Big changes are in store for parking in downtown Savannah. A lot of residents are not on board with them.
Savannah City Council voted Thursday to increase the price and extend the hours you'll have to pay for parking in a large part of downtown.
The process of changing over won’t happen overnight—not even close actually. We're told the implementation of these changes could take as long as two years. Everything north of Liberty Street will see changes. For now, parking south will remain the same.
When it comes to how much money you put in this parking meter and when you do it, you're in for some big changes downtown.
Council voted to approve a new parking plan after a lengthy study.
In the changes, some meters will cost as much as $2 an hour. You will have to pay to park an additional three hours until 8 p.m. instead of 5 p.m. like we're used to. Saturdays will no longer be free. Sundays will remain free.
"It's not going to make everybody happy but we feel like it'll be a compromised position that will work for most everybody,” said Mayor DeLoach.
The plan passed with a 7-1 vote. District 1 Alderman Van Johnson was the lone holdout.
"I don't think that they considered those that are working on minimum wage, those that are students in colleges, those that work on tips. Any raise in fees directly and adversely affects their quality of life,” said Alderman Johnson.
Some people told us the inconvenience of paying with coins and the costs deters them from parking downtown. This increase will only make it worse.
"The condition as it stands is pretty deterring. If they're going to make us pay on Saturdays, that will definitely keep me from coming down,” said Marcus Russell.
"I live out on the islands so this kind of change is not something I'm happy about,” said Amanda Jacobs.
Some good news though, the new meters will accept major credit cards and mobile payments.
Everyone agrees that something should be done. The way it's being done is what creates the disagreement.
"I think we don't do it at all or we do it consistently and fairly. It's just interesting to me how that line was drawn,” said Johnson.
The new meters will go everywhere. The cost and time change only affect areas north of Liberty Street.