The city's administration is working to make it a little easier to park in Lakewood.
Starting May 1, businesses owners along Detroit and Madison avenues will be able to use permits for metered parking spots for $250 for six months — or less than $2 per workday.
City officials say the pilot program — slated to run through 2011 — is a response from Lakewood’s business community asking for help with the issue.
“(The program) is part of a comprehensive response for the administration to begin looking at solutions to make it easier for people to park in Lakewood,” said Dru Siley, the city’s assistant director of planning and development. “Over the next couple of months, we’re going to be rolling out additional programs and strategies to make it easier to find parking.”
He added that the intended participants are small businesses that do not have access to parking lots. The permits will be required to hang from the rear-view mirror so that they are visible through the rear window while parked.
“Our goal is to create parking solutions,” Siley said. “Instead of feeding their meters, businesses can focus on serving their customers and running their business.”
Each business is allowed up to two passes, which can be shared among employees, customers and visitors. The trial is capped at 100 passes, and interested participants are required to apply through the city’s office of planning and development.
Three businesses have already applied to participate in the pilot program.
Siley said, depending on the response, the city may permanently roll out the initiative in 2012.
Mayor Michael Summers, who began the discussions with business owners while still a Ward 3 city councilman, recently told a group of business owners that this is the first attempt at fixing the parking issues in Lakewood.
“We do understand there are some things we need to do differently,” he said. “We have got to figure out a way to have these storefronts be more viable.”
“There’s no solution parking that’s going to solve everything,” he added. “We realize there’s a lot of creativity and strategy required, and we look forward to addressing these issues.”
For an application to participate in the pilot program, or for more information, call Siley at 330 529-6630.