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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


Parking


    On motion the street commissioner was instructed to complete the hitching racks along the state road, near Dr. Adkins' property.

"City Fathers," Medford Mail, March 10, 1892, page 3


    The city council has had men at work this week putting in new hitching racks on South A Street, at which place there will be a watering trough put in. There will also be new racks put in at other places about the city--all of which are needed, but the watering trough most of all.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, June 15, 1900, page 7


    The city council's attention is called to the necessity for more hitching racks, which is almost daily manifest. It is quite true that a difficult problem confronts the council in finding sufficient and suitable locations for these hitching racks, but there surely is no excuse for not keeping those now located in repair. On Eighth Street, between C and D, there is nothing but posts to tie to and only a few of them, where there is supposed to be posts and racks across the entire block.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, September 7, 1900, page 7


    Street Commissioner Hooker has done a good bit of work this week in putting up several substantial hitching racks. The corner of South D and Eighth streets has been well decorated with these necessities--and they are substantial--good for several years. There is more of this kind of good work needed in the city, and if Mr. Hooker will get in and push a few of these odd jobs to a finish, a grateful public will never stop throwing bouquets in his direction.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, October 5, 1900, page 7


    Farmers who trade in Medford are complaining that there are not enough hitching racks for them to tie their horses to. The city council has always endeavored to keep abreast of the demand in this matter, but it ofttimes occurs that other improvements have interfered with those racks already provided, and then again the trade of the city has made such great strides and the farmers have congregated here in such numbers as to make the matter of providing accommodations for them almost an impossibility. However, we have been given to understand that every effort will be put forth to provide these necessities for our farmer patrons.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, October 3, 1902, page 7


    The farmers of the surrounding country have been making numerous complaints of late concerning the scarcity of hitching racks in this city, and it appears that it was time something was done to relieve the situation. Every hitching place in town is filled at almost any hour in the day, and most of the time they are overcrowded, making accidents of a serious nature very likely to happen. Fortunately no accident has yet occurred, but the possibility is there, and a little money expended in additional hitching racks would remove the likelihood of half a dozen teams running away someday at one time with portions of city property of that kind attached to them.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, November 28, 1902, page 7


    There is a dearth of hitching racks in Medford, and there is scarcely a day but that farmers are compelled to drive to some place in the outskirts of the city to find places where they may tie their teams. Should the city councilmen decide to at any time in the future dispose of the electric light and pumping plant, that portion of the ground which is now used as a wood yard should be reserved and made use of as a hitching and feed yard. This piece of ground could be used for that purpose, even though the plant was not sold, just as soon as Dr. Ray is prepared to furnish power for pumping water and the necessity for using it for storing wood is removed.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, February 17, 1905, page 5


     W. W. Taylor: "Your Medford city council is all right, and in all probability they are doing all they can to keep up with the many growing demands of the city. There is one thing, however, which we farmers notice and which sometimes works a hardship, and that is the shortage of hitching racks. Now, hold on there; I don't want you to say that I am kicking, because I am not. I am only offering a suggestion upon the line of more hitching racks. There were, perhaps, quite enough of these racks to accommodate the demand a year ago, but there are more of us now. The farmers are becoming more plentiful all the time--just like you town people. Look at that jam of farmers' teams down the street there. Where you do you suppose they will all find places to tie?"
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, January 4, 1907, page 5


    The hitching rack problem is one of those constantly recurring questions that are never satisfactorily solved, and yet must be handled in some way in a community constituted as ours is. It became necessary some time ago to prohibit the hitching of horses upon the main business streets, owing to the constantly increasing danger of runaways. This has worked as an inconvenience to many people from outside of town, who are obliged to tie up their teams at a distance and after their trading is done drive after the goods. The two or three hitching places near the business part of the city are always crowded and the need for more room is evident. If convenient places could be found for the building of hitching racks, where the objectionable features attending such places would not discommode any one it would be a good thing for the city council to have them built, for the convenience of out of town patrons of our merchants.
“City Happenings,” Medford Mail, July 19, 1907, page 5


    HITCHING RACKS ARE WANTED
WILLIAM HOWARD SAYS TRADE IS NOT APPRECIATED.
No Place on West Side to Tie Horses from Country--
Drives Trade to Other Towns.
    "I have traded in Medford for twenty-six years," said William Howard, who has a ranch southwest of the city yesterday at the Sun office, "and I am not threatening to quit now, but when the city refuses to furnish hitching racks on the west side it makes a fellow feel like quitting and going to Jacksonville or Phoenix.
    "The only place in Medford where horses may be hitched is at a mud hole away down on the east side. We ranchers who live on the west side may not wish to cross the track, and we think that if the business people of Medford appreciate our trade they should influence the council to provide racks where they will be convenient for us."
    Mr. Howard once spoke to councilman Wortman and was told that farm teams when driven to town should be put in the livery stables.
    "Suppose we come to town for only ten or fifteen minutes or an hour," said Mr. Howard, "we do not care to put our horses in stables, but if it is only for a minute it is necessary for them to be tied."

Medford Sun, February 15, 1911, page 1


MOVING WAGONS WILL BE MOVED
Ladies of Greater Medford Club to Call on Mayor--
Rosenbaum Says He Will Act If Mayor Requests Him to Do So.
    The dray and expressmen of the city must find some other section of the city for their stamping ground aside from the railroad property in the heart of the city. The ladies have said it.
    The Greater Medford Club at a recent meeting appointed a committee to see what could be done in the matter. In the heart of the city, directly in front of one of the principal hotels, the drays and express wagons congregate daily. It is their "central office," their "stand." 'Tis an eyesore to the boosters for a city beautiful, so the ladies got busy.
    They descended in a body upon agent A. S. Rosenbaum and demanded that the expressmen move. Mr. Rosenbaum is a most accommodating sort of a fellow. Certainly he would have them vacate if the mayor said so.
    Now the committee is to call on the mayor and ask him to ask Mr. Rosenbaum to ask the draymen to ask their horses to hunt a new stamping ground. As mere man can't withstand the onslaught of the ladies--especially when their cause is as just as this--the mayor will probably ask Mr. Rosenbaum to ask the draymen to ask the draymen to ask their horses to move.
    They'll move.
    The ladies have spoken.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 8, 1911, page 2


HITCHING RACKS
    What has become of the hitching rack proposition that was alleged to have been settled to the satisfaction of all hands?
    Medford, a city of 11,000, surrounded by hundreds of farms and thousands of farmers, all of the people of the richest valley in the West being supposed to come here to do their trading, has no place on the west side of the railway tracks for farmers to tie their horses and the same as no place on the east side.
    It looks like there was no desire for the country trade, but that surely is a mistake, for the merchants are bending every energy for it and even are using printer's ink to land it.
    Central Point, on the other hand, has hitching racks galore. It has them convenient to the stores, and the farmers are treated royally. It has a cement watering trough for horses and everything in modern style. It is a model.
    Is Medford going to stand by and see the country trade go to the smaller towns of the valley, getting no share of it herself?
Medford Sun, April 19, 1911, page 2


HITCHING RACKS ARE PROVIDED
H. C. Kentner with Cooperation of Other Business Men
Provide Place for Hitching Teams in City--Is Free to All.
    The much talked-of free public hitching racks are now installed on the premises of the Natatorium Amusement Company. The improvement was brought about by the efforts of H. C. Kentner, who personally conducted the whole affair, and with the cooperation of the progressive spirits of the Medford business and professional men, together with the Natatorium company, a hitching place with gravel drive is now open to any who wish to use it. They accommodate 100 teams and should the occasion require they will be enlarged to accommodate more.
    The Natatorium company have agreed to allow free use of their building for waiting rooms, and there are facilities there for checking parcels, wraps, etc.
    The municipality has also borne a hand in this improvement by agreeing to furnish lights.
    For those who might not know the location, they are situated on Riverside Avenue, and there are entrances next to the Natatorium and Sparta buildings.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 6, 1911, page 2


    The Natatorium has placed a bar on the use of the hitching racks near the building, tacking up a notice to this effect Monday. It is claimed that owners of teams, despite all barriers, have driven across the tennis court, and dragged off a $25 logging chain to boot.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, November 11, 1913, page 2


    The city council is trying to make a deal with the Natatorium to allow the continued use of the hitching ground recently closed.
"Local and Personal," Medford Sun, November 16, 1913, page 4


