Authority proposes parking meters for downtown Augusta

Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009 9:39 AM
Last updated Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010 11:38 PM
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The Downtown Development Authority of Augusta approved a proposal this morning that would bring back parking meters to Broad Street and some side streets.

About 1,000 meters would be installed after Masters Week if approved.

Public meetings on the parking meter proposal are being scheduled for Dec. 17.

The DDA plans to bring the plan to the Augusta Commission in January.

The smart meters would cost $1 million to install and would generate between $300,000 and $500,000 in revenue annually, according to Margaret Woodard, the DDA's executive director.

“It is long overdue. If you ever come downtown to eat lunch … there’s nowhere to park. That’s an inconvenience to the people trying to come downtown and shop,” said Commissioner Joe Bowles.

Mr. Bowles sees SPLOST as a possible source of money to install the meters, which are projected to pay off the investment in four years.

The city hasn’t had meter-controlled parking on Broad Street in 31 years. The meters were removed in 1978 in the adoption of the free two-hour parking downtown, which was enforced by parking control agents. It was done as a way to entice downtown shopping during a time when two shopping malls had opened.

Robert Cizek, strategic consultant with StreetSmart Technology in Kennesaw, Ga., said the city is in need of meters based on a study of available spaces during peak times of the day – noontime for example, where there is generally 100 percent occupancy of the spaces on the Broad Street corridor.

“To right size you convenient parking, you want at least 20 percent vacant at peak. If you don’t have that, then it is inconvenient to park,” Mr. Cizek said. “Everyone is cruising and leaving.”

Mr. Cizek said there have been consulting firm that have measured that each parking space generates between $150 and $300 a day in retail sales.

Under the proposal, the DDA will manage the enforcement of downtown parking. The authority is "in talks" with an Atlanta-based collection agency to write tickets and collect fines.

Ms. Woodard said net income from the system will be used for downtown beautification.

HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY ABOUT PARKING METERS?

The DDA will hold two public meetings on the proposal to bring parking meters back to the Broad Street corridor.

Thursday, Dec. 17, noon, lobby of the White’s Building, 936 Broad St.

Thursday, Dec. 17, 6 p.m., lobby of the White’s Building, 936 Broad St.

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inAUGsince1832
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inAUGsince1832 12/10/09 - 10:40 am
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boooooo!!!!!!!

boooooo!!!!!!!

JacquesUlar
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JacquesUlar 12/10/09 - 10:46 am
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1,000 new targets for

1,000 new targets for downtown thieves, how cool!

TechLover
15
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TechLover 12/10/09 - 10:47 am
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Would the last one out of

Would the last one out of Augusta please turn off the lights.

CoastalDawg
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CoastalDawg 12/10/09 - 10:47 am
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So at the expense of what few

So at the expense of what few merchants are left on Broad Street the all knowing commissioners have decided to put another stumbling block in the way of those merchants. Some cities, notably Savannah, have done away with parking meters on the main downtown street; whether or not that helped is really unknown but the downtown shopping there has increased many times and parking (which is limited to 2 hours per day in each zone) is difficult to find in spite of the opening a new garage earlier in the year. It will be interesting to see if people turn out for the hearings and express their opinions, although government for, of, and by the people no longer exists in this country. The