AUGUSTA,Ga (WJBF) Those downtown say if you’re going to plan for growth and development you better plan on doing something about parking.
“As far as downtown Augusta is concern parking is mission critical were already seeing the deleterious effects of not having parking management,” said Davis Hutchison, the owner of the Book Tavern and member of the Downtown Development Authority.
The update of Augusta’s Downtown Redevelopment Plan does include a section on parking, mentioning the past discussions of installing parking meters and the strict enforcement of the two hour limits.
But the redevelopment plan also suggests a “downtown circulator” basically a shuttle that would loop around downtown.
“It could really be helpful because depending on where it stops and where it ends you could park on the fringes of downtown come in enjoy what downtown has to offer and go back to your car,” says Augusta Director of Planning and Development Melanie Wilson.
It’s just a proposal but what do city leaders thing about the circulator to ease downtown parking.
“We could have a bus or several buses circulating between the arena and downtown Augusta and have a park and ride type situation,” says Commissioner Bill Fennoy whose district includes downtown.
But others say a lot of things still to be worked out,
“I’m not ready for it yet but as we grow downtown and we put more residential downtown it might be something we need to discuss with more people living downtown you’re going to need more parking,” says Commissioner Sean Frantom.
A circulator may not solve downtown’s parking issues but what the city is doing now isn’t either.
“Circulators would be a start I would take any of the little components of the plan and say let’s role with just one of them,” said Hutchison.
Downtown Development Authority Director Margaret Woodard says when it comes to downtown parking, the circulator would be one component, not the entire solution, now 80 million dollars in T-SPLOST work is planned for downtown streets consultants are now working on the concept of what the will entail, and the concept is going to include recommendations for parking in the area.