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No free parking in Hudson this month

Dec 09, 2020 6:00 am
Aliya Schneider is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media that Hudson will not allow free metered parking this month, contrary to past practice. Previously, the city made parking free every year during the month of December, with the exception of the Amtrak parking lot, in the spirit of the season and as a boost to local business. The decision to suspend the practice was made by Mayor Kamal Johnson; he declined comment to the newspaper following multiple attempts to reach him. The announcement came on Johnson's Facebook page, but the mayor failed to provide a reason for his decision. The announcement does not appear on the city website. “I feel that being most county residents know and expect the parking to be free in December, as it’s been for as long as anyone can remember, then the city administration should do everything in its power to inform the general public about the change this year,” said Scotty Allen, co-owner of 2HotTeeZ on upper Warren Street. Allen said he has spoken with locals who received tickets, thinking parking was free this month. “Not everybody goes online as there’s many senior citizens in our surrounding areas who are not computer savvy,” he said. “Some business owners have told us their long-time patrons are surprised to see the parking fees in effect this month, after getting used to not feeding the meter in December,” said Hudson Business Coalition spokesman Alexandre Petraglia. Parking meter charges and alternate side parking rules were suspended during the lockdown, from March 18 to June 1. Johnson waived late fees on all tickets written between Feb. 1 and June 1. Johnson declined to answer when asked why parking fees were suspended in the spring. He also declined to answer if the decision to suspend December free parking was related to a loss of meter revenue in the spring. In a Feb. 18 vote, city officials doubled meter prices from 25 cents per hour to 25 cents per half hour. Note: Johnson is a WGXC volunteer on-air programmer. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.