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.