'Our elected officials do care': St. Paul cancels Grand Avenue parking meters

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The sidewalks along St. Paul's Grand Avenue will stay parking meter-free.

After a hard-fought battle against the city's proposal to bring paid parking to the popular shopping district, community business owners and City Council Member Dave Thune announced Thursday the plan for Grand has been abandoned.

The Star Tribune says Thune, who represents the area, informed Mayor Chris Coleman he won't be sponsoring the measure to implement the meters there.

According to the Pioneer Press, Thune – who originally supported the plan – says he reversed course after hearing all the opposition.

"It really shows that our elected officials do care and they do listen," a Grand Avenue Business Association representative told BringMeTheNews, adding, "The system does sometimes work how it's supposed to."

This comes after fierce opposition from the Grand Avenue Business Association and local residents – who made headlines when they loudly booed city officials and Coleman (who was pushing for the meters) in two public meetings on the issue, one last week and the other last month.

Their main objection to the meters was that they would drive business away and push cars into nearby neighborhoods looking for parking, creating a headache for locals.

The city's proposal called for metered parking on Grand Avenue from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at $2 per hour during the day, and $1 per hour during the evening. The hope was that the program would bring as much as $400,000 in revenue and help make parking a little easier on the often congested thoroughfare.

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