DOUBLE PARKING EVIL CONDEMNED
    Medford shoppers who leave their cars double-parked on busy streets while they go on extended shopping tours are doing so at the risk of arrests, action being taken by the police department indicates.
    Police point out that a city law requires all cars to be parked within 12 inches of the curb, and that double parking is directly in violation of this ruling. A double-parked car struck by one in motion would be responsible for damage to both machines, declare the officers.
    Many complaints are received daily from motorists who cannot leave the curb because other cars are parked beside them.
    Agitation among motorists for shorter parking limits on busy locations has arisen as the result of the police action. Many feel that hour parking is too long on busy streets during shopping hours, and agitation for a 10- or 15-minute limit is becoming strong. Stricter enforcement of the hour-parking ordinance is also being urged.
    Double parking is held by many to be a necessary evil, but police declare that leaving a car parked double for an extended length of time will not be tolerated.
Jackson County News, September 10, 1926, page 8



RANDOM PARKING CAUSES TROUBLE
    That an active campaign will be waged to make Medford motorists park their cars within the red lines which designate parking strips on the city streets was the statement yesterday of Chief of Police Adams.
    "The parking strips are painted on the pavement to permit a maximum number of cars parking in one block," declared Chief Adams. "When drivers pay no attention to the lines, and park their cars uneven distances apart, it is impossible to get the maximum number of cars parked in one block. Medford's traffic situation is already so bad that parking space on Main and Central streets is at a premium, and many drivers are resorting to double parking. If drivers would park within the traffic lines, it would do much to relieve the situation."
    Police, said Adams, will in the future insist that cars be parked inside the parking spaces, and not at random at the curb.
Jackson County News, September 24, 1926, page 5


AUTO PARKING AT NIGHT TABOOED
    Determined to clear the city streets of parked cars after one o'clock in the morning, chief of police McCredie announced this morning that the owner of every car found on a street between the hours of one and five a.m. would be subject to arrest. The orders were given in view of the fact that the new city street sweeper would be severely handicapped by cars parked in the path of duty.
    Automobiles found by city employees will be taken away and placed in some storage garage. It will then be necessary for owners to pay the storage bill and also undergo the embarrassment of arrest.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 11, 1927, page 2


    No mercy may be expected by any violator of the city parking law, the city traffic department indicated today. Every motorist found leaving his car double parked without a driver in the machine will be arrested and taken before the police court and assessed a fine. Numerous complaints have [been] brought to the attention of the police department regarding the double parking situation, which handicaps traffic when congested.
"Brevities," Medford Mail Tribune, August 5, 1927, page 3


    During the past week parking lines in the business section have been given new coats of yellow paint, showing plainly where machines can be parked in the one-hour restriction area on Main and adjoining streets. New paint is applied at regular intervals.

"Local and Personal,"
Medford Mail Tribune, August 13, 1927, page 2


    Something new in the local business world will be introduced by the Monarch Feed and Seed Company in the construction of new quarters on South Riverside Avenue, ready for occupancy July 1. Parking space for customers will be furnished on ground immediately adjoining the new store, allowing them to fill their needs at the store, park their cars and do other shopping uptown. There will be so much space available, it is not probable a time limit will be set.
    While the free parking idea has been in use in Medford, this will be the first time parking space will be provided on ground immediately next to the business establishment.
    The need for new quarters was hastened by the traffic congestion which has become one of Medford's big problems. It often made it impossible for customers to purchase goods because of inability to drive to the store to load up supplies.
"Monarch Feed To Erect New Highway Store," Medford Mail Tribune, March 12, 1929


    Because of many complaints for a long time past that farmers and others having business at the public market are unable to drive in beside the market or park directly in front of it to load or unload produce, without being parties to double parking in that vicinity, the city council last night voted unanimously to not renew the lease of a local automobile concern, which has rented the 50-foot space south of the market for storage of second-hand cars for sale.
"Provide Parking Space Near City Market Building," Medford Mail Tribune, March 27, 1929, page 5


PARKING LIMITS ARE NOW DEFINED
    From now on, Medford and out-of-town motorists must pay stricter attention to overtime parking in the business district, as new signs, expected for several months, were placed in position last night and today proclaimed that the one-hour parking ruling has been extended to 6 o'clock, from the old time of 8 to 5.
    The signs were placed on Central Avenue from Fifth Street to Ninth, on Main Street from Bear Creek bridge to Holly Street and on Sixth Street from Riverside to Front. They were also placed on all streets one block each side of Main between the bridge and Holly. The city traffic officers will probably begin a vigorous checking of all cars in these sections beginning tomorrow.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 13, 1929, page 6


LIMIT PARKING AT POST OFFICE TO AID PATRONS
City Council Acts To Curb Thoughtless--
Courtesy Mail Box Often Blocked, Is Complaint.
    To keep the space in front of the federal building clear for the benefit of the patrons of the post office, and to prevent thoughtless people from parking there with their cars for long periods, the city council last night unanimously voted to include the space in front of the building and its yard on Sixth Street, in the loading zone, which means that a car can be parked there only long enough for a person to enter and transact his business at the post office. The police department will enforce this rule.
    Also the council voted to instruct the city traffic department to repaint the yellow markings surrounding the courtesy mailing box on the curb in front of the post office, prohibiting parking inside that enclosure, so as to keep that space open for post office patrons to drive up beside the box and mail their letters and packages without getting out of the car.
    The front of the street often being blocked with parked cars for long periods, both during the daytime and at night, was brought to the council's attention last night by Postmaster Warner, because the post office has received so many complaints from patrons who, on driving up to the post office to get their mail, or else look after some other brief postal matter, have often found the post office front space taken up with parked cars whose owners have left them for an indefinite period while about the city elsewhere.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 17, 1930, page 1



To the Editor:
    The other day I came in to town to do some shopping, but almost gave it up as it was practically impossible for me to find a place to park my car. Finally I did find a place about six blocks from downtown and had to carry my purchases that distance to my car.
    I was informed by a party whom I talked to that about 75 percent of the cars standing in front of places of business belonged to owners and employees. Wouldn't it be a good idea to ask these car owners to park their cars off the business district--at least during the holiday season--so some of us out-of-town folks can find a place to park our cars and incidentally spend a few dollars in Medford?
A RURALITE       
Medford Mail Tribune, December 18, 1935, page 2


POLICE CHIEF FEARS THE FURY OF FAIR DRIVERS
    Double parkers, and persons who leave their cars parked on "one hour parking limit" streets, are going to be jacked up, the city council decided Tuesday night. Tickets will be handed out readily for both offenses, and fines collected.
    Councilman W. W. Allen said that on his entire trip last winter, he found no city where double parking was so customary as in Medford, and that it ought to stop.
    Mayor Porter declared that in some places, a wrecker is called and the overtime parked car hauled to a storage garage, where the owner must pay towing charges and storage. He suggested Medford try it.
    "It's just what some of these young fellows need to wake them up," mayor Porter said.
    "Young fellows nothing," chief of police McCredie replied. "What you'd get is a batch of women drivers; they're the worst, and boy, how they'd jump down your neck."
Medford News, April 23, 1937, page 1



Congestion Will Be Relieved in Downtown Area
    Development of the vacant lot between the Southern Pacific tracks and the Valley Fuel Company, running from Main and Sixth streets, into a free parking lot for Medford was completed this week through combined efforts of the Chamber of Commerce and the City of Medford.
    The lot has been graded and leveled, and granite shavings have been hauled in for surfacing. Curbs have been knocked down on Sixth and will be on Main, to give entrance to the lot. Posts will be set along the tracks to keep anyone from parking on Southern Pacific tracks.
    Hope of solving the parking problem in Medford has brought about the move, according to Glenn L. Jackson, president of the Chamber of Commerce. Employers will be urged to have their employees park cars in the lot, leaving streets open for shoppers and others on business. The general public, too, can use the lot. Parking will be unrestricted.
    Most of the work has been done under auspices of the National Youth Administration, except for what heavy machinery was needed. Cost of the new parking lot will be practically nil, Jackson said.
    "Our parking problem has been a constant source of irritation," Jackson said, "and parking meters are not usually satisfactory in a city the size of Medford. This parking lot will be large enough to relieve the congestion, and is centrally located so people can shop any part of Medford from the lot, so if business people won't use it, the shoppers sure will," he said.
    Foster and Kleiser company have agreed to move its sign [i.e., billboard], which is now in the way. The sign will be moved the first of the month, under present plans.
Medford News, October 13, 1939, page 1



