Business owners gather thousands of signatures protesting possible parking changes

Petition to stop downtown parking meters

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - "When I come down here, I'm like where am I going to park?," asked Kurt Von Blanckensee, a shopper along 4th Avenue on Tuesday.

It's a question most people ask when they head downtown, and one the City of Tucson asked themselves when looking at how to improve the problem in the downtown area.

The results of a new study coined some possible new regulations. No action has been taken yet, but you could be paying to park until midnight. And the price you pay could go up.

"It's going to cut down on business," said Jared Reiner, a server at Caruso's. Employees of businesses along 4th aren't too thrilled.

"It takes more money from 4th Avenue and makes it a less desirable place to be," said Ben Sattler, the bar manager at local bar, Mr. Heads. "We were never consulted with any of it."

A petition started circulating almost immediately after the idea was announced.

Sattler and several business owners are among members of the 4th Avenue community started them to get their voices out there.

So far, they’ve garnered more than 6,000 signatures, protesting the possibilities.

"To see such strong input from people who live in Marana, Sahuarita, east-side, west-side," Sattler said. "To see people caring about our little community is really cool."

These business owners hope to sit down and chat with city leaders with their thoughts.

That's a conversation a spokesperson with City said will happen before any big decisions are made.

"The fact that they're willing to have a conversation is awesome," said Sattler. "It's unfortunate that we had to go about it in this fashion."

The City also said the purpose of the study was to learn how to make turnover better for street parking.

There’s also no timeline on when any of this could go before the Tucson City Council for a vote.

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