Parking Validation Options Expanding in West Downtown Dearborn

Planning some holiday shopping and dining? Here's a look at where to get a break on paid parking.

When heading to Dearborn for shopping, eating or services, visitors to the west downtown district will have a break when it comes to paid parking.

Following the guide of busniesses like Merchant's Fine Wine and Gentlemen First Barbershop—which already offered validation—several downtown locales have opted to offer validation to customers as well.

The Parking Commission decided at its Nov. 1 meeting that they needed to get more businesses involved in validation—especially as the holiday shopping season draws near.

"My philosophy has always been to validate," Merchant's owner John Lossia said. "Do whatever needs to be done jsut to bring customers back."

Here's a full list of businesses in west downtown Dearborn that validate parking slips from the district's paid parking lots:

  • Bistro 222
  • Cigaro Lounge
  • Double Olive
  • Gentlemen First Barbershop
  • Lulu By Design
  • Merchant's Fine Wine
  • Oakwood Muirhead Building
  • Steven Bernard Jewelers
  • Team Mental Health

To receive validation, customers need to present their parking slip at a participating business. Purchase is necessary to receive validation, and the amount of time validated varies by business.

There's currently no validation system for metered parking.

Margaret Schaefer November 19, 2012 at 02:27 PM
This is a great idea. Now we have to figure out how we can eat at one of the downtown West Dearborn restaurants without having to interrupt our dinners to go back out to the parking lot to feed the meters.
M. Imsosure November 19, 2012 at 02:32 PM
It's much easier to go to businesses with free parking. They are all over the area, just not in greedy West Dearborn.
Patrick Picking November 19, 2012 at 04:22 PM
I won't eat at any of the restaurants or shop at any of those stores because of the parking meters. I don't carry money, or change with me. I had to meet someone at Bailey's a couple of weeks ago, but I had to park 6 blocks away at Ford Field! Ridiculous!!
City of Dearborn (Editor) November 19, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Meters are next on the list of things to tackle, and the Parking Commission is exploring several options - like credit card-fed meters, or businesses giving out "tokens" for shoppers to put in the meters. For right now, ParkMobile is your best option. Sign up at parkmobile.com, get the app on your phone and you can pay by credit card. Or, if you don't have a smart phone, you can call and set up your parking payment that way. We'll keep everyone posted on new developments!
Marci November 19, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Jessica, Bistro 222 validates up to 2hours for dining with them, if you might add them to list:)
Marci November 19, 2012 at 11:01 PM
My experience of Dearborn's lack of community support is once again reflected in negativity toward businesses around paid parking. Dearborn residents voted for this on an election ballot. The businesses you are damning and refusing to support are mostly small downtown businesses who employ people in a difficult economy. Those Dearbornites who refuse to support businesses due to paid parking are refusing to support their community. For every problem there is a solution. Stop complaining and remember Dearborn voted for paid parking and have only themselves to blame for allowing it to get on the ballot and voting on favor. SUPPORT LOCAL!
Mary Jo Durivage November 20, 2012 at 12:18 AM
I still want the 1/2 hour free parking back to allow people to pick things up quickly. Even 15 minutes would help somewhat.
Carol November 20, 2012 at 01:32 AM
I believe it was the Dearborn City Council that voted for paid parking NOT the Dearborn voters! The voters need to remember this at election time!
City of Dearborn (Editor) November 20, 2012 at 02:19 AM
I certainly will, Marci! Thanks for sharing - great restaurant!
City of Dearborn (Editor) November 20, 2012 at 03:24 AM
To settle the debate about how west downtown paid parking came to be: It was approved by voters in 2006. Here's a look at the coverage in the Dearborn Press & Guide: http://www.pressandguide.com/shared-content/search/index.php?search=go&o=0&q=paid+parking&d1=11-05-2002&d2=11-19-2009&s=relevance&r=Subject%2CAuthor%2CContent&l=20
Valerie November 20, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Please don't play the "it was approved by voters" card without reporting the rest of the story. Paid parking was approved by voters in 2006 AFTER city officials had already made the plans, spent the money, and implemented the system. When paid parking was implemented MANY people revolted, a lot of them people who live out of town but work in Dearborn and *ate* lunch at Dearborn restaurants frequently (many of those folks now *eat* elsewhere; as crazy as it sounds, people would rather spend $2 on gas to drive to a restaurant with free parking than pay $1 to park). When it finally came up for a vote paid parking had already been in force for at least a year, and voters were given two options: increase property taxes to pay for the expensive parking improvements we never signed up for (and probably would NOT have signed up for if given a choice BEFOREHAND) - or - keep paid parking and let merchants deal with the decline of customer traffic. Ultimately, I think many voters felt their two choices looked like this: A) Raise my property taxes = I pay for people who (live and spend the bulk of their income out-of-town but) work in Dearborn to park for free when they go out for lunch B) Do not raise my property taxes, let everyone - including me - pay their own way I think a lot of residents resent the decision our leaders have forced on them and go out of their way to find places where they can park for free on principle alone.
mary ray November 20, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Don't forget! You never have to pay for parking at Campbell's Paint. We own our own lot!
Valerie November 20, 2012 at 10:53 PM
I *love* your store and whenever I have a project I buy from you!
Peder Blohm November 25, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Paid parking in West Dearborn, is not a question of a couple of dollars, it’s a psychological issue with most people. I go there, only if I have to, it’s the “pressure” of knowing that the meter is running. I rather drive somewhere else and don’t have the “pressure”. Look at the Newman area, with Goodwill and all other stores…That area is booming. Would that happen with paid parking? No way..!
