City council to ponder downtown parking dilemma

By By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
Sunday, Dec. 3, 2000
After several months of debate and controversy over parking in a downtown Meridian alley, the city council will have the opportunity to settle the dispute at Monday's council meeting.
Members of the city's Downtown Parking Committee placed the item back on the council's agenda after four months of delays.
In August members of the committee recommended the council create three parking places in the alley, located off of 22nd Avenue between Citizens National Bank and Paine Webber, and change the flow of traffic on the one-way alley for safety reasons.
Citizens National Bank and Bourdeaux and Jones law firm have been wrangling over the need to change the flow of traffic in the alley and create three city regulated parking places. Bank representatives say a change in the flow of traffic could disrupt their drive-through window by cutting down on the number of exits motorists could take out of the bank. The lawyers said the parking places are desperately needed for their clients.
In August Benny Wolfe, public works director and parking committee member, said the committee made its initial recommendation because pedestrians couldn't always be seen by motorists exiting the alley on Constitution Avenue. Wolfe and the committee want the alley changed so drivers can exit only on 22nd Avenue.
The committee is now recommending the council create two parking spaces in the alley with one hour time limits, but is delaying a recommendation to change the flow of traffic in the alley.
Ben Alexander is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at
This week's scheduled city council meeting is taking place on Monday because several council members are going to be out of state attending a conference.