Rice Village parking meters bring new issues for store owners

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- "Most of the customers are not happy about it. They think it's kind of annoying to say the least."

Jon Caballero is talking about the paid parking meters in front of his men's retail shop, The Class Room, on Amherst in Rice Village.

The goal of adding paid parking meters in front of stores in the Village is convenience and efficiency, according to Jerry Marcus of the Parking Advisory Group.

"In the past they had to drive around for quite a long time to find a parking space, unless they got lucky," Marcus said.

Marcus says the meters charge a nominal fee for those customers who need to quickly use the most convenient spots. He says it discourages employees from nearby businesses from parking in spots that should go to customers.

"It's really about getting control of the area and making it convenient for the customers to come and go," said Marcus.

Signs all over Rice Village now explain that the parking garage, which once charged, is now free on the upper levels for the first two hours. At The Class Room they hope it's a lesson customers learn soon.

"Most people don't know that garage is there, much less that it's free, although there are signs that say free parking," said Caballero.

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