May 5, 2011 7:58 PM by David Ortiviz
It's free to park on almost any street in Pueblo expect for just one block and it happens to be where the unemployment office is located. The City of Pueblo has metered parking on the northside of 3rd St. between Court and Main. The city has collected thousands in parking fees in that one spot.
"I think it's kind of silly," said Denise, a woman we talked with outside of the Pueblo Workforce Center. "I think they should do away with the parking meters especially for the people for the workforce center because we are unemployed," she added.
In addition to the workforce center, the Colorado Lottery and Pueblo Symphony are also located on that street.
We saw one driver pull up to a metered space, but then immediately back up and drive away. Another slowed down, but didn't stop when he noticed it was paid parking.
A lot of drivers may be doing a double take because the city doesn't charge for street parking anywhere else in Pueblo. "I've never seen any other meters in Pueblo now that I think about it," said Tiffany, a woman who works in the area.
"We put parking meters in that specific location at the request of some area businesses," said Pepper Whittlef, a city traffic engineer. The city installed ten parking meters. "We were having trouble with employees in the area using those spaces long term," said Whittlef.
Whittlef say the goal was to free-up more spaces for the public. "It's to open up space for them and specific to the workforce center--those meters are on the opposite side of the street," said Whittlef.
In 2010, the City of Pueblo collected $9,852.23 in revenue from the meters. The cost is 50 cents an hour. The meters accept nickels, dimes and quarters (But some people have tried to use pennies)
Whittlef says there are no plans to add more meters in Pueblo, unless businesses want them. "The city is willing to work with merchants on those requests," said Whittlef.