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Safety standards seek to improve downtown parking garages

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A key component to downtown fun is under the microscope Monday night: parking (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) A key component to downtown fun is under the microscope Monday night: parking (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC) - A key component to downtown fun is under the microscope Monday night: parking.

Local leaders are working to stop you from getting scammed in parking lots and garages. A garage across from the world famous Rendezvous restaurant is one of the lots under heat. As evident, no parking attendants and businesses around it are hearing constant complaints.

A couple in town for a wedding was concerned about safety.

"You've got your wife, your family and you want to feel safe," said Dick Meyer.

Jackie Hardy of West Memphis used Central Parking garage, as she ran in a Labor Day 5k on Monday. But Hardy found safety in numbers and liked the openness of the space.

"A parking attendant would be good," said Hardy. "Enough openings so if something happens, you have enough access to get in and out quickly."

However, some who've visited this garage at night have had other things to say.

"People have been scammed in that garage, where a parking scammer will take someone's money even if they don't work for the garage," said Paul Morris, Downtown Memphis Commission President.

People also get trapped inside because the equipment is not working, there is trash, no attendants and shady people loitering in dark corners. Morris says the Downtown Parking Authority is taking a new approach to repeated complaints about parking areas such as this one.

"A lot of times, people's first impression of downtown Memphis comes from being in a garage. They drive here from somewhere else."

WMC Action News 5 called  Central Parking to get their response to the complaints. The person who answered said he would like to review the proposed guidelines before commenting.

Downtown Memphis has 29 garages and Morris says the Downtown Parking Authority monitors only seven. Downtown also has 84 unmonitored parking lots.

The commission is urging you to make your voice heard on proposed parking guidelines.

"This is intended to bring those laggers up to the higher standards," noted Morris.

The parking authority wants your input as soon as possible. For more information visit the following websites: 

Proposed guidelines: http://www.downtownmemphiscommission.com/proposed-downtown-parking-guidelines.html

Survey: http://www.downtownmemphiscommission.com/parking-survey.html

Map of parking garages: http://www.downtownmemphiscommission.com/uploads/1/9/8/2/19820239/office-parking-map.pdf

Copyright 2014 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved. 

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