Dozens attend Savannah Parking Matters open house - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Dozens attend Savannah Parking Matters open house

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

Some changes are on the horizon when it comes to how and where you park in Downtown Savannah.

A consulting team out of Atlanta has been gathering feedback from people who live, work and visit the Historic District to see what can be done to create more access to parking.

Consultants have been working on this study for about a year now, a parking study that incorporates public feedback and parking data for Savannah's parking challenges from the Savannah River to Victory Drive, Broad Street to Boundary Street. The study looks at Savannah's 32,000+ parking spaces, most available to the public. 

Most people who submitted info to the parking study said their biggest issue is parking close to their destination, some admitting they give up and leave if they can't find a spot.

"We've experienced that people say, ok I can't find anything, so I'll just leave. Because there is no space available. Which leads us to believe, people will come, even if there is a price to pay. We won't experience a decline, because this is a city that people want to come to see," said Veleeta McDonald, director of Mobility and Parking Services for the City of Savannah.

The consultants and city parking and planning officials heard a variety of concerns from many different points of view.

Pastor G. Lind Taylor, of the First Congregational Church on Whitefield Square said, "Parking is a premium around our church, especially with competing interests; senior citizen homes, SCAD as well as tourists."

And there will be yet another opportunity Friday afternoon for the public to provide input.

McDonald said, "I think the biggest concerns most people have are the rate increases and the expanded enforcement times, for the evenings and for Saturdays."

But McDonald emphasized many of the proposed changes, if adopted, are at least a year away.

"I think this will take some, a longer period of time, because we want to get the public input and feedback. So we've got the final reports to make, and I don't anticipate anything happening overnight. And it's all contingent on the approval of council," said McDonald.

Click here to see the Savannah Parking Matters report.

Another workshop will be Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Metropolitan Planning Commission office downtown.

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