After a year questions still swirl around downtown parking plan

CSRA News

Augusta,Ga (WJBF) It’s been more than one year since a task force made its recommendations for a parking management program for downtown for this to move forward Augusta Commissioners will have to buy in but right now for city leaders there’s a lot more questions then answers.

Parking downtown is still a free-for -all as the area waits on the city’s decision on meters.

Matt Aitken is a real estate agent specializing on downtown and says parking management is something potential buyers are interested in.

“That’s one of the top questions we get on old historic properties down here because some of these old buildings don’t have parking,” said Aitken, a former Augusta Commissioner.

And Augusta still doesn’t have a parking management plan for downtown though city officials say one is needed

“I just think we haven’t done a deep enough drive from the commissions stand point to approve something like this the mayor and them are just ready to push it forward and I don’t think it’s ready yet,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Sean Frantom.

At Tuesday’s committee meeting commissioners were again presented with several documents about the parking program, the mayor saying there was nothing new in the paperwork

” He said it was the same information then the department head said the changes are in this other document that we get that’s just not the way you’re going to do business,” said the Mayor Pro-Tem.

Commissioners have a lot of questions about the parking plan, hours, costs, days of the week, enforcment, and then there’s the Broad Street Renovations, a major TIA project that is scheduled to start in 2022.

“Do we really want to put the new meters out here before we find out what the new plans are for the TIA project,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.

But Aitken doesn’t think the the city should wait until after Broad Street is renovated to begin the parking program,.

“No I think you got to put certain checks and balances in place now to drive businesses who want to come down here you want to make access to where they can get in and out of their cars,” said Aitken.

For developers and downtown property owners a paid parking program would have its benefits however right now it’s any body’s guess when those benefits will be in place in Augusta George Eskola WJBF NewsChannel 6.

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