Parking Meters Proposed As Solution To Downtown Parking Problem - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Parking Meters Proposed As Solution To Downtown Parking Problem

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Augusta, GA -

When it comes to parking downtown this is the word.

City leaders getting this e-mail from Deputy Administrator Tameka Allen saying the Sheriff's Office will not enforce the two hour parking limit downtown until city leaders come up with a parking plan.

"At some point we're going to have businesses turning away from downtown Augusta if we don't manage our parking properly," says Mayor Deke Copenhaver.

So is not enforcing the two hour limit managing parking property?

"No I don't think that' the right thing to do at all," says the Mayor.

But some downtown feel not enforcing the two parking limit isn't such a drastic step

"To me it seems functionally it's been done away with, sort of I don't think it's being enforced right now," says Dr Ben Casella of the Downtown Alliance.

But there are those downtown feel it needs to be at least in spots.

As a compromise some are suggesting, not enforcing the two hour limit in the parking bays and medians along Broad Street, especially in the 10 to 13 hundred blocks.

But this is not a new idea, in fact it's law of the city.

April 2 1996,  Augusta commissioners vote to remove the two hour limit signs in the median along Broad Street, then commissioner Jerry Brigham voted  for it, but that was 17 years ago, so would that be his vote for today's Broad Street.

"No, probably would not, like I said things have changed," said Brigham who served two different terms on the commission but was term limited  last year.

But what hasn't changed downtown is the parking issue so is the answer no limit in the medians.

"I'm certainly open to compromise, as long as it's something that's going to keep the cars turning over during the day," says Downtown Developer Paul King.

Not enforcing the two hour limit though doesn't do that, but there is something that will.

"There used to be parking meter downtown years ago, they were taken out, I don't know why they were taken out," says Copenhaver.

So instead of the two hour limit the Mayor says parking meters?

"I do think it's something we need to look at, "he said.

More than three years ago the Downtown Development Authority proposed parking meters for Broad Street but that idea was pulled in February of 2010, due to overwhelming opposition from the downtown business community.

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