Mary Jo Durivage November 25, 2012 at 02:51 PM
I heard a story yesterday about a 90 year old woman who visited Merchant's within the last two weeks. When it came time for her to leave the parking lot, she was unable to find her ticket. She did have her validation slip from Merchant's. The Republic employee made the woman pay $9.00 to get out. This woman is from Dearborn so this very negative experience will probably not stop her from supporting her local retail spots. But do you think somone from outside of Dearborn would come back? With that lousy customer service? Also, Jessica reported on a November 1st Parking Commission Meeting. This was not a regularly scheduled meeting. They are normally held once a quarter on the third Thursday of the month. At the October meeting, it was decided that another meeting needed to scheduled before the next regularly scheduled meeting in January. Several residents were there in atttendnace and were promised to receive notification of the special meeting via email. Did not happen. In 2013, meetings will be held bimonthly, on the third Thursday of the month, begining January 17, 2013. The meetings are held at 3 PM at the Bryant Library in the Chamber of Commerce Community Room. Meetings are of course open to residents. Don't forget to bring money for parking. :)
robert jones November 25, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Get rid of paid parking. Encourage people to shop dearborns free parking. Whats wrong with the counsel in this city?
bitsy08 November 25, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Two things. Did you know that young kids who work in the restaurants have to pay parking? They get a job at minimum wage and then have to pay the city parking. When I wrote an e-mail to the city expressing my outrage at this practice, I was told that if the employees were to get free parking, the owners of the restaurants they work for would have to pay it. How ludicrous is this? My last point. I'm surprised we didn't hear complaining from Mr. Fakhoury on this point. Oh. That's right. He doesn't have any viable businesses in Dearborn.
Rich November 25, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Let's remember another issue here no one's talking about. There is not enough (very small in fact) number of actual retail businesses in that area to entice people to come and do a lot of their shopping. People are not going to go somewhere, pay for parking, only to go to 1 (MAYBE 2) shops. The basic reason for this, being a former business owner in the area, and talking with a good number of other former owners, is the huge rent (+ extras) that 'his royal-ness HF' and other landlords charge. Everyone wants cute, unique small businesses there BUT they are not the kind in general that can afford those obnoxious rents. Until something gets them to change this area will NEVER return to the successful one it once was.
robert jones November 25, 2012 at 04:04 PM
The reason there are so few shops is that they know no one will come shop because of the paid parking.
Kathryn Maurin November 25, 2012 at 06:52 PM
How hard is it to go to a back once a month and get a few dollars and some change. All businesses do not accept debit/credit cards. When traveling in some states you could be arrested for vagrancy if you get pulled over and dont have a certain amount of cash on you. You didnt HAVE to park at Ford Field, you chose too.
Kathryn Maurin November 25, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Kathryn Maurin November 25, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Employees of these business should not have to pay. The city should have a sticker to put on their vehicles to identify employee cars. Schools and hospitals do this Dearborn could too.
West Dearborn Citizen November 25, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Shopped there this week and parked right at the back door for free!
Millie November 25, 2012 at 08:26 PM
I know our farmer market could have.lots more customers if parking were free.
S Warren November 25, 2012 at 08:37 PM
I agree with most of the comments here. The hassle of finding change for the meter and having to watch the time while you eat or shop, is more trouble than its worth, so I shop/eat elsewhere. One day I had to go to a business and pulled up to park on Garrison Street at Howard. The sign says $.50 for an hour. I put in 50 cents and received 40 minutes of time....they can't even get the signage correct. Another time I put money in and the parking meter THEN shows "out of order" on the display! So then I had to move my truck! Too much trouble for me to deal with!
City of Dearborn (Editor) November 26, 2012 at 12:20 AM
Thanks for sharing, Mary. You're right - the meeting was posted at City Hall, but I don't believe it could be found otherwise. I try to be at every meeting since I know parking is an important issue to residents.
M. Imsosure November 26, 2012 at 01:20 AM
The election was held years after the fact, under the threat of having to pay for the structures and the failed attendent style parking with a tax.. It was a city wide vote with east Dbn. not really giving a damn about paid parking in west Dearborn. Stop saying we voted for it.
Carol November 26, 2012 at 03:23 AM
Didn't the council implement the paid parking initially and only after citizen complaints they put it on the ballot? If my memory serves me correctly, the politicians spent some money campaigning and scaring voters to keep paid parking because the cost of the structures, etc. would then be put on the taxpayers rather then the users...
Suzanne Marie November 26, 2012 at 04:50 PM
I quit going to West Dearborn merchants many years ago when my friends and I met for lunch and one friend went over the two hour parking limit at the time, even though she had fed the meter for over three hours. My friend had to pay about $20.00 for a parking ticket. We appealed to the restaurant and mayor at the time but it was met with silence. The city administration's greediness is what killed the business there and put Dee's Hallmark out of business. You reap what you sow.
Darren November 26, 2012 at 04:55 PM
If you can find the ballot verbage from that 2006 vote, I'd like to see it. From what I remember, it passed 80% to 20% to keep the paid parking despite people's contempt for it. If I remember correctly, the ballot was worded so that that "yes" meant "no" and "no" meant yes. It was very confusing.


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