Nashvillians will have to wait another two weeks to learn how the Metro Council votes on a bill that would let drivers of environmentally friendly cars park free at downtown city meters.
The bill, sponsored by Councilman Jason Holleman, had been scheduled to go before the council on the second of three votes on Tuesday. But on Monday, the council’s Budget and Finance Committee deferred for the second time after several council members questioned the merits of the bill and asked for more information about what would be a two-year pilot program.
After its deferral, the council is set to revisit the bill on Dec. 7.
Mayor Karl Dean’s Green Ribbon Committee recommended implementing the green parking incentive in a report released more than a year ago.
Among the skeptics on Monday was At-large Councilman Charlie Tygard, who asked Metro Public Works Department officials to provide the council a list of cities that have implemented similar proposals, detailing the success, or lack thereof, at other municipalities.
Since the bill was filed earlier this year, other council members have derided the proposal as being “elitist.”
“We’ve really done all that we could to try to address any concerns that were raised by public works or other entities or agencies within the Metro government,” Holleman told his council colleagues on Monday. “If there really are questions or suggestions, please send them to us. We want to work through this process, but we also want to move on with the bill as well.”
Under Holleman’s plan, drivers of clean-technology passenger vehicles would be allowed to park free at any of Metro’s approximately 700 parking meters located within the central business district. Six percent of all Davidson County automobiles –– approximately 35,000 cars –– would be eligible.
To take advantage of the plan, Davidson County residents would be required to pay an annual $10 processing fee to the County Clerk’s Office to receive a sticker indicating that they are authorized to park their vehicles at no cost. The fee is designed to pay off expenses both the clerk’s office and public works accrue to implement the plan.
The Metro Traffic and Parking Commission by a 4-3 vote recommended approval of Holleman’s bill last week.