PARKING METERS
To the Editor:
    Farmers and ranchers are discussing the installation of parking meters in Medford.
    For years Medford merchants have depended to a great extent upon the support of the farmers and ranchers. They in turn have done their bit toward helping Medford grow.
    Every day there are some farmers in town. Saturday finds ninety percent of the folks of the rural districts in town. They come to buy, sell and trade.
    Mom has a list of things she must buy that is as long as a well rope. Dad needs supplies. Local merchants know most of these folks by name. They have been steady customers for years.
    Farmers aren't dumb. There are other reasons why they are farmers. The realize this expected heavy influx of workers [building Camp White] is going to create a terrific traffic problem. But they also know they can trade in stores outside the city limits or in neighboring towns which are approximately the same distances from their various farms as Medford, and prices are approximately the same. Clothing, household goods, even farm machinery can be purchased from the mail order catalog. Why should they come to Medford and pay for the privilege of spending their money? Why shop around for an hour to save a nickel (and farmers are counting their nickels these days), and drop it in a gadget that doesn't even play "When the Work's All Done this Fall"?
    Of course there could be an identifying sticker for the farmer's car, or a special downtown parking space could be set aside for their Saturday use.
    It is not going to take forever to build this cantonment. And cantonment workers move in. Soldiers don't own cars, nor do they buy furniture, groceries or clothing.
    But there is a bright side to the picture. This war may go on and on, the cars on Medford streets may be very few, and then the parking meters will make darn good hitching posts for Dobbin and the "Old Gray Mare."
B. M. RIPPEY
Upper Applegate
Medford News, February 20, 1942, page 4


Council Delays Parking Meters
    Action on installation of parking meters in Medford was deferred for 30 days when the city council met this week to determine the type of meter it would install.
    At the present time the council favors the Miller parking meter, if and when the meters are installed. The council decided to wait 30 days before taking any final action on the matters, to see how the tire and gas and automobile rationing would affect traffic.
    Councilmen Collins and Frey, and mayor Deuel, were cool to the subject of meters, and the majority of the council, which favored meters, decided to wait the 30 days in deference to the minority of the council.
Medford News, March 13, 1942, page 1


Parking Meters Again
    We don't like the idea of Medford city council deciding to put in parking meters. We did not like it a few years ago, when the plan was discussed and dropped. We do not like it now. And furthermore we do not like the rather quiet manner in which the present deal was handled.
    Several weeks ago the chamber of commerce was asked to make a "survey" of the opinion of businessmen in Medford as to whether or not they liked parking meters.
    John Moffat made the survey by telephone, and out of a list of 70 downtown businessmen, he was able to contact 61 of them.
    Out of the 61 contacted, 31 favored the parking meters and 30 opposed them. The margin, as you can see, was about as small as it could be.
    The general public, that is, the housewife who does the shopping, the farmers, the suburban residents, none of them were asked about the parking meters. They were not given a chance to voice their opinions.
    We do not know, of course, but we are mightily certain that a vast majority of the people who have to drive downtown on business, who have to drive downtown to buy things, and the farmers who come to town for their shopping and business, will not like the parking meters. We have talked to a lot of farmers about it, and to a lot of people who live in neighboring cities, like Central Point and Gold Hill, and Jacksonville and Eagle Point, and they do not like the idea of having to pay for the privilege of coming to Medford to do their buying. They say, and say flatly, that they'll do it where they aren't bothered with having to pay for the privilege of leaving their cars while they spend their money.
    The city council, we believe, is hasty in deciding to install the parking meters without giving the matter a more complete public airing. There are apt to be kickbacks that are serious to a lot of Medford businessmen, particularly food merchants. And it is obvious why. It is also obvious why other kinds of merchants won't be hurt, because there are no alternative buying places outside the parking meter zones.
    Parking meters, actually, are a tax on the public. Some councilmen say, "Well, they don't cost anything. They pay for themselves. The city isn't out anything." There never was such evasive tommyrot. Somebody pays for them, and pays plenty. And it is the public.
    Sure. The parking meters will solve the parking problem. But it is an expensive way to solve it, and it is a dangerous way.
    We don't like it.
Medford News, September 28, 1945, page 4


Parking Meters in Two Months Is Expectation
    Installation of the first of the parking meters in Medford is expected to begin with two months, city officials declare, the meters having been ordered and the contract signed several weeks ago.
    A total of 472 meters were ordered, and they will be placed on Main Street from Grape to Riverside, on Riverside from 8th to 6th, on Central from 4th to 9th, and some on Grape and some on Fir. Present plans call for no parking meters on Front Street.
    Present plans also call for the installation of 12-minute meters in front of the state liquor store, in front of the Medford Center building, and in front of the banks. Other meters will be either for one hour or two hours, with the meters so made that the car driver can insert a penny if he wishes for 12 minutes, two pennies for 24 minutes, or five pennies or a nickel for the hour. Two-hour meters will take two nickels, or a combination of nickels and pennies to make the dime.
    Installation of the meters will be paid for out of first receipts from the meters, and after the installation is paid for, the meter company and the city will split receipts on a 50-50 basis until they are paid for.
    The city council, in deciding to install the parking meters, voted 7-1 in favor of the idea, councilman James Collins being the only member opposed to the parking meters.
    The Traffic Safety Committee, composed of Larry Schade, Tom Bradley and Frank Runtz, brought to a special council meeting a "do pass" report on the parking meter contract, and at a meeting specifically called to act on the issuance of city bonds the parking meter ordinance was adopted and the contract signed.
    A survey of Medford businessmen reveals that some are strongly in favor of the meters, some strongly opposed and others indifferent.
    City engineer Frank Rogers said that he did not believe installation could begin before 45 days, perhaps longer.
Medford News, October 19, 1945, page 1


Parking Meters To Work Monday
    The ordinance covering operations of the parking meters, now being installed in Medford, provides that their operation becomes effective Monday, February 25, Frank Rogers, city superintendent, announced this week.
    Most of the meters are for one hour, but some provide two-hour parking.
    Five cents put into the meter provides an hour parking, and one cent provides 12 minutes.
    Violations cost the motorist 50 cents, if paid promptly, or a dollar if not paid promptly.
Medford News, February 22, 1946, page 1


Parking Meters Net $100 Day
    Nearly $100 a day are going into Medford's parking meters, chief of police Clatous McCredie said this week.
    On Tuesday of this week, the 100,000th penny was counted at the city hall, where the city has a penny counting device to save time. The nickels aren't so hard to count, as there aren't so many of them.
    Money from the parking meters will go partly for the meters, and partly to the city for street funds. After the meters are paid for, the city is supposed to get it all.
    The meters are not operative on Sundays or general holidays, or before 9 o'clock in the morning or after 6 o'clock in the evening.
Medford News, March 22, 1946, page 1


ARCADE PARKING LOT ESTABLISHED
    The Arcade Parking Lot was opened yesterday by William H. Fluhrer and H. S. Deuel on property between Main and Sixth streets just west of the Southern Pacific tracks.
    A free parking lot for many years, the area was recently graded and paved. Further modernization of the strip will be accomplished, according to Deuel, who said the two men plan to build an attractive fence around the area and install an auto washing rack.
    Charge for parking will be determined by the number of hours parked between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. No fee will be collected for evening parking. Entrance and exit to the area is on Main Street.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 23, 1946, page 5


    Most of Oregon's cities are engaged in a million-dollar-a-year slot machine business.
    These machines, however, are not for gambling. They are parking meters. You take a chance when you don't feed them.
    Portland meters yield an average of $11.73 cents a month each. In Eugene the take averages $7.37 a month. Other average monthly collections per machine include Albany, $7.50; Coos Bay, $7.39; Medford, $7.37; Astoria, $6.58; North Bend, $6.46; and Salem, $6.16.
"Medford Parking Meters Average $7.37 Monthly," Medford Mail Tribune, August 12, 1948, page 4


Parking Lot in Espee Area Said Possible
    Possible conversion of Southern Pacific property between Main and Sixth streets to a parking lot was discussed Tuesday evening at the Medford city council meeting.
    The plan, long entertained and actively supported by the Retail Merchants Association as a convenience to both rural and urban trade, was outlined briefly by A. R. "Tony" Manno to the council. Southern Pacific company is reportedly favorable to the project.
    The parking lot, under the proposed plan, would be city operated, with parking meters installed. Its management would not be subject to a commercial firm.
Three Rows
    Manno and others of the retail merchants group have measured the area and estimate it would accommodate three lines of diagonally parked cars extending between the two streets. Entrance to the lot would be from Sixth Street, with exit on Front Street.
    Manno pointed out that the central location would permit access to the downtown shopping district and go far toward relieving problems faced by those who must depend on automobiles for shopping excursions.
    The council expressed unanimous favor for the plan and referred it to committee for further consultation with railroad officials.
Medford News, April 19, 1951, page 1


