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Trafford considers removing meters

| Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Penn-Trafford Star
Trafford Council is considering the creation of a business-parking district. Existing parking meters would be removed, according to the proposal.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Penn-Trafford Star
Trafford Council is considering the creation of a business-parking district. Existing parking meters would be removed, according to the proposal.

To attract more visitors to downtown Trafford, borough council members are considering the creation of a business parking district that no longer would require drivers to feed the meters.

If approved, the district would be another step toward addressing one of the main goals of the borough's 2010 comprehensive plan: providing enough spots for customers who want to dine or shop downtown.

In addition, council is mulling over a plan to open up the two new municipal parking lots being developed for the Manchester Room for public use when no events are scheduled at the banquet hall.

Under Councilman John Daykon's proposal, council might designate the Manchester Room lots and three downtown areas for two-hour parking from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays:

• Cavitt Avenue, from Third Street to Sixth Street.

• Fourth Street, from Brinton Avenue to Duquesne Avenue.

• Fifth Street, from the 7-Eleven near the Brinton Avenue intersection to Duquesne Avenue.

In those areas, council might choose to remove the existing parking meters, which generate less than $1,000 a year and haven't been recalibrated in four years, Daykon said. The replacement cost of an inoperable meter would be $500 apiece, he said.

“I think the overall consensus is that the meters are going bye-bye,” Daykon said.

Though council intends to resume discussion of the proposal next month, Parente's Ristorante owner Renee Cappetta said she recognizes council is trying to do what it can to support the business community.

The only potential issue with council's idea, she said, is if nearby residents take up the spots around the businesses during the daytime.

“With the new parking lots going in, it's really been wonderful,” said Cappetta, president of the Trafford Economic and Community Development Corp. “It's promising to see all the work going on now.”

Parking long has been a concern of board members of The Theatre Factory, said Carol Connelly, one of the founders of the 19-year theater group at the intersection of Cavitt Avenue and Third Street.

Because the theater has a seating capacity of 128, its leaders have to be creative to accommodate audience members. With on-street parking often difficult to find, Matt Mastroianni of Mastro Signs and Printing has allowed the theater to let some patrons park outside his building, Connelly said.

She said the theater's board would love to have the occasional option of using the new lot for the Manchester Room at Fourth and Cavitt — as long as it doesn't fill up quickly.

“Parking has always been a problem in Trafford, which is a good problem because it means people are coming into town,” she said.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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