Greetings Chamber Members & Friends,
As many of you may know, the Chamber of Commerce has been working with the Town of Taos on the issue of parking meters throughout town. The Town has been working on implementing a long range program which would provide free two hour parking in the Plaza and Historic District.
Please review the information below sent by Cathy Connelly on behalf of the Town.
Many thanks to her, as well as the Town Council and Mayor Duran for implementing this program!
1) Town of Taos Historic District Two Hour Free Parking Pilot Program
This program is slated to begin the morning of Friday, June 6, 2008. That morning all 337 parking meter spaces within the Town of Taos Historic District should have red and white decals on them that read, “Welcome To Taos. 2 HR Free Parking. Thereafter Feed Meter.”
The parking meter hoods on Taos Plaza will be removed and replaced with these decals, which will be uniformly used throughout the Historic District. The decals allow for ‘feeding meters’ after the 2 hour mark, while the existing hoods do not.
Town of Taos Police Officers on traffic assignment will mark/chalk tires to monitor the 2 hour parking limitation. Parking tickets of $10 will be issued to those exceeding this limit.
Free all day parking is located in Town-provided lots located at the Taos Public Library/Town Hall, the parking lot behind the Lady of Guadalupe Church — called the Loretto Parking Lot, the Taos Center for the Arts (TCA), and the Town operated lot at Quesnel and Kit Carson. A parking map is attached to further clarify free all day parking lot locations for visitors and employees. On this map, metered parking is also noted which will have the two-hour free parking decals applied.
Merchants and their staff are strongly encouraged not to park in the metered parking during business hours so that Historic District visitors (tourists and locals) can be accommodated to the maximum extent possible.
The decal two hour free parking program is a pilot program that will be in place through the end of December 2008. It is an expansion of the two hour free parking meter hood program that has been in place only at Taos Plaza for the last six months.
Following the end of the pilot programs in December 2008, the Town of Taos Council will evaluate impacts. In past years, the Town has net approximately $150,000 annually from metered parking and parking ticket revenues. It is hoped that these important revenues, perhaps reduced somewhat by the two hour free parking pilot program, will be augmented by sources including increased gross receipts revenues resulting from increased Historic District customer patronage.
Other Meter Parking Programs:
Constituents should be aware that the Town of Taos has a parking permit that may be purchased for $40 per month, plus tax, which allows all-day parking in the Town’s metered spaces. Although the Town does not encourage taking up a single parking space for the entire business day with this pass, it is useful for drivers with many Historic District appointments throughout the day at various locations. It is a numbered/registered permit that is placed on an auto’s dashboard. It may be applied for and purchased through the Reception Desk at Town Hall. Again, registration is required by the Town of both the individual purchasing the permit and its assigned vehicle, with a spread sheet maintained of valid usage for parking enforcement reference.
The Town also has parking ‘debit cards’ for purchase, starting at a $10 minimum amount. These cards function in a similar manner as do pre-paid phone cards. The cards may be used in the newer Town meters – those having card slots on their meter faces. When the card is inserted in this slot, the meter deducts the appropriate amount for the number of hours desired. The longer one leaves the card in the slot, the more that is used or deducted (up to four hours at a time). These cards obviously may ‘feed meters’ in lieu of coinage. Some Town Historic District merchants have expressed a desire to have tokens or another mechanism available to do this for customers without having to have coinage on hand, and these cards meet that need. Cards do not expire but may be used on an ongoing basis. These cards may be purchased at the Public Utility window at Town Hall.
In the instances of both pay-to-park programs noted above, Visa and Mastercard payments are accepted at Town Hall in addition to non-credit types of payments,
Reporting Meters that are ‘Out of Order’
Parking meters are monitored by the Town of Taos Police Department, through the officers assigned to traffic duty. Meters are checked regularly, and out of order meters are noted and repaired. However, if a meter appears out of service for more than a week, constituents should email Public Relations Director Cathy Connelly for follow up, firstname.lastname@example.org. Simply note the location of the meter and its four digit serial number.
Cathy Connelly, Public Relations Coordinator
Town of Taos
400 Camino de la Placita
Taos, NM 87571
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