Greenville to initiate parking study as spaces fill up

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Big changes are coming to uptown Greenville, impacting you.

All the development is raising some concern, though, particularly when it comes to parking.

The city built a parking deck to help alleviate some of the issues uptown, but now even parking there is about to get much more complicated.

Residents and business owners 9 On Your Side spoke with agree that it’s time for improvements.

“We desperately need to build more multipurpose nonrestrictive parking,” stated Benjamin Self, Uptown Brewing Company owner.

It’s a common complaint. And it’s one city leaders only expect to get worse.

“Any city that is going through construction like our city is struggles with parking for the public. Greenville is no different,” said Roger Johnson, Greenville Economic Development Manager.

People typically go to Five Points Plaza.

“By 1 or 2 o’clock, it’s choked up here,” said Self. 

Then there’s the Fourth Street Parking Deck, but construction for a new housing complex is bumping city employees there starting Wednesday.

It’s an ongoing issue. And that’s why the city is getting ready to do a parking study to look at possible options to accommodate expected growth over the next 20 years.

“Increases in on-street parking, surface lot parking as well as a parking structure, also a parking deck,” Johnson said.

Some local business owners say it’s hurting them. That includes Self.

“If people have to search 10 minutes for a parking space, it doesn’t matter how good my beer is, they’re gonna go somewhere else,” he said.

City leaders say the opposite.

“Hopefully, it’ll be a benefit to the merchants because you’ll have more people walking in front of their businesses on a daily basis,” said Merrill Flood, Asst. City Manager, Greenville.

Self and others say it’s hindering business uptown and they want to see a solution soon.

“Anything that creates less fluidity in the parking situation in uptown is a big problem for us,” said Self.

City employees will start parking at the Fourth Street Parking Deck Wednesday. Those workers combined with other leased spots mean 210 of the 236 spots here will be taken up every weekday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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