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No more parking meters for Ellicott City, Kittleman says

No more parking meters for Ellicott City, Kittleman says
Visitors to Ellicott City had to remember their parking space number so they could enter it into a payment kiosk. On April 2, Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman announced the town's parking meters would be discontinued, effective immediately. (Jen Rynda)

Time has run out for Ellicott City's parking meters.

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman announced Thursday that parking meters in the historic district would be discontinued immediately, a decision he said was made to promote economic growth for Main Street businesses.

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The meters have proven controversial among local merchants since they were installed in late 2012, under former County Executive Ken Ulman.

Kittleman said in February that he was considering removing the meters, which are actually electronic kiosks that require visitors to enter their parking spot number into the system and pay for a specified amount of time.

Thursday, the county executive said in a statement that the cons outweighed the pros for him. He said he had gathered community feedback through a series of walking tours, during which he talked to business owners and customers.

"I have heard complaints from business owners, residents and customers who have brought up issues regarding usability and dependability of the current meters and that they are driving away businesses," he said.

The affected meters are on Main Street, Maryland Avenue and in Parking Lot B. A county press release said the meters would be covered by bags, and new signs would be installed with the updated parking rules.

A two-hour parking limit will still be enforced for spaces on Main Street and Maryland Avenue, officials said. Until signs with the new rules are installed, however, violators will be issued a warning, rather than a ticket, according to county spokesman Andy Barth.

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