SPOKANE, Wash. - People living in one Spokane neighborhood got a rude awakening when the city installed parking meters on the street outside their homes, and residents are understandably not too happy about it.
The meters, 36 in all, were just installed around several apartment complexes near 8th and Bernard close to Sacred Heart Medical Center.
"You don't expect people to put up parking meters where you live," Spokane resident David Bibb said.
Bibb has lived at the Breslin Apartments for the last five years. Before, parking was simple.
"You just found a parking place and parked ... it's just parking," he said.
Now, with the introduction of the parking meters along the street, everything has changed.
"I was very surprised because no one told us it was going to happen," Bibb said.
He isn't the only one upset about his new neighbors either.
"The situation was fine before they came and all they did is try to come in here and make a couple of bucks off the people who can least afford it," Spokane resident Josh Kelsch said.
When City Hall was contacted about these residents' concerns, it said some Sacred Heart employees sparked the need for the meters.
"It keeps the employees from sitting there all day and then the residents have nowhere to park," David Steele with the City of Spokane said.
But why should residents now have to empty their pockets to park? The city says they won't. At least not for now.
"Since we are moving into their area, for those folks, it will be free, at least for the foreseeable future," Steele said.
The city says parking will be free for apartment residents for the next year. They can get a pass to put on their cars so they won't be ticketed. But even still, Bibb didn't like being out of loop and doesn't like these new meters. He's been wanting to move and now he's acting on it.
"This just gave me more pressure, it made me get out and look ," he laughed.
The city says the parking passes will be available to residents on Wednesday, and that meters won't be enforced until then. After a year, they'll evaluate and decide what do to. However, if you don't live in the area and you park there, you will need to pay.
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