AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – Significant changes are coming for parking in downtown Auburn on August 20th. However, the city council is pumping the brakes and reconsidering the final plan after hearing complaints from numerous residents.
Parking fees are going up, and regulations are increasing on August 20th. However, just how severe those changes will be is still up for debate and a vote by Auburn’s City Council on August 7th. Before the city council meeting, Auburn residents are invited to a public hearing, on August 7th as well, to have their voices heard.
“The parking ordinance as adopted by the city council last year is set to go into effect August 20th, unless the council makes some changes,” explained Auburn City Manager Jim Buston.
You can read the full 2017 Downtown Parking Plan at this link: 2017: Auburn Downtown Parking Plan
One possible change could be expanding parking meter enforcement from 8 am to 5 pm to 8 am to 6 pm on weekdays. If not approved by the city council on August 7th, then parking enforcement expands from 8 am to 8 pm Monday through Saturday effective August 20th.
The council may decide to continue free parking on holidays during AU Semester breaks, if not it goes away August 20th.
The council will also look at increasing metered parking from 25-cents to $1 per hour. The council also will discuss leaving the one hour fee at 25-cents. If a change is not made, parking increases to a $1 plus an additional $2 for the second hour of on-street parking.
“Nowhere in the SEC is there 25-cent parking, especially in the urban core, most of them are $2, $3 or $5 per hour,” said Buston.
Buston says the additional fees will help recoup costs associated with $12 to 15 million dollars in parking projects undertaken by the city. That costs includes the new downtown parking deck at the old Baptist Student Union slated to be completed sometime next year.
“The new deck will start going up in the next few months and will create 500 to 600 new parking spaces on that parking deck for the public, ” said Buston.
Drivers agree additional parking is badly needed. However, at what costs citizens should be expected to pay, is still up for council debate.
“It can be difficult at times. I got lucky today, but normally I circle around and around,” said Daniel Brackin.
Buston told News 3 the city council did not have to have a public hearing. However, they want input from residents. The public hearing is slated for August 7th, just before the city council meets to vote on suggested changes. News 3 will keep you updated.