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PARKING CALLED ADEQUATE, BUT MAYOR SEES PROBLEMS

A study released Monday says the city has ample parking, and will have even more once the new Cherry Street parking ramp opens.

According to the report, prepared by Allright Parking, which operates the city's ramps, there are nearly 700 parking spaces downtown. The new ramp will provide another 300.

Mayor Sam Teresi said the city does have a parking management problem.

"Right now it's, as they pointed out, cheaper to illegally park on the street all day . . . than it is to legally park in the lots and garages."

The study indicated that the number of tickets written by the two parking enforcement officers has dropped 25 percent from 2001 to 2004.

Teresi said the Council will examine the study, which suggests removing the parking meters from Prendergast Library parking lot and establishing consistent rates for parking meters across the city.

On Monday, the Council adopted a resolution that will give parking enforcement officers new equipment to process parking tickets. Teresi said the city finally has a $55,000 grant to make the change.

The new equipment eliminates the need to enter ticket information into computers at the police station. The new system should be in place this summer.