Parking meters could return to 2nd Avenue South after yearlong test

The question of whether meter heads should be reinstalled along 2nd Avenue South from 2nd to 6th Street will likely go to the City Commission on Dec. 5.

The Parking Advisory Commission recently voted to recommend that they be reinstalled, after Officer Adam Hunt of the Great Falls Police Department requested the action to help him regulate and enforce parking rules in that area.

City staff working to address continued parking woes

The PAC also voted to recommend that city start two-hour enforcement on 3rd Avenue South from 3rd to 6th Street.

Last year, as a test, the city removed meter heads on 2nd Avenue South between 2nd and 6th Streets; 1st Avenue North between Park Drive and 2nd Street; 2nd Street North between 1st and 2nd Avenues North; 2nd Avenue North between 2nd and 3rd Streets; 8th Street North between 2nd Avenue North and 1st Avenue South; and 9th Street North between 2nd Avenue North and 1st Avenue South.

Those changes went into effect immediately after the Sept. 6, 2016 meeting for a year-long test to monitor the effects of the lack of enforcement.

Since the changes went into effect, Hunt has found a number of problems related to the lack of enforcement, particularly along 2nd Avenue South and 4th Street South, near the Rescue Mission.

The city planning office has had no complaints from the other areas where meters were removed, said Craig Raymond, city planning director.

Without the enforcement, 2nd Avenue South between 3rd and 5th Streets has become lined with junk and abandoned vehicles and a nearby auto body shop is now using the public street parking as storage for vehicles that don’t have license plates, aren’t operable and some on trailers that aren’t attached to anything. All of those are violations of the city code.

Currently, the only thing being enforced in that area is abandoned vehicles and removing those vehicles takes time, Hunt said.

If the commission votes to reinstall the meter heads, enforcement would return to the area, as well as the additional two-hour enforcement on 3rd Avenue.