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Drivers fed up with downtown Royal Oak parking system, petition for change

Posted at 6:07 AM, Apr 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-28 08:07:35-04

ROYAL OAK, MI (WXYZ) — Over 2,200 people and counting have signed a petition to get rid of the parking system in Royal Oak.

They plan to present their concerns to the next city commission meeting on May 9th.

According to the petition, Royal Oak is making drivers back into spaces, many of which are high-traffic areas.

They also say the sensors don't always register cars, and the 2-hour time limit is a drag for people trying to discover the downtown area.

"It's always been a little bit of a mess," Maryn Obrien said.

She says she loves living in downtown Royal Oak, but when it comes to parking her patience is running thin.

The system in place, known as sentry, requires her to back in. That's how the meter registers a license plate.

"We've seen multiple fender benders just from the front of the shop during the day. I would hate to see what happens when we're closed and the bars are open," she said.

Also, you only get two minutes free while you put in payment and then the 2-hour parking limit kicks in.

If you go over, you either get a ticket or have to pay for the extra time.

One man said he was in town to see his favorite band play and two hours limit isn't even close to enough.

"What am I supposed to do? Sit here and wait for a ticket," he says.

Royal Oak's Mayor says there are other options.

"If you don't like reverse angle parking or you don't like the meters the good news is we have convenient parking in all our garages," Mayor Michael Fournier said.

Fournier is aware of the complaints, but his office stands behind the system. He says downtown has always had time limits on parking and backing in is safer.

He says if you got a ticket and did nothing wrong to call the police.

"We're doing everything to remedy that situation," he said.

Those petitioners plan to plead their case at that meeting on May 9th, but the city is under contract to have these meters for five years, and the current system has only been up for a few months.