City seeks public input on downtown parking changes, current rates

City seeks public opinion on parking fees

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The City of Savannah wants your input as leaders consider lowering the parking rates downtown from $2 an hour to just $1 an hour on blocks between Oglethorpe Avenue and Bay Street, contained by Habersham and Lincoln streets.

Whether you’re using cash or a credit card at one of the pay stations to park downtown, the new proposed parking decrease is something people say may be small, but it’s a change they will definitely feel in their pockets in the long run.

Savannah Director of Parking Services, Sean Brandon, says the roughly six to seven blocks the city is looking at lowering the rate for is something that’s based on paid occupancy and daily meter readings.

“When we passed the parking plan, one of the things that we said we would do was we were just going to regularly monitor, and if occupancy isn’t meeting what’s expected, then that tells us that we should be moving those areas to either a lower or higher pay,” Brandon said.

For some people living in the downtown area, the proposed decrease to $1 is plenty.

“People are already coming here to spend money to visit and on vacation, and spending $2 an hour to park is a lot and it adds up when you’re down here for some hours and hanging out, and I have a feeling that if I were here as a tourist, I would leave,” said Leesa Butler.

“You already have sweep zones and stuff like that. Why make it worse to get downtown? It’s where all the fun and activity is. I think it should be free,” Justin Coleman said.

While many are in favor of the proposed decrease, the city says the strategy they’re using to bring more people to the downtown area is a strategy they feel will work.

“For those areas that are too low, what will happen is that people who want a lower amount to pay on parking, will gravitate to those areas. The occupancy should go up.”

A survey asking for input on the proposed change will be available for 30 days. After the input has been reviewed, the change would be effective starting July 1.

You can find the survey here.

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