Republican challenger in the Fort Wayne City Clerk’s office Zach Bonahoom, held a news conference today to talk about his plan for improving parking in downtown Fort Wayne.
Bonahoom Announces Plan for Improving Parking In Downtown Fort Wayne
Candidate for City Clerk believes credit card capable meters, warnings for first-time offenders and parking control agents on foot will make downtown more welcoming to business, visitors
Zach Bonahoom, Republican candidate for Fort Wayne City Clerk, was joined by Sheriff Ken Fries and others today for the announcement of Bonahoom’s proposal for revamping the way in which on-street downtown parking is managed and enforced.
Bonahoom’s three-part parking plan calls for investments in technology and customer service, as well increasing awareness of downtown parking regulations. He said that revamping the parking system would provide a welcome boost to downtown revitalization efforts.
“Today, citizens who come downtown to work, live or do business are greeted by a parking system that engenders an attitude of hostility instead of hospitality,” Bonahoom said. “We have invested greatly in bringing people back downtown, but we still make those who do visit feel like they are not welcome there. I want to make parking an asset to downtown, not a distraction from its success.”
Bonahoom’s plan includes:
â€¢ Credit Card Ready Meters: Bonahoom proposed the gradual replacement of the city’s current inventory of more than 600 coin-fed parking meters with devices that can accept both coins and credit cards. Giving visitors the convenience of paying by multiple means is a hallmark of successful downtowns across the United States.
â€¢ Parking Control Officers On Foot: Bonahoom also proposed changing the primary method of meter enforcement from vehicle patrols to foot patrols. Putting parking control officers on foot would save on vehicle, maintenance and fuel costs, he said. It also offers the chance to transform parking control officers into “ambassadors” for downtown, providing guidance and assistance to visitors they encounter. Customer service training for all parking officers would be an essential component of making the ambassador program work effectively, Bonahoom added.
â€¢ Warning First-Time Offenders: Bonahoom said he would pursue giving parking control officers the ability to issue warnings to first-time meter violators. Providing lenience to first-time offenders would offer visitors a chance to become familiar with parking regulations without discouraging them from spending time in a reinvigorated downtown.
Allen County Sheriff Ken Fries attended Tuesday’s news conference and endorsed Bonahoom’s initiative, calling parking an underused asset in the fight to revitalize downtown Fort Wayne.
“Zach Bonahoom is the only candidate for City Clerk who realizes that parking is a commodity that can make or break the appeal of doing business downtown,” Fries said. “His ideas for combining 21st” century parking meter technology with more modern, customer savvy enforcement techniques will make downtown into a destination instead of a place our neighbors too often fear visiting. Convenient, accessible parking will be a powerful tool for growing business and opportunity downtown.”