GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Greenville City Council voted Monday night to move forward with a comprehensive parking study focusing on uptown.
After numerous complaints from residents, council members voted Monday night to bring in a consulting firm to find long-term solutions to parking uptown. It will cost the city nearly $60,000, but some say the potential benefits are far greater. Yet it didn’t come without controversy.
“Our parking situation is terrible downtown. And I guess that brings me to my question… Why would we go back to the same firm that gave us the advice back in 2010 if quote unquote we’re in a terrible parking position right now?” Councilmember P.J. Connelly asked.
City leaders, including Economic Development Manager Roger Johnson, say as Greenville grows, its needs change.
“We have had an influx of capital into our uptown area as you may recall. Nearly a half a billion dollars has come into the uptown area currently through 2019. It’s clear now that people are moving to the uptown area, but in 2010 they were not gravitating that direction,” Johnson said.
The contracted company Walker Engineering will make recommendations on fees, signage, whether more parking needs to be added, and what types of structures should be added.
Councilmember Connelly suggested building a parking deck on the Imperial Site.
“If we go vertical with it, that seems like the most cost-effective method moving forward,” Connelly said.
Johnson says the study will determine whether that’s a good option.
“Within the scope of work for Walker Consulting, they’re going to advise us on the type of parking we need, including the Imperial Site,” Johnson said.
City leaders say the consulting firm will start work next week, collecting data on parking in Greenville. The study should last about 6 months.