Fee parking? City weighs putting parking meters back up downtown

      EUGENE, Ore. - Should Eugene put parking meters back up downtown where 2-hour parking has been free since 2010?

      That's one of the topics up for discussion in the City of Eugene's budget process.

      The City experimented with free parking in 2009 on a stretch of West Broadway that brough in about $48,000 per year in parking meter fees.

      In 2010, the city pulled parking meters out of 12-blocks of downtown. The poles were repurposed as bicycle parking.

      Jeff Petry, the city's parking services manager, said it's really all up in the air after a City Council discussion Monday.

      The Council didn't schedule when to follow up with more talks or when to vote, he said.

      Petry said the free parking program was intended to help bring customers back downtown.

      NewsSource 16 talked to businesses in the area, who gave the free parking mixed reviews.

      Some thought paid parking would encourage more frequent turnover and result in more customers. Others worried that taking the free parking out of the mix would discourage customers from driving downtown.