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Firm to provide update on downtown parking study

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By Seth Thomas Gulledge
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

An update on the Central City Parking Study will be presented to Greenville residents at Sheppard Memorial Library on Thursday at 5 p.m. 

The study, which is being conducted by Walker Planning and Consulting, is focused on determining the parking needs and demands in the downtown area as well as providing suggestions about how to address findings. According to Roger Johnson, economic development manager for Greenville, the study is necessary to assess a changing landscape in the district.

“We literally are under construction as a community ... $528 million, a half billion, is being invested into our uptown in the next three or four years, so our whole landscape will change. As a result of that, parking demands change,” Johnson said.

The effort in June launched an online poll to gather information from residents about their perceptions and use of existing parking in the area. Accessibility to businesses has been a chief concern.

That falls in line with what officials heard form business owners at a public input meeting in May. They said a lack of convenient parking was hurting their business.

Participants in the forum also raised concerns about routine use of the Five Points Plaza parking area for events. Visitors often use parking spaces meant Sheppard Library and Jarvis United Methodist Church. 

Rogers said the consulting firm hopes to return with feedback on how to rectify such situations. He said that already East Carolina University and the city have begun cooperating on the study, as well as considering options like sharing lots and coordinating events to increase the availability of parking.

Other options that could be suggested by the firm include gating the downtown parking deck or Five Points Plaza, charging for on-street parking and constructing additional parking structures.

The firm, hired by the city in April, ultimately will present its findings and recommendations to the Parking and Transportation committee, which will in turn present recommendations to the City Council.

Contact Seth Gulledge at sgulledge@reflector.com and 329-9579

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