Greenville hosts public forum to address parking issues

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The city of Greenville hosted a public forum at Sheppard Memorial Library Tuesday to figure out possible solutions to parking issues.

The meeting stems from a parking consultant group brought in by the Greenville City Council to come up with solutions to center city parking.

“This is really a kick off to a professional approach of best practices that we see in other communities across the country,” said Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas. “As we all know in every community parking is always a challenge, here in Greenville we’re trying to be proactive and plan for the growth that we know is coming here into the city.”

Mayor Thomas said the need for better parking goes back a few years.

“We began back in 2010 or 2011 with several hundred living in the uptown area; we should have several thousand living in the area right next to the university.”

The city currently has several disjointed parking systems.

“In the uptown area we have many major stake holders,” said Thomas. “We have the university that has a number of parking lots. We have federal and state courthouses and county governments and city government and private lots. So how do we mark all of these areas consistently so when a first time visitor comes in they will know where to park in a consistent manner?”

That’s where Michael Connor and Walker Parking Consultants come in.

“You could hear the frustrations with the different equipment, parking meters versus different machines how the garage is signed or not signed,” said Connor. “It’s all part of a unified patterned so that when people come here for the first time or the hundredth time they will have great expectation of knowledge of how things work.”

Connor said he heard solid ideas from the community today.

“I was pleasantly surprised to hear that paid parking metered parking is not off the table. It can be considered,” said Connor. “A lot of times people say that’s not a solution, don’t look at it. And as a consultant we want to look at everything.”

Connor said they will take all of the feedback they received at the meeting and see what fits and what doesn’t.

The consultant group has been tasked with presenting a proposal to city leaders within six months.

 

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