Parking Meter Hours Extended
    Parking meters in Medford will be "open for business" an additional hour each day after June 30, the city council decided Tuesday evening. Effective July 1, meter hours will be from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Present hours are from nine to five.
    The change was decided upon not as a revenue-raising measure but to coincide with business hours of most merchants and thus extend a convenience to shoppers who have been finding it difficult to find parking space during early morning and late afternoon.
Medford News, May 3, 1951, page 1


Merchants Ask Two-Hour Limit on Parking in Metered Areas
    A request for a two-hour limit on all Medford meter parking was made last night to the city council by members of the city's Retail Merchants Association.
    Reason given for the request was "stricter protection" of meter use, according to Fred Robinson, association speaker. A. R. (Tony) Manno seconded Robinson's statements, and added that a survey disclosed that "57 merchants were parking outside their businesses all day long." He reported that they would drop another nickel in the meters as the time elapsed, thus freezing the parking place for shopping use.
    Manno added that the two-hour limit would give a much faster flow of use.
    The association delegate also reported that they were against the raising of the present meter violation fine of 50 cents to $1, on the basis that it was too high. They pointed out that with a two-hour limit, a person would receive four traffic tickets in an eight-hour day, instead of the present one.
    The group also recommended a two-hour "tolerance zone" beyond the meter area in the so-called "fringe area."
Excerpt, Medford Mail Tribune, March 4, 1953, page 1


Parking Problem Community-Wide
    The problem of off-street parking in Medford is one for the whole community, rather than for the downtown area alone, the board of directors of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce concluded last week.
    A member of the board reported Saturday that at a Friday noon board meeting the directors voted to recognize the problem as such, and to make off-street parking a project of the chamber as a whole, rather than that of the Retail Merchants Association of the chamber.
    A committee representative of interests other than downtown retailers will be appointed to work on the problem, with the city council, the board member reported. Membership will be announced this week.
    The Retail Merchants Association has been engaged in discussions with the council regarding the problem for some time. Basis of the difficulty is the growing traffic in Medford and the lack of both metered and off-street parking space.
    Several proposals have been made to alleviate this crowded condition, including the city's operation of parking lots, either directly or through a parking commission.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 19, 1953, page 1

Medford Mail Tribune, May 17, 1953, page B6
Medford Mail Tribune, May 17, 1953, page B6

Parking 1953-5-31MMT
Medford Mail Tribune, May 31, 1953

$600,000 FUND RECOMMENDED
FOR OFF-STREET PARKING PLAN
Committee Advises Assessments, Meter Income As Basis--
Study Promised by Mayor Miller
    Creation of a $600,000 fund to provide off-street parking facilities to downtown Medford over a 10-year period was recommended by the city council at its meeting last night.
    A special committee submitted a report containing the recommendations after several months of study. Mayor Earl Miller told committee members that the council would give the report every consideration in continuing its studies of off-street parking problems.
Would Set Up Districts
    The proposed program would establish "property assessment districts," the report stated, which would finance half the total goal. The other $300,000 would be supplied by on-street parking meter revenue at the rate of $30,000 a year for a 10-year period.
    Assessments would be "on a property benefit basis sliding scale," the report stated. The immediate downtown area, or that property most benefited by off-street parking, would raise 50 percent of the district's share, or $150,000 over a 10-year period.
    Other property within the district would be asked to contribute 35 percent and 15 percent, according to the degree of benefit from off-street parking.
Over 10-Year Period
    John G. Crawford, chairman of the six-man committee, pointed out that members "have chosen a figure which is a 10-year plan," and that "recommendations on off-street parking should help solve the problem over a period of 10 years."
    The area included in the proposed property assessment district would be bounded by Bear Creek on the east, 10th St. on the south, Oakdale Ave. on the west and Jackson St. on the north.
    The committee also recommended that the present "business license" ordinance be on a more equitable basis to bring in funds to offset meter revenues used for parking purposes.
    Crawford said the recommendations were made "after careful study and consideration," and that Norman Kennedy, associate engineer at the University of California, and Ralph Kadderly of Kadderly-Morton, Inc. of Portland, tentative approved sites.
    Other members of the committee were D. L. Flynn, Dwight Houghton, John Snider, Tony Manno and Otto Ewaldsen. Three members were appointed by mayor Miller and three were from the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 20, 1955, page 1



Council Discusses Off-Street Parking
    Medford businessmen told the city council last night they generally agreed that municipally owned off-street parking facilities are needed in the downtown business district.
    An off-street parking plan presented by councilman Don Hansen proposed that parking facilities would serve a 12-block area in the Medford business district. The program would provide 170 parking spaces with meters, and would require an expenditure of about $250,000.
14 Owners Present
    Hansen's proposal called for property owners in the area benefited to eventually pay for the project. Fourteen property owners were present at the hearing, and others sent letters expressing their feeling on the subject.
    A second proposal which would distribute cost between parking lot users, merchants and property owners was outlined by Otto Ewaldsen, Chamber of Commerce president.
    Ewaldsen and others present objected to Hansen's program on the basis that it would not be fair to property owners.
Only Starting Point
    Hansen stressed that the program was only a starting point to enable the council to consider the reaction of merchants and property owners. He suggested that a special meeting be called of the council as a committee to further consider the problem.
    The plan outlined by Hansen provided that the cost be divided between property owners on a basis of assessed value, front footage, area and distance from the parking lots.
    On this basis, in examples cited, the total cost, which would be paid in 10 annual installments, would be about $5,000 to the Allen Hotel building, $1,100 to Yellow Cab, $8,400 to the J. C. Penney building, $2,400 to the Wing building, and $9,500 to the Medical Center building.
Not Extensive Enough
    There was some objection to the plan on the basis that it was not extensive enough. Hansen said the proposed program would take care of immediate parking needs and perhaps half the need for the next 10 years.
    Ewaldsen told the group that the Chamber of Commerce has done extensive research on the off-street parking program during the past four years and concluded the only successful plan must not place the cost burden on one group.
    He said that users of the lot should pay through parking meter fees, merchants should contribute through equitably increased business license fees, and property owners through pro-rated assessments in the area benefited.
    Considerable thought has been given, Hansen said, to increasing the cost of business licenses as a means of distributing the expense among the merchants. Revenue from parking meters must legally go into the city general fund, he said.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 18, 1956, page 1


City Officials Defend Proposed Off-Street Parking Program
    City officials discussed and defended the city's proposed off-street parking plan this morning, at a meeting of the committee on government operations of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce.
    On hand to participate were councilman Fred Robinson, city manager Robert Duff and Tony Manno, a member of the citizens budget committee and longtime leader in the effort to obtain off-street parking.
Different Proposal
    Manno declared that the proposal this year is totally unlike the one defeated by Medford voters last November. There is no general tax feature to the plan this time, he pointed out. And he said most of those close to the situation are convinced the earlier plan was defeated because of the general obligation bond feature, which made voters fearful of the possibility of increased property taxes.
    Manno said the budget committee and council have gone back to the original purpose of parking meters--providing more parking space and a more rapid turnover--and have allocated parking meter revenues to the purpose for which it was first intended, more parking space.
Meter Revenues
    In the 1957-58 city budget, a fund of $50,000 for acquisition and operation of off-street parking spaces is allocated. Of this amount, $35,000 comes from present parking meter revenue, and the other $15,000 from increases in meter revenue created by the recent change of some of the meters and the extension of parking meter hours.
    Manno and Robinson declared that it is "right" to use parking meter revenue for parking purposes, and added that the benefits do not accrue solely to the downtown area, but will be helpful to the entire community.
    The business license fee revision is expected to bring in some $35,000 additional to the city during the coming year, and while it will in effect "offset" the expenditure of parking meter revenues for off-street parking, this is incidental to the purpose of the revision, Robinson said.
    Manno, in discussing the use of meter funds for parking, declared that ex-mayor Hob Deuel, who was in office when meters were first installed, says the city would have dedicated all meter revenue to expansion of parking facilities then, if it had been known how tremendously traffic and the demand for parking space would increase.
    Duff reported that the city now working out the final details of the business tax schedule revision, and that it will be presented soon to the council.
Parking Districts
    He also discussed the measure passed by the recent legislature, which permits cities to form parking districts and to issue revenue bonds, backed by the parking facilities themselves and the assets of parking districts. While such action is not foreseen in the immediate future here, he said it may well be used later, and would fit into the parking plan as worked out by the council and budget committee.
Excerpt, Medford Mail Tribune, July 1, 1957, page 12

Medford Mail Tribune, February 2, 1958
Medford Mail Tribune, February 2, 1958

    The most noticeable trend is the almost mass movement of Medford's doctors and dentists to the new medical buildings which have been built and are being built along East Main St. When the buildings now under construction are finished, more than 50 of the city's physicians and dentists will occupy the various one-story office buildings in the area.
    One reason for the movement is Medford's downtown parking problem, according to some sources. It is more convenient to park in the specially built parking lots adjacent to the new office buildings than it is to drive around the block several times looking for an available parking place downtown. In addition, a medical or dental patient doesn't have to worry about "feeding the meter" while in the midst of treatment.

