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Oxford parking revenue remains steady in July

Parking revenue continued to hold steady in July, according to figured released Friday by the Oxford Downtown Parking Advisory Commission.

City and parking officials had predicted paid parking revenue would fall during the summer months when the majority of University of Mississippi students weren’t in town. However, that prediction has proven wrong with revenues staying above or at yearly average earnings.

In July, the meters took in $51,914, down slightly from June’s revenue of $54,812 but slightly above the yearly average of $51,252. Paid parking has brought in $624,855 since its inception. After expenses have been paid, $424,247 remains. Those funds have been slated to be used for parking upgrades on the Square, which include a possible future parking garage.

Parking enforcement officers issued 849 tickets in July. Since paid parking was put in place in September 2014, officers have issued about 11,000 tickets, with most of those being for overtime parking. Revenue from tickets was about $5,000 in July and $71,000 has been collected year to date.

Parking garage

Commission chair Tom Sharpe said the parking garage committee met in July for the first time and began discussing several issues, concerns and suggestions on a list that the commission approved at a previous meeting.

“We just started going through some of those,” he said Friday at the regular commission meeting. “We don’t have much yet to report on, but we will be meeting again next week.”

Scooters

The commission also continued its discussion about motorcycle/scooter parking that was brought up last month when a local business man came to the commission to announce he was opening a new scooter sales and rental business that will target Ole Miss students. He felt with more and more adults choosing alternative transportation, like scooters, the city should consider finding a way to accommodate them in regards to parking so that several scooters aren’t taking up a whole space individually.

Parking Director Matt Davis said he and the Public Works Department did a preliminary study of the downtown parking and did not come up with an immediate plan as to where to create parking just for two-wheeled vehicles.

University Parking and Transportation Director Mike Harris said the university has created a “corral” for scooters and motorcycles.

“They have to purchase a permit to park in the blocked off area that has smaller parking slots designed so each vehicle has its own space,” he said at the meeting.

Davis said currently, most motorcyclists share a space and that’s allowed as long as all the bikes are inside the lines. However, if the parking meter runs out of money, every bike in the space gets a ticket.

Davis said he will wait and see what happens after school starts and see if there’s an influx of motorcycles or scooters on the Square at that time.