Parking on Campus Corner used to be a breeze. Before the City of Norman decided to modernize the meters in 2013, all parking was free after 6:00pm. It was easy to show up for dinner or meet some friends. Just park and go. Have fun! All you needed were some pennies and maybe a nickle and a dime.
The time limit of the meters hasn’t changed, meters have always allowed a two hour parking duration before 6pm, which worked well when it was enforced. Currently, the cost has gone up by a multiple of four, and 6pm isn’t the end of enforcement any longer.
It is understandable to have meters operate during daylight hours from 8am to 6pm to discourage OU students parking in the retail district while they go to class.
Campus Corner is almost strictly a retail destination with shopping, salons, food service and bars comprising the commercial spaces except for only one surviving live music venue and a few miscellaneous offices and service businesses.
National chain anchor tenants such as CVS and Starbucks can give this street front space the feel of a shopping mall. Expulsion of the small businesses and the organic culture that used to occupy Campus Corner goes against the Keep it Local movement. Rainey Powell is a sales executive at Equity Realty and has been personally involved with the district’s good fortunes for decades. 
Even during the old metering 8-6 enforcement period, the parking cost to a customer was a quarter for an hour with a maximum of two hours. This did a great job keeping the college students parking on OU’s property, except for overflow from the very desperate or late arrivals (assumed still to be true).
In August of 2013, the IPS Group from San Diego completed the replacement of 154 meters while assigning 5 non-metered but designated disabled parking spots. These 159 parking spaces are now monitored and enforced until 9:00pm. These meters now cost a dollar for an hour with a maximum of two hours until 6pm at which time you can buy three hours. “The City of Norman has just over 200 parking meters within its system.” 
Soon, the City was talking to expensive consultants and inviting input from generally uninformed residents, the City of Norman unveiled and implemented the plan. This is #ShawnO’Leary @cityofnormanok presenting #ParkingStudy .
After assessing the parking available within the Campus Corner area, there are exactly 565 parking spaces available. 159 are monitored by electronic sensors, meters and Parking Enforcement Officers. 406 parking spaces are private… which means gated, access controlled, privately patrolled, provided for specific business customers, or marked as tenant parking, employee parking and threatening towing of violators.
There are exactly 12 parking spaces in the Campus Corner district that are indicated to be handicapped accessible. All of these accessible spaces appear to not be configured or located in compliance with IBC 2009, Section 1106. However, the minimum number of spaces required has been met (565 x 2% = 11.3 required, 12 provided).
Devices obviously designed, installed and intended for securing bicycles are located at regular intervals throughout the area. The quantity and locations of bike racks appears to be somewhere between sufficient to generous, but grossly underutilized. Additional hitching devices (not necessarily permitted or suggested) such as handrails, parking meters, trees, signs, and benches are plentiful as well.
The image (full size link) that accompanies this article is a map of Campus Corner. Here is an explanation of colors used. The areas in blue are considered outside the Campus Corner Merchants Association control, such as residential, church and OU. The red areas are City of Norman metered spaces. The yellow areas are private owned commercial spaces. The magenta color indicates structures and built environment. The green stars are spaces indicated to be handicapped accessible. Any blank areas indicate where parking is not allowed.
- Blue = Privately owned, or OU operated
- Red = City operated
- Yellow = Commercially operated
- Magenta = Structures
- Green = Accessible spaces
How much free, public parking is available in the Campus Corner district? Zero, zilch, none, nil (unless you don’t mind walking between four to eight minutes). There are two choices: park and pay with a credit card at an expensive and “electronically monitored” meter for less than two hours, or park somewhere else and hope to not have your vehicle towed or ticketed by a private property owner’s complaint. There’s a secret third option: know someone or somewhere that will let you park… but this doesn’t help everyone.
There are other parking spaces in, or near, the shopping district, but those are of residential zoning, State of Oklahoma property designated and enforced as OU parking lots, or First Presbyterian Church’s property. For the purposes of this survey, these are not considered to be part of the Campus Corner Merchants Association domain.
The Campus Corner Merchants Association advocated and encouraged the meter upgrade and time extension to discourage their employees from parking at the meters. The city doesn’t have enough officers to enforce parking restrictions around the clock, City Clerk Brenda Hall said. 
So, it appears Norman has new and more expensive parking meters because Campus Corners
employers are not effective about keeping their employees from parking in customer spaces, and the City of Norman is too poorly managed to assess tickets for parking violations?
A Parking Management System Business Plan for the new Campus Corner parking meters was developed under the direction of the City Manager with input from the Council Planning and Transportation Committee and Campus Corner Merchants Association. 
Merchants requested stricter parking restrictions because too many students and employees were taking up the meters and making it hard for shoppers to find a place to park, Hall said. 
Any questions related to the maintenance or operation of these new parking meters should be directed to David Riesland, City Traffic Engineer. 
Norman always rolls over for developers and businesses that promote a sanitized bedroom community lifestyle. Norman historically discourages night clubs and night life. (See future articles.) Campus Corner is not immune. On weeknights, the sidewalks typically roll up by 9pm… which happens to be when the new metered parking spaces become free to the public.