"Medford's Downtown Area Extends into East Side," Medford Mail Tribune, September 29, 1957, page 12
Medford Mail Tribune, December 7, 1958
South Front parking lot, August 15, 1958 Rogue River Times, page 20
South Front parking lot, August 15, 1958 Rogue River Times, page 20

Parking Service to Be Available
    Parking service, provided by the Medford Junior Chamber of Commerce, will be available between 5 and 9 p.m. tomorrow in downtown Medford.
    The Jaycees started the automobile parking service Monday, and will continue the service each Monday and Thursday nights and Saturday afternoons until Christmas, Gary Shuler, general chairman of the project, said.
    Shoppers may leave their car at one of two stations, and Jaycee members will drive it to a parking lot and return it upon presentation of a ticket, Shuler said.
    The Jaycees hope to eliminate much of the traffic problem and at the same time help Jaycee funds used to finance other Christmas programs.
    The downtown stations are in front of the U.S. National Bank of Portland and at the parking lot of the Medford branch of the First National Bank of Oregon.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 10, 1958, page 1


    Medford's municipal off-street parking proposal was defeated at the polls yesterday by a margin of about 20 percent.
    Of a total of 2,723 votes cast, there were 1,623 "No" returns and 1,100 voted "Yes" in the unofficial tally.
    The proposed charter amendment would have authorized the city to pledge its full faith and credit behind the issuance of general obligation bonds for initial financing of municipal off-street parking facilities.
    Its defeat marks the second time in two years that Medford's voters have turned down a municipal off-street parking program. In the 1956 general election, a comparable but not identical measure was defeated by a margin of only 393 votes out of a total of 9,321 cast.
"Charter Amendment Loses," Medford Mail Tribune, December 11, 1958, page 1


Plan to Increase Parking Approved
    A plan to increase off-street parking for shoppers in downtown Medford was approved this morning by the board of directors of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce.
    Don McNeil, chamber manager, said the board agreed to set up a parking "validation" program as a regular extension of the retail merchants division of the chamber.
    The plan calls for agreements between downtown merchants and privately operated parking lots to provide customer parking, paid for by merchants who validate parking slips of customers using the lots.
Agrees to Establish Lots
    McNeil said Fred Robinson, local businessman, has agreed to establish two downtown parking lots, provided other merchants agree to the plan. Robinson already owns a lot off Front St. for use by customers of a limited number of businesses.
    The other two proposed lots would be located on Central Ave. at Fifth St. and on Eighth St. near Bartlett St. The three would provide a total of 90 parking spaces and make parking available to approximately 360 customers in a day's time, according to McNeil.
    The proposed arrangement would allow customers to park their cars in the lots, after which they would receive stamps from businesses where they shopped, validating their parking slips and allowing an hour's free parking per stamp.
    Merchants would buy the stamps in advance from the lot operators.
Invited to Participate
    Creation of the two new lots is contingent upon signed agreements by approximately 30 merchants, McNeil explained. Other lots now in existence in Medford will be invited to participate.
    The chamber manager stressed that the plan permits "a private enterprise approach to parking and makes effective use not only of space to be created, but of space already available."
    It also allows merchants and other business firms downtown to offer free parking to customers, he added. They would pay only for their own customers' parking.
    The plan was recommended by William H. Barr, executive director of the National Parking Association, Washington, D.C., when he visited Medford in February. Similar plans are in use in 127 United States communities at present. Roseburg began the arrangement June 1, and Klamath Falls is to open similar services soon, according to McNeil.
Consider Move
    Salem and Eugene are said to be considering such a move. C. O. Lovejoy, president of the Medford Parking Corp., said today that members of that group are "actively interested in the new plan and are going to put their efforts behind it."
    The corporation was established about a month ago by a group of merchants seeking increased downtown parking.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 4, 1959, page 1


'Park and Shop' to Begin Tomorrow
at Four Lots in Downtown Medford
    Downtown Medford's "park and shop" program is scheduled to begin Monday with four parking lots in operation.
    A fifth lot is expected to be ready by the end of the week. Two more lots are also being prepared.
    A total of 48 businessmen and a dentist have subscribed to the program so far. Its purpose is twofold:
    1. To provide off-street parking facilities for the convenience of customers, clients or patients;
    2. To encourage these persons to patronize stores and offices in the downtown area.
    The new Sears Roebuck and Safeway stores in the Medford Shopping Center on East Jackson St. are scheduled to open Thursday, signaling the start of new competition for the downtown merchants. Other outlets in the shopping center are to be opened in the months to come.
Knotty Problem
    Off-street parking in the downtown area has become an increasingly knotty problem. Two attempts to authorize financing of facilities by the city itself met defeat at the polls, in 1956 and 1958.
    Rates and hours for city parking meters were increased with an eye to using the extra revenue as a nest egg for a municipal program. But this egg has landed in the general fund basket.
    "Park and shop" represents an attempt by the downtown merchants and professional men to solve the problem for themselves. It was inspired by William Barr of the National Parking Association, who spoke here last February.
    The program is being supervised by the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce. But its financial base rests upon the 49 participants, and upon the parking lot owners.
Four Lots Ready
    The four lots ready for operation tomorrow have been used for parking previously. They include H. S. Deuel's lot next to Valley Fuel Company, on Main St. at the railroad tracks; Chuck Risse's lot at Ninth St. and South Central Ave.; Alabam's parking lot on Main St. just east of the tracks, owned by S. L. Moore; and Fred Robinson's lot at 19-21 South Front St.
    Robinson, city councilman and co-proprietor of Robinson Brothers clothing store, 114 East Main St., is also developing the other three lots to be opened soon.
    The one that may be ready this week is next to the Craterian Theatre, on East Eighth St. between South Central Ave. and South Bartlett St. The others are to be at 29 South Bartlett St., formerly Daily's body shop, and at 135 North Central Ave., next to the Yellow Cab Company.
What It Offers
    Basically, "park and shop" offers the motorist a chance for free parking, and the merchant and lot operator a chance for more business.
    The parking becomes free for the motorist only as he or she patronizes the participating businesses.
    It works this way. The motorist drives into one of the lots and receives a ticket. If he makes a minimum purchase--or other transaction--from one of the "park and shop" participants, he receives a stamp.
    The stamp, affixed to the ticket, is good for one hour's free parking. Another stamp, from another business, is worth another hour.
Suggested Minimum
    The Chamber of Commerce has suggested that a $2 minimum be set for the issuance of a stamp. But individual businessmen may set their own minimum purchase or transaction.
    The motorist returns to the parking lot and turns in the ticket to the operator. If the number of stamps is sufficient to cover the parking time, he is charged nothing.
    If not, he pays the difference to the lot operator, at a rate of 10 cents per half hour. In other words, each stamp being good for an hour's parking represents a 20-cent saving to the motorist.
    The lot operator collects the ticket with its stamps from the motorist, and then can redeem the stamps at the Chamber of Commerce for cash.
    The businessmen, for their part, purchase the stamps from the Chamber. They also pay a certain regular sum for promotion purposes.
    The participants will be listed in advertisements, and in a folder showing the parking locations as well. They are also to display "park and shop" emblems in their stores and in individual advertising.
    "Park and shop" has reportedly proved successful in some 120 cities across the nation. It was begun in Allentown, Pa.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 16, 1959, page 2



