Paid parking could come to Uptown, small businesses object

Local News

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – A meeting took place at the trade center to discuss the possible return of parking meters to Downtown Columbus. 

City officials spoke about the proposal to reintroduce parking meters throughout the downtown area. This could include streets such as Broadway, 1st Avenue, 9th, 10th, 11th Street, 12th Street, Front Ave, Bay Ave.  

There would be a pay station for every ten spaces and the plan would be to charge drivers $2 per hour. 

Deputy City Manager Lisa Goodwin says the meters would free up parking in front of downtown businesses by pushing people to park in the free parking garages. 

“Right now our parking garages are empty,” Deputy City Manager Lisa Goodwin said. “We just got to get people in there. People have to feel good about going in there and that something we’re going to continue to work on. 

This proposal was based on a METRA Transit System audit conducted by the city’s internal auditor. The audit was presented to City Council, which recommended this idea for parking meters in Uptown. 

In 2019, the Parking Management Committee was established to review these considerations. 

“We studied that, looked at that and now we are here to get feedback from the public on what their thoughts are,” Deputy City Manager Lisa Goodwin said. “They were able to give us those thoughts. What we got today is exactly what we wanted to hear.”

Many small business owners objected to the paid parking. They said it would drive folks away from their shops and restaurants. Members of the public stepped up to the microphones 

to voice their concerns and ideas for compromise. 

Due to the objections from business owners, these discussions will be put on pause until the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. 

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