashing. How 1980’s. Love that. Where to begin?

    “Only the city of Dearborn can take a packed downtown and reduce it to crumbs.”

    Seems like it takes businesses, real estate moguls and citizens to have a hand in it, too?

    “The mayor & council are a 100% guilty of the death of west Dearborn.”

    Hyperbole. What about individuals/investors using their piece(s) of West Dearborn real estate as write-offs instead of development? How about the unrealistically high asking price of leased retail space? What about those businesses that have lost relevance? Or never remodeled to keep fresh? Or lack of advertising? Oh, maybe that recession-thing in 2007-8 could have had something to do with it. Or, do they get a reprieve from responsibility?

    “They have driven life long residence to leave and find work elsewhere.”

    Can you cite an example of this? Is “Life-long” residency some kind of entitlement to a job in Dearborn? I have never experienced, never seen, nor heard of any City of Dearborn elected official taking away a citizens job and telling them to move away.

    “Now they have turned the heart of Dearborn into a buffet table of empty business for immigrants that hate Christians and the American way to slide in.”

    In school, we studied about a guy named Hitler who had similar views, though, I’m not sure any English teacher would give you a passing grade on this ‘trying-to-be-clever” attempt at literary prowess. I digress. I know of no Dearborn citizens of Arab descent that “hate’ Christians. Two of my neighbors own successful businesses. I would say, they are more patriotic than most Americans I know. So, what is your opinion of those immigrants that came before you, from Italy, Poland, China, Greece, Ukraine, Czech Republic, etc. They shouldn’t have been allowed into the US in the first place? In addition, I love a good buffet just like any red-blooded American.

    “So mayor & council eat your halal food in the Dearborn public schools & face east and kiss your city goodbye.”

    Point of contention: Dearborn Public Schools are under the jurisdiction of the Dearborn School Board. The Mayor and City Council work with the school board but are not ‘above’ them. They are separate governing entities. Get some facts first before you type.

    What does choosing to eat Halal food and facing east have to do with anything about the quality of life in Dearborn? Last I observed, development is continuing on Michigan Ave. Harbor Freight is coming. ACO kept their space. Les Stanford and Demmer are doing bang up sales (as is LaFontaine). Lots of positive things are happening in our good City. Has it been a bumpy ride? Sure has. Was the City government perfect? No one ever is. The last decade was exceptionally challenging on many levels. The turmoil is not over, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. For crying out loud even Ford is hiring again.

    So, if you have a “thing” against people of Arabic descent, non-Christians, immigrants and people who “aren’t like you”, I suggest you do something worth while with your pent-up anger toward your neighbor, like knitting, exercising or volunteering at one of the many Dearborn charities.

    So far, my Christian up-bringing has taught me one thing that has worked well for me all along: Love thy neighbor as thy self.

    Peace

  8. Mike says:

    The city decided to enact paid parking just as the region’s economy, already shaky, went into free-fall.

    At its peak a few years ago, west Dearborn was not Royal Oak or Ferndale. It’s even less so now.