Lansing Neighborhood Effects Parking Changes?

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After not one, not two, but four tickets, Wade Goedert learned this lesson: "You are punished for coming to spend some money on the east side of town," he says.

He was one of many Gone Wired Cafe" regulars who complained to management that the java jolt was nothing compared to the ire of getting a ticket just moments after their meter ran out.

"It's meant a loss of customers for some of the businesses," explains John Mertz, president of the Eastside Commerical Coalition. They complaining to the city that the businesses along the 2000 stretch of Michigan Ave. can't compete, when those parking enforcers are enforcing just a little too well.

Mertz says its no question enforcement has increased dramatically since the city found itself in a budget hole.

The back lots, the business owners say, should be for customers who are staying a while, and spending money. The front is where customers expect short term parking and wouldn't mind feeding the meter.

"Right now, East Michigan is a priority for the administration," says Andy Kilpatrick, transportation engineer for the city of Lansing.

The city is listening, strongly considering putting either meters or perhaps just short term parking out front, and making the two lots that serve the area free and unrestricted.

"We want to do whatever we can to help the businesses thrive," Kilpatrick says.

Their plan will go to the business owners, likely this week. Change may be coming to East Michigan Ave. and it may mean you don't need any to park.