Parking Meters Return to Framingham, Massachusetts

Some business owners in Framingham, Massachusetts, are excited for parking meters to come back. But that's not the mentality of everyone in town.

For more than 70 years, Richard Panza has sold thousands of shoes with his personal touch and personality.

"I don't get angry," laughed Panza.

But after the parking meters went away, that all changed.

"If you open up your front door every day and the same car is there, morning to night, you say to yourself, 'Where's our customer going to park?'" Panza said.

Town Manager Robert Halpin says crews removed all the meters in downtown Framingham during an $11 million revitalizaton project that lasted nearly two years.

"We're in the wrap-up stages," he said.

But town leaders didn't budget enough for the new state-of-the-art meters.

"I think there should have been better advertising and communication of when the meters were coming," said Courtney Thraen, executive director at Downtown Renaissance Framingham.

Even though the town finally got the funds for the meters and they are finally being installed in August, Thraen says local businesses she represents lost money because many cars stayed in the same spaces all day, keeping some customers away from stores.

"I believe the businesses can recover from this," said Thraen.

As for the drivers losing out on free parking, Panza believes they'll be just fine, while visitors discover the new downtown Framingham.

"That's what we want to have," he said.

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