OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The parking situation in Benson is notorious for being a tough Omaha area to find a spot to park your car.
To help open up street parking a bit, the City of Omaha and the Benson Improvement District (BID) is considering the addition of parking meters on the street.
“So basically, we can get more traffic turnover on Maple Street, so the businesses can have more customers coming through the door,” said Joe Pittach, owner of Ted and Wally’s and board member of the Benson Business Improvement District.
He’s still talking with fellow business owners and working out the details with the city.
“There’s still a lot of work and education going on,” said Pittach.
If meters eventually pop up in Benson, he says those that are looking to park for free could still use the surface lots that will remain.
“If you’re coming from west Omaha, and you want to visit, you can get down here and find free parking,” said Pittach.
All the profits from the meters would go into the BID’s funds. He says money gained from parking may be used for lighting near the parking lots.
Al owner of Ted and Wallys in the Old Market, Pittach has experienced something similar when the city changed its meters in that neighborhood to go until 9 p.m. It also lowered garage parking rates, which Pittach says worked.
“It was promoting long-term parking. Our employees go to park in these parking garages, so the paying customers can pull right in front of the businesses and our revenues went up,” said Pittach.
In South Omaha, meters are being considered for 24th Street between L and Q Streets and one block to the east and west of that corridor.
Chair of the South Omaha Business Improvement District Ross Pesek, who owns a law firm on 24th, says it’s unclear what will happen.
“We are currently in the early stages. Business owners have a wide variety of needs and concerns and it’s not clear if there is a consensus,” said Pesek.
He says their main goal is making sure trash is picked up and the area looks nice. He and the rest of the board are still gathering input.
“We are going to be listening to neighbors closely to make sure any changes meet community needs,” said Pesek.
In Benson, it won’t be decided for another few months and Councilmember Pete Festersen tells 3 News Now, the city council won’t move on this until there’s a clear consensus.