More time on parking

Alex Doty • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:42 AM

City officials are proposing alterations they say reflect the needs of businesses and visitors of downtown and Centertown, and business people and visitors say they like the plan.

Lisa Jamieson, who works at Old Things, 220 Washington Ave., thought the parking changes would bring more people downtown.

“They’re going to feel that sigh of relief where they can spend a little more time here,” she said.

Jamieson said there are times when customers ask if they can leave their purchases at the store while they continue to shop, as they want to be sure to cover the entire downtown before their two-hour parking limit is done.

“I think it would (be an improvement),” she said of the proposed changes.

The new ordinance language mimics the citywide overnight parking ban, and it permits the city’s traffic engineer to regulate daytime parking by traffic control order.

Still, Jamieson said she is a little concerned about the prospects of more traffic downtown, which might turn some people away due to a lack of spots.

“It’s always a two-way street," she said. "You have the good and you have the bad."

The new regulations amend daytime on-street parking limits from two hours to three hours for the following area:

— Both sides of Washington, Harbor Avenue to Fourth Street.

— Both sides of Washington, Sixth Street to Eighth Street.

— Both sides of First, Second and Third streets, from Franklin Avenue to Columbus Avenue.

— Both sides of Seventh Street, from Washington Avenue to Madison Avenue.

The daytime parking restrictions for the following public city lots will also be removed:

— Lot bounded by Washington, Columbus, First and Second streets.

— Lot bounded by Washington, Columbus, Seventh and Beacon.

— Lot bounded by Washington, Franklin, Seventh and Eighth streets.

Anthony Cunningham, who was visiting downtown on vacation from Detroit this week, said he thought the increase would give visitors like him more time to browse downtown shops.

“It will be nice, especially in the summer,” he said. “People can grab food or drinks, and then shop for two or three hours without feeling rushed.”

City Council approved a first reading of the proposed ordinance changes on Aug. 20, and will be asked to approve final language at a future meeting.

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