Parking Permit Idea Has Merit

Making Wheeling’s core — the downtown business district and neighborhoods adjacent to it — more attractive as a place to live is not a new concept. As more and more residential structures are built and renovated, however, the idea demands more attention.

Wheeling is not like some urban areas where residents eschew ownership of private vehicles, however. Most people who live here or may consider moving in rely on their own cars or trucks for transportation.

That means they need places to park their vehicles. In some neighborhoods, finding an open space can be a challenge.

And when one is spotted, it may be at a parking meter. Either feed it or resign yourself to paying lots of overtime parking tickets.

During their meeting last week, members of the city Traffic Commission discussed providing parking permits to people who live in East Wheeling, where meters line several streets.

Among those who like the idea is City Councilman Brian Wilson. “I live on 14th Street. In the past year, I’ve probably paid $100 in parking tickets,” he noted.

City Manager Robert Herron also favors the idea, at least in some areas. Lack of parking makes it difficult to market some East Wheeling property for residential use, he explained.

Herron’s remarks prompted Traffic Commission members to agree to eliminate six parking meters on Eoff Street, near the intersection with 12th Street.

As to permits for residents in East Wheeling, city Operations Supervisor Tim Birch said the idea requires more study.

It should be considered. People who live in Wheeling and pay taxes here should not have to “feed the meter” near their homes.