The Transylvania Times -

By Marcy Thompson
Picturing The Past 

Parking Meters Were Common In Brevard

 

November 21, 2016

Parking meters, such as this one located on West Main Street near the intersection of Probart Street, were once commonplace in downtown Brevard. The parking meters were removed in 1973. (Photo courtesy of the Transylvania County Library)

"Parking Meters Here Will Go Into Operation Friday Morning." In search of much needed revenue for street repairs, expansion of the city sewer and water system, and alleviation of parking problems, city officials passed a special ordinance to install parking meters in the downtown area. While downtown parking issues are a familiar topic today this was actually The Transyl-vania Times headline on May 15, 1947.

At $65 each, it cost more than $15,000 to install the 231 meters covering two blocks of Broad Street and three-and-half blocks on Main Street. The meter company received a percentage of the income until the cost was paid. The rate was one cent for 12 minutes with a two hour limit. The meters accepted either nickels or pennies. The meters were in operation from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, except holidays. Anyone parking over the time limit or using slugs in the meters would be fined.

On the first day $31.12 in fees and $5 in fines were collected. In July 1948 it was announced that the town had received $6,204 in fees during the first year, eliminating the need to raise the tax rate. Additional parking meters were later added on other downtown streets, such as Jordan, Caldwell, and Gaston, and in some off street lots. According to the town of Brevard budgets, revenue ranged from $8,000 to $11,000 annually for 25 years.

In February 1973 the Board of Alderman passed an ordinance, "allowing free parking 1 hour limit on street parking and free parking, 2 hour limit off street parking" effective March 1 through Oct. 1, 1973. During their October 1973 board meeting the Alderman voted, "that the parking meter heads be removed and two hour free parking be enforced." There was to be "rigid enforcement of the ordinance."

(Photographs and information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library. Visit the NC Room during regular library hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about our history and see additional photographs. For more information, comments or suggestions contact Marcy at marcy.thompson@transylvaniacounty.org or (828) 884-3151 ext. 242.)

 
 

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