Over 90,000 Park and Shop Tickets Issued
    Over 90,000 Park and Shop free parking tickets have been issued by Medford merchants since the Park and Shop program started ten months ago.
    These figures were given by Fred E. Robinson, one of three Park and Shop lot owners. Robinson also claims the difference in overtime parking tickets issued during May of this year and May of last year is largely due to the Park and Shop lots.
    There were 4,448 overtime parking tickets given during May 1959, when there were no Park and Shop lots operating. This year, with Park and Shop lots operating, there were only 2,295, a difference of 2,153 parking tickets, or $1,076.50 in fines.
Important Changes
    Robinson recently attended the National Parking Association conference, where he noticed some important changes in the parking business.
    He said parking lots rapidly are becoming more automatic. It is possible now, he said, for a driver to park his car, receive a stamped time card, do his shopping, and return and pay for the use of the lot without ever meeting a human parking attendant.
    This rapid change in parking operation is making many parking garages built as late as seven years ago obsolete, he said.
    While at the conference, Robinson located a time clock stamp that can be used with Park and Shop tickets. These time clocks will be installed in his lots as soon as they are available, Robinson said.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 26, 1960, page 1


City Council Votes in Favor of Plan of Viaduct Parking
    The Medford city council last night approved a plan to provide off-street parking under the freeway viaduct but postponed until its next meeting a decision on where the money will come from to pay for the project.
    Tentative cost estimates for the project range from $35,000 to $37,000. That amount would provide for installing about 130 parking spaces under the viaduct, riprapping the bank of Bear Creek adjacent to Hawthorne Park and realigning a section of the stream channel.
    City Manager Robert Duff pointed out that if the off-street parking project is to be done, there is some urgency involved. Peter Kiewit and Sons construction company, whose equipment is already on the scene engaged in constructing the freeway, is available to do the work, Duff said, but they would want to begin by the middle of May.
    The council decided to study the matter until its next meeting May 3.
Abridged, Medford Mail Tribune, April 20, 1962, page 1


Campaign ad for Fred Robinson, Sr., Medford Mail Tribune, November 4, 1962

Medford Council Passes Off-Street Parking Proposal
    In what Medford Attorney Otto Frohnmayer afterward termed an "historic action," the Medford city council last night unanimously passed an off-street parking district ordinance.
    The measure is an outgrowth of a series of discussions held recently between city officials and representatives from the business district, talks which City Attorney William Mansfield characterized as noteworthy for "their spirit of cooperation."
    Mansfield said the ordinance "prescribes the procedures of initiation of off-street motor vehicle parking facilities." He stressed the measure "does not establish any particular parking district, but merely provides the machinery by which such a district can be initiated at any time in the future."
May Petition Council
    Mansfield said the ordinance provides that a group of land owners may petition the council to establish a parking facility, or the council, on its own motion, may take the first step.
    When such a step is taken, he continued, the city manager, under the ordinance, would then be directed to survey the feasibility of such a project and make a report to the council on his determinations.
    "It would be up to the council then, if it desired," Mansfield said, "to pass a resolution declaring its intention to establish the facility. Such a resolution would also designate the boundaries of the district."
    Such a solution, he said, would also require the council to publish notice and hold a hearing on its intention. In the same resolution, the council would be required to adopt a method of assessment at or prior to the time of the public hearing.
No Immediate Plans
    City Manager Robert Duff said today that so far as he knew there were no plans for immediate implementation of the ordinance by the city or any downtown group.
    He added, however, that he understands the old federal building at Sixth St. and Riverside Ave. may be declared surplus by the government in the near future.
    "If the city is given an opportunity to purchase the land, present expectations are that we would," Duff said. The building would be torn down and a municipal parking lot constructed on the property.
    Such a project would be undertaken at no expense to the taxpayers, he stressed. All costs would be assessed to benefited downtown property by a method as yet undetermined, Duff said.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 21, 1962, page 1


Council Assures Formation of City Parking District
    Formation of a downtown Medford parking district, and future development of three off-street parking lots in the core area, was assured by action of the Medford city council last night.
    The unanimous vote on the measure was taken despite voiced objections from three members of the audience that they would be assessed by the district without receiving any benefit from the proposed parking lots.
    City Manager Robert Duff said today that his office had received petitions from 64 percent of the property owners in the parking district favoring the proposal. He said he had written protests from four property owners opposing formation of the district.
    Duff said that on the basis of last night's council action, the city will now negotiate leases on the lots with representatives from Park and Shop, the proposed future operators of the lots. City officials will represent the parking district in the negotiations.
    Duff said the city has accepted the federal government's offer to purchase the old federal building at Sixth St. and Riverside Ave. and is now awaiting approval from a Congressional committee on the matter. Word is expected within 30 days, Duff said.
    The city manager said that if all goes according to schedule, the federal building and structures at Sixth and Bartlett sts. will be razed sometime in October. Bids will be called for, both for demolition of the buildings and for paving and developing of the parking lots, he said.
    At last night's meeting, Attorney Russell DeForest, representing H. C. Witham, owner of an automotive parts and equipment company at Fifth St. and Riverside Ave., protested that his client already had sufficient parking space for his own needs, and that his customers  would not use the proposed lots.
    George Ryall, who owns the property where J. C. Penney's and the downtown Newberry's stores are located, also protested being included in the district. "We'd be making a donation to buy lots for private use," he said.
    The other oral protest came from a representative of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Building corporation, who said his organization "couldn't see the benefit."
    "If we needed the parking space," he said, "we'd go buy it."
    Countering arguments were made by attorney Otto Frohnmayer, who said that "here is an opportunity to do something to keep Medford from going further down the road of deterioration."
Medford Mail Tribune, June 7, 1963, page 1


Plans to Demolish Buildings Noted
    Authorization of plans for demolition of three downtown buildings to clear the way for Medford's off-street parking program will be asked of the city council at Friday's meeting, City Manager Robert A. Duff reported today.
    In the demolition plans are the federal building at Sixth St. and North Riverside Ave., purchased by the city from the government and the Hansen and Field buildings at Sixth and Bartlett sts.
    The Hansen and Field lots will be leased from William Hansen and Harvey Field, the owners.
    The three areas will provide parking for approximately 100 vehicles, Duff said.
    The federal building purchase for $42,500 has to be approved by a Congressional committee, and this action is expected about July 18. The city and federal government have agreed on terms, and the Congressional action is viewed as a formality which has been favorably reviewed in reports from Oregon's delegation.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 3, 1963, page 1


    In a meeting Thursday evening, which lasted slightly less than an hour, [the] Medford city council approved changing part of the parking meters in the downtown area from one to two hours. The council approved changing all of the 395 one-hour parking meters in the central business district to two hours, with the number to be changed to be left to the discretion of the city manager.
    City Manager Robert A. Duff said that the rate for parking will remain the same except that the vehicles may remain in one parking space for two hours instead of the present one-hour limit. Shoppers may still park for any period from 12 minutes to two hours.
    Cost to the city for changing the dials is 70 cents per meter, Duff said.
"Council Approves Parking Meter Time," Medford Mail Tribune, September 16, 1966, page 1


Plan to Remove Parking Meters from Downtown Medford
Presented to City
    A proposal for the removal of all parking meters from the downtown Medford area was submitted to the Medford City Council at the council meeting held last night at city hall.
    Tyrrell P. Hart, chairman of the Parking Meter Removal Committee of the Medford Downtown Merchants Association, told the council that he has a petition signed by 151 downtown businessmen who support the movement to remove the meters.
    Hart stated the reasons why his group opposes the presence of parking meters in the downtown core area and submitted a letter that outlined an alternate plan for traffic management in the area in question.
    He said that the city could obtain funds to regulate parking by adding a surcharge to each business license issued in the area where the meters are removed. He projected that two female "traffic hostesses" could handle the patrol work.
    The committee proposal also suggested that:
    --The present two-hour limit be maintained.
    --The overtime parking fine be raised from 50 cents to $1.
    --Courtesy tickets be issued to out-of-town cars.
    --Employees of downtown business firms be educated concerning use of non-metered areas and in reporting repeat offenders.
    Hart said the meters are an obstacle to the growth and development of the downtown retail area. He said support for the removal program is "unanimous among downtown business people."
    In place of the meters, Hart proposed a system of tire marking to be performed by the female "traffic hostesses."
    Hart pointed to a study which showed the average parking time for a shopper was 40 minutes, and that the real problem was caused by people who are employed downtown and leave their cars for long periods of time.
    The city council voted to refer the matter to Mayor James Dunlevy's Downtown Development Committee for further consideration.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 16, 1966, page 1


