Savannah City Council hears results of parking study - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Savannah City Council hears results of parking study

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

A year later, Savannah City Council is getting a comprehensive look at timelines and implementation of the Parking Matters study.

The City of Savannah is trying to simplify parking for visitors as well as residents and ensure space is being used efficiently.

It's going to take some time, but one of the biggest and first steps you'll see are old meters being replaced by newer, digital meters which are already around town.

Even though the changes are expected to simplify parking downtown, not everybody I spoke to on the street Tuesday is all the way onboard.

"If it's not broke, don't fix it,” said Gary Steigerwald, a Savannah resident.

Steigerwald, who transplanted from Pittsburgh nearly 10 years ago, said he prefers the old meters and added that he manages to find parking eventually, no matter how busy it is downtown.

"If I can't find a spot here on the street, I'll just go pay $10,” said Steigerwald.

But it's not so simple for some River and Bay Street workers, many of whom spend up to an hour looking for parking before their shift even starts.

“I have a couple of go-to spots that I try to go to, at least at first. But in the summer, it doesn't really matter. People park even in not normal parking spots,” said Elisabeth Dekle, a restaurant server.

During the presentation, several council members emphasized how important it is that the implementation of the parking and mobility plan protect parking for not only downtown workers but also residents.

"The message that came out loud and clear in terms of, from my perspective, is that we need to balance the needs of all of our downtown customers,” said Savannah City Manager Rob Hernandez.

Sean Brandon, the director for Parking and Mobility Services for Savannah says the resolution to formally adopt the recommendations of the parking plan will go to council for the May 11 meeting.

From that point, contracts will go up for approval, like the one for the new parking meters. Brandon adds an ordinance will have to be changed before the new rates can go into effect.

The PowerPoint from the Parking Matters presentation is available below: 

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