Ocean Springs to create more downtown parking - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Ocean Springs to create more downtown parking

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OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

Plans are in motion to provide some relief for the parking crunch in Downtown Ocean Springs. The board of aldermen awarded a bid to build a new public parking lot on Government Street.

On Friday and Saturday nights and during special events, people say an available parking spot in Downtown Ocean Springs is a very difficult thing to find.

Elizabeth Hurt likes to enjoy the Downtown nightlight.

"It becomes really difficult because you look for all the different parking spots and then you go to where you think it might not be as congested," said Hurt. "It takes almost as long to park as it does to go to the event that you're trying to go to."

The city of Ocean Springs is turning vacant land on Government Street into a public parking lot with 37 spaces. Aldermen have awarded a $112,000 bid and city officials said work will start as soon as possible. Some Downtown visitors can't wait.

"Going down Government is difficult," said Beth Ashley of Ocean Springs. "People are folding their mirrors in and trying to get through. Parking is kind of a problem and people coming out from their cars it's dangerous for them, so yes we need parking."

Business owners said with more available parking they expect more customers.

"Parking, we're a little tight on the parking. I heard the city is going to be putting in a parking lot for the city," said restaurant owner Issam Sabage. "So it's going to help the city a whole lot and it's going to bring us more business in. Because now if people don't have parking they go somewhere else. They don't stop down here."

Hurt said, "It may bring more people to the places they want to be at. A lot of people end up not coming Downtown because of the congestion and the parking and everything. So it will probably bring more people and be easier and a lot more convenient for everyone."

Ocean Springs city officials said some of the 37 parking spaces will be reserved as handicap spaces.

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