Downtown Augusta pay-to-park plans can impact downtown employees

CSRA News

Paying to park may be Downtown Augusta’s newest feature.

The city wants to put in kiosks to help open up spots after a certain period, But downtown employees aren’t happy.

Miranda Skinner is a local barista downtown, working eight-hour shifts just to get by.

She says paying to park on a minimum wage salary would not be practical.

New Moon Cafe employee, Miranda Skinner, says, “it would suck to come here every day paying to get paid.”

The city of Augusta is negotiating with two firms to put in kiosks for people to pay by plate. The current recommendation is for a total of two hours.

Chief of Staff to Mayor, Marcus Campbell, says, “they can go wherever they need to go, and if they decide to move, the two hours stay with them, as long as they are downtown.”

For visitors, parking turnover seems like a great plan. For people like Miranda, whose company doesn’t have a private lot, they need to park longer than two hours.

“I will work like seven or eight hour shifts and having to pay to park for that long, like if it was hourly, it would be totally unfeasible,” says Skinner.

The city hopes to promote off-road parking, but walking a few extra blocks, by yourself, at nighttime, can be dangerous.

“There will be people on the street that are employed by this firm that will assist in giving directions and just by their presence can be seen as a safety aspect,” says Skinner.

Campbell says a parking management task force hopes it will bring revenue to downtown, but that revenue will not go to additional parking spots.

“Generating more parking spots will depend on the lay of the land and right now I’m not aware of any additional parking we can add vs. managing the parking that we have,” says Campbell.

As for Miranda, employee parking will be up for discussion at community engagement meetings with the firm.

“I don’t know what I could even say. I don’t even know if my voice could even matter,” says Skinner

NewsChannel 6 asked Campbell, “so, you guys will hear out everybody, correct?”

He responded, “people that come to those events, yes.”

After the negotiation process is when the commission will have a say.

Nothing will officially be decided on until all of the information is presented to commission.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.