Council preps for 'green vehicle free parking' vote

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 9:00pm

With the Metro Traffic and Parking Commission having approved a bill that would authorize drivers of environmentally friendly vehicles to park free at downtown city meters, the Metro Council faces a key second vote next Tuesday regarding the issue.

Chalk it up as a symbolic victory for the bill’s sponsor, Metro Councilman Jason Holleman, whose initial effort with the legislation this past summer met resistance from some council colleagues. Some skeptics called the measure “elitist,” arguing hybrid, electric and other environmentally clean vehicles cost more than standard automobiles.

Technically, the bill does not need approval from the traffic and parking commission, which on Monday voted in favor of the measure 4-3, to be signed into law. Nonetheless, Holleman opted to take it before the commission to get feedback on the initiative. The proposal is one of many suggestions recommended by Mayor Karl Dean’s Green Ribbon Committee.

“I think it’s a positive step that the traffic and parking commission, which are the folks who are responsible for enforcement of the measure, have voted to support it,” said Holleman, who represents parts of West Nashville on the council.

Under Holleman’s plan, which would operate as a two-year pilot program, drivers of clean technology passenger vehicles would be allowed to park free at any of Metro’s approximately 700 parking meters located within the central business district. Six percent of all Davidson County automobiles would be eligible, according to officials.

To take advantage of the plan, Davidson County residents would be required to pay an annual $10 processing fee to the Davidson County Clerk’s Office to receive stickers indicating that they are authorized to park their vehicles at no cost. The fee is designed to pay off expenses Metro accrues to implement the plan.

6 Comments on this post:

By: drusie on 11/10/10 at 5:04

Reserving the spaces only for green vehicles would work better for me. There just aren't any convenient parking spaces in downtown Nashville. Paying for the space isn't the problem for hybrid drivers and others who can afford expensive cars.

By: govskeptic on 11/10/10 at 7:22

Nice ploy to get Parking Commission approval. This is the same
group that approved FREE parking in city owned lots for all
council members. If Nashville were Headquarters for Toyota,
Nissan, or GM Volt division that might make some sense, but
not another taxpayer subsidy from city nearly broke!

By: Alphadog7 on 11/10/10 at 8:28

Will this include motorcycle and scooters? It should.

By: xhexx on 11/10/10 at 8:52

Let's just call a spade a spade, and give free parking to anyone with an 0bama sticker on their car.

By: PKVol on 11/10/10 at 9:01

I think this bill stinks, but if it is going to pass, it should be amended to allow free parking only for the maximum length of time the meter allows, which is typically 1 or 2 hours. Meters exist to allow multiple cars to park in single spaces throughout the day. If cars are allowed to park all day at a meter, everyone suffers because then people who need to do quick business are forced to pay higher rates for garages and lots that exist more for all day parking.

By: yaddayadda on 11/10/10 at 6:56

I also think this stinks!!! My opinion of the mayor just sank big time.

Do they get free parking 24/7? How is this going to work without this privilege being abused? It's hard enough to find a parking spot downtown! What about all the people who live downtown? If they had a hybrid they could take up parking meters all day and night long instead of paying for parking at the condos. It would be a good deal for them. But it would take up parking space from everyone else.

How about giving them space at the stadium instead? Or even better, how about giving free parking to everyone at the stadium on non-game days?