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Drivers fight to rid sentry meters in Royal Oak after back-in parking changes are denied

Posted at 5:48 AM, May 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-10 05:49:31-04

ROYAL OAK, MI (WXYZ) — The Royal Oak City Commission has denied a proposal to change the back-in parking rules on South Washington Avenue.

The commission claims that changing street parking from reverse-angle parking to parallel parking would eliminate 33 of the 126 spots on S. Washington.

But drivers are still seeking some type of change. This time, they are fighting to eliminate the new sentry system in Royal Oak.

A petition is circulating on the issue and already has more than 3000 signatures.

"It's an embarrassment for residents and for the retailers. We can't help you. We can't help the customers," Royal Oak resident Chip says.

Chip has worked downtown for over 30 years and says the city needs to fix this problem.

"I asked ten people over ten days or so because they were staring at it and just kept looking. And I said, 'So what do you think?' and the responses I got were sometimes scary," 20-year Royal Oak resident Antone Semper said. "One lady turned and she said, 'I hate Royal Oak!'"

Royal Oak is only 6 months through year one of a 5-year contract for these sentry meters. City officials believe it's a safer option and the Royal Oak mayor says the city believes it's too early to tell if the system has failed or not.

So as of now, the parking system is staying.

A reminder for drivers, Royal Oak's sentry meters only allow two minutes of free parking. After that, there is a two-hour time limit and when the time is up you will automatically get a ticket or the option to pay if you go over that time.