Downtown Parking Program Announced
    A program to create more off-street parking and ensure the permanency of several existing parking lots in the downtown Medford area was unveiled this morning.
    Members of the Mayor's Downtown Development Committee outlined the plan at a joint meeting with the Downtown Merchants Association.
    The plan is this:
    --An off-street parking district would be formed. Its boundaries would be 10th Street on the south, Fourth Street on the north, the Southern Pacific Railroad property on the west and Bear Creek on the east.
    --Once the district was formed, six parcels of property would be acquired. One, a parcel at the northeast corner of Sixth and Front streets, not presently used for parking, would be transformed into a lot.
    A second parcel would be the old Baptist Church property on the southeast corner of Fifth Street and Central Avenue, a third, the old Snider Dairy property on the east side of Bartlett Street between Sixth and Main Street.
    The other three proposed for acquisition lie between Bartlett Street and Riverside Avenue, behind Burelson's, halfway between Main and Eighth streets.
    The five parcels other than the Sixth and Front location are presently being used as parking lots, operated by Fred Robinson and Associates.
    The advantage of acquiring them, the committee members pointed out, would be to ensure their continued availability for parking, as city-owned and -operated lots.
    The approximate total cost of the acquisition, plus additional funds for development of the Sixth and Front streets location, is $330,000.
Assessed on Land Only
    The proposal is that property owners in the district be assessed this cost on a basis of land value only. The total assessed valuation of the district is about $960,000, meaning that each property owner would be assessed about 35 percent of the assessed value of his land (one-fourth the true cash value).
    As one merchant put it, property owners would have to pay only about 1 percent of their true cash land value per year over a 10-year period.
    Members of the development committee and the merchants association will shortly begin circulating petitions to seek formation of the district. The petitions will then be presented to the Medford City Council for action.
    The petitioners legally must obtain signatures of at least 50 percent of the owners (and representing at least 50 percent of the total property valuation in the district) to get it formed. But they hope to get closer to 75 percent, feeling that the project should receive major backing to make it feasible and worthwhile.
    Options have been acquired on all the parcels proposed for purchase. They expire May 1, so the backers plan to move ahead with the plan as rapidly as possible.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 19, 1967, page 1


Parking Lots Eyed at Jackson House Site
    Addition of two lots to the downtown Medford off-street parking district was recommended Thursday by the city parking commission.
    The lots--the Jackson House site, 108 S. Central Ave., and the former drive-in windows of the United States National Bank of Oregon between Front Street and Central Avenue--would be leased for five years, with an option to renew for another five years.
    The properties are owned by the Cooley Hotel Corporation, which is the Collins family of Medford. Principal stockholders are John Collins and Neil Collins, partners in Medford Lumber Co.
    Leasing of the lots, if approved by the city council, would begin July 1, 1968, under terms of the agreement between the Collins family and the city. The Jackson House would be razed and the lot paved for parking purposes sometime prior to that date.
    Acquisition of the lots would expand the downtown parking district to 10 lots, seven leased and three publicly owned. The district, which provides free two-hour parking to customers of downtown stores, began operations Oct. 1.
Medford Landmark
    The 73-room, four-story Jackson House, a Medford landmark since 1925 [sic], was leased from the Collins family by the Chadwick Hotel chain until 1960. It has since continued as a hotel, primarily for overnight truckers. Part of the building was utilized as temporary home for the U.S. National Bank during construction of the bank's new quarters on Central Avenue.
    The second property, the site of the bank's former drive-in windows, is now utilized as a used car lot by Humphrey Motors.
    The Jackson House site would be leased for $610 a month plus taxes, the bank lot for $135 a month plus taxes.
    Spaces for 60 automobiles are proposed on the Jackson House lot, for 20 cars on the bank lot. At present, there are 329 parking spaces within the district, which is bounded by Bear Creek, the Southern Pacific Co. railroad tracks and Fourth and 10th streets.
Employee Parking
    The Jackson House lot would be used for the usual free, two-hour customer parking, but the intentions of the parking commission for the bank lot are to utilize the area for all-day parking for employees, according to Richard L. Henselman, commission secretary. Employees would pay a nominal, to-be-determined daily fee to park their vehicles on the lot, Henselman said.
    The parking commission Thursday also discussed at length the $162,395 assessment for land purchase and improvements within the district and recommend to the city council that all properties within the area, with the exception only of the present eight parking lots within the district, be assessed cost of acquisition of property primarily, plus paving, landscaping, and installation of canopies on three of the lots would be met through the assessment.
    Neither the two additional lots recommended Thursday for leasing nor the present city hall are exempted from the assessment.
    The assessment, minus the exempted lots, would total approximately $17.17 per $100 of assessed value. True cash value of property within the district is $3.932,000, with total assessed value at $983.140.
    The parking commission recommendations of both the acquisition of the additional lots and the terms of the assessment will be considered by the city council at its regular meeting next Thursday, Dec. 7. The matters were also discussed at an executive session of the council Wednesday night.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 1, 1967, page 1


Medford Mail Tribune, December 10, 1967
Medford Mail Tribune, December 10, 1967

Downtown Parking Meters Should Go
    The Pendleton East Oregonian takes note of the movement to rid downtown Medford of parking meters, and of the suggestion that it follow Eugene's lead in enacting the hotel-motel tax to make up for the loss of city revenue. It commented:
    "Unless Medford is different from other Oregon cities it can't take out parking meters. It relies too heavily upon their revenue. We suspect it needs that revenue, and room tax revenue, too."
    It could be the Pendleton editor is right. Ashland took out its parking meters some months ago, and that contributed to the lack of funds that has resulted in a sharply curtailed city budget following two defeats of a tax levy outside the 6 percent limitation.
    Other cities have been successful in removing parking meters, but others have reinstalled them after a trial period without.
    But the pressures to get rid of the coin-grabbers is considerable, not only among downtown merchants, but also among those of us who must feed the darned things.
    Mayor Bill Singler is fond of saying that paid parking can be justified only by two things: first, traffic control, and second, revenue. And, although that comment was directed at the airport situation where neither justification exists, it also applies to the downtown area.
    The meters are not needed for traffic control downtown. This can be accomplished in other ways. And if the needs of the city--both merchants and their patrons--overweigh the revenue considerations, then they should be removed.
    If in the process Medford becomes "different from other Oregon cities," so be it. It would be a difference we could live with and like.--E.A. [Editor Eric W. Allen, Jr.]
Medford Mail Tribune, July 22, 1969, page 4


Downtown Parking Today Set No Particular Pattern
    There seemed to be no particular parking pattern in downtown Medford this morning.
    A check showed that in some areas most of the parking spaces were occupied, while in others plenty of spaces were available.
    The parking meters were removed last Friday during a parking meter removal party. The Medford City Council adopted an ordinance last Thursday night calling for the end to metered parking.
    The ordinance specific unlimited restrictions where there once were meters in downtown Medford, and on the off-street parking lots. Councilmen will probably approve at their next meeting an ordinance removing the two-hour limits on streets which fringe the business districts.
    Several councilmen feel that two-hour parking limits on these streets will cause some employees to park in unlimited spaces closer to downtown, thereby defeating the purpose of the unlimited restrictions.
    The spaces along certain sections of some streets were full today, while in other sections and other streets there were four or five spaces in a row available.
    A quick check of the off-street parking lots showed most of them to be fairly full, no matter what the location.
    The Downtown Merchants Association has asked store owners and managers to request of their employees continued parking in areas used before the meters were removed. Most merchants feel that if the unlimited parking restriction is going to work, they will be the ones to make it successful.
    The meter heads were removed by about 2 p.m. Friday, and several city officials have indicated the job was very well done. They were stored at the old county shop area on Barnett Road.

Medford Mail Tribune, October 6, 1969, page 1


Not Everyone Happy with New Downtown Parking System Here
    Some downtown Medford merchants are proposing that stores should be able to reserve a few parking spaces on the street directly in front of their establishments for the benefit of their customers only.
    But, according to City Manager Archie Twitchell, such an idea is legally impossible.
    Lowell Anderson, manager of the Labor Temple Pharmacy Inc., 24 S. Grape St., indicated he called the city and suggests 15- or 30-minute parking zones in several spots in front of the pharmacy be tried, mainly because his customers don't take that long
    Many of the downtown personnel are parking on these side streets, Anderson noted, and several of "my customers have complained" they can't find a place to park. "One had to park in the alley."
    The pharmacist emphasized he was "not an advocate" of the unlimited parking and felt there should be one- or two-hour limits. "It wasn't the nickel or dime but the fine that brought the meter problem to a head."
Very Disappointed
    He said he was very disappointed with the new parking arrangements and that so were several other store managers and owners to whom he had talked.
    City Manager Twitchell replied that it is impossible to let store owners have private parking for their patrons on public streets because streets are for the general public.
    "We have no legal right now to control parking in the downtown, but we encourage customers to park and shop and not use spaces all day," he stated.
    The Downtown Merchants Association indicated it would assume responsibility of the parking if the meters were removed, he added.
    Meanwhile, other merchants urged that some type of time limit be imposed.
    Gene Orr, of Weeks & Orr Furniture, 114 W. Main St., said, "If they don't do something about having parking restrictions it is going to kill the business in the downtown area, because many of the employees are using the parking spaces."
    The unlimited parking is being "very much abused," Orr felt. "It's almost impossible to find a space downtown. A two-hour limit would take care of that problem." Orr listed other store managers who were complaining of the new arrangement.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 9, 1969, page 1


Downtown Parking
Panel Is Trying To End Medford's You-Can't-Find-Parking Image
By ALLEN HALLMARK
Mail Tribune Staff Writer
    Every day for years, people who work in downtown Medford have been doing the "10 o'clock and 2 o'clock shuffle."
    Dozens of employees waste hours of time moving their cars around every two hours during the workday to avoid being ticketed for parking too long in the city's free two-hour parking zones.
    The city removed parking meters from downtown streets and formed a downtown parking district years ago to provide plenty of parking for customers.
    And for years the merchants and their employees have filled up many of those parking spaces.
    Officials agree the problem is one of the main things that creates the image accepted by many shoppers that "you can't find a place to park downtown."
    "They're cutting their own throats by taking up their customers' parking spaces," says one city official, who asked not to be identified.
    The city Parking Commission, which manages the small downtown parking district, wants to solve the employee parking problem by building more parking lots.
    Among the plans afoot is one to build a two-story parking facility along the south side of Sixth Street between the backs of the buildings on Central Avenue and Riverside Avenue. The Squeeze-Inn Sandwich Shop would have to be removed, as would improvements on Bartlett Street, to accommodate the structure.
    The top floor would provide monthly parking for most of the employees who now engage in the shuffle, parking commissioners say.
    The plan is a long way from reality; financing the expected $500,000 cost has not yet been settled upon, although Medford real estate agent Bernard Young has been talking to a Portland firm interested in backing such a facility.
    Not everybody thinks a large parking structure is necessary, or that it should be so close to the center of the downtown, where the most serious air pollution problems are centered.
    City Councilman Lou Hannum says he rarely has trouble finding a place to park downtown. Parking facilities in most other cities are filthy places that attract transients and encourage crime, he warns.
    Jackson County Air Quality Coordinator Bruce Shaw says putting a big parking garage right in the worst air quality area of the city might not be smart. It might be better to locate such a facility on the periphery of downtown, he advises.
    Steve Terry, city downtown planner, says the central location might create serious traffic problems on Riverside Avenue.
    Terry says, however, that a parking structure "at the right place with the right ingredients would be okay."
    The latest draft of the Downtown Revitalization Plan lists four alternate locations for a multi-level parking structure:
    --Along the west side of the Southern Pacific railroad tracks across from the old SP depot.
    --Along the east side of the tracks on Front Street between Eighth and 10th streets.
    --The Sixth Street site selected by the Parking Commission.
    --On the east side of Riverside between Eighth and 10th.
    But the plan says building a large multi-level facility is expensive and may not be practical now. The plan lists several interim alternatives, including scrapping the current two-hour parking zones.
    Employees would be issued parking cards by their employers for spaces in employee lots. Customers would park in three-hour lots. Many on-street spaces would be turned into 30-minute or one-hour spaces, the plan says.
    Opinions of how to solve the downtown parking problem--if there is one--vary with almost everyone you talk to.
    Most officials agree that parking improvements must be coordinated with arterial street and other traffic improvements planned for the downtown.
    Mayor Al Densmore last year proposed that the City Council establish a transportation commission to replace the Parking Commission, Advisory Committee on Bicycling and Traffic Advisory Committee. The council tabled the idea indefinitely.
    "We need to integrate parking in with a more general view of transportation in the city because it is so much a part of transportation planning," Densmore says.
    City Manager John Thomson agrees.
    "I think the mayor is on the right track," he says. "We've got too many splinter groups."
    Both Densmore and Thomson say they could support construction of a parking structure if it were well planned and on a pay-as-you-go basis.
    Parking commissioners, like Scott Henselman, Fred Robinson and Mike Benke, would fight formation of a transportation commission if it meant no more Parking Commission.
    Robinson says the commission was formed to give a voice to the businesses that pay taxes for parking in the district. Without that voice, some businesses might rebel and refuse to pay, Henselman says.
    The mayor says the existing parking district is too small. It is the area bounded by the railroad tracks and Bear Creek and Fourth and 10th streets. Formed by ordinance in July 1967, the district includes about 250 businesses that pay the taxes and finance the parking lots owned and leased by the city.
    The downtown parking district owns or leases 11 lots with about 400 spaces, of which 95 spaces are available for rental to employees on a monthly basis.
    Densmore would like to see the district enlarged to include the part of downtown west of the railroad tracks, including city, county and federal government buildings.
    But several efforts to enlarge the district or form another one west of the tracks have failed over the years.
    Benke, the new Parking Commission chairman, says the downtown definitely does have some problems, but lack of parking spaces is not one of them.
    He says the major problem is that the average customer believes there is a parking problem, and that creates problems for the merchants.
    Benke wants to clean up the air. He says the long-term survival of downtown is dependent on it. A coordinated solution to traffic problems is needed--not an emergency air pollution alert plan that goes into effect after the problem occurs, he says.
    He says he favors a mandatory auto emission inspection and maintenance program, promotion of ride-sharing and providing more parking for employees.
    "I want to retail downtown, and I can't if the air quality gets any worse," the owner of Benke's Baby News says.
    Last year's Parking Commission chairman, Scott Henselman, also wants to get the message to people that it's not that hard to find a place to park downtown.
    Henselman, property manager for Commercial Management Inc., says his firm handles more properties downtown than any other firm.
    He says the downtown area will not die when the Rogue Valley Mall is constructed. Having a parking structure downtown will help keep the downtown a viable retail center, he says.
    Henselman says Jackson County and private non-profit organizations that have offices downtown contribute many employees to the parking shuffle. He suggests that the county pay its share of the downtown parking tax.
    Everybody seems to agree that arterial street and parking improvements must be coordinated in the core area.
    But before anything can be done, the Medford Area Transportation Study must be completed and approved by the City Council.
    The study consultants, Alan M. Voorhees & Associates of Berkeley, Calif., now are working on the final version of the plan. Earlier versions disappointed city and county officials because they did not contain the kind of in-depth analysis of the parking and traffic circulation plan needed if the county is to draw up plans to bring the area into compliance with federal Clean Air Act standards.
    Shaw says he expects the final plan will contain a parking inventory and data on emissions associated with parking and the parking shuffle.
    City officials feel that whatever plans are made, downtown businesses must take more responsibility for getting employees to stop parking in customer parking spaces.
    The Parking District should impose fines much stiffer than the $3 ticket for violations now, they say.
    "They've got to start thinking about downtown like it's a shopping center," says one official.
    In many malls, he notes, employees must park in designated areas or have their cars towed away, and they must pay big fines to retrieve them.
    Another more positive way to eliminate the 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock shuffle has been initiated by Mayor Densmore. His Ad Hoc Ride-Sharing Task Force could find ways to keep many employee cars from ever coming downtown.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 1, 1981, page C1


    Changes in downtown Medford parking and traffic patterns are under way as work begins on a three-level, 390-space parking structure. Excavation will start next week; the structure is scheduled for completion June 7, 1998.
    The urban renewal agency has contracted for the $4.7 million project, which will be built over the existing street-level parking lot along Sixth Street west of Riverside.
"Downtown Alterations Get Started," Medford Mail Tribune, July 24, 1997




Last revised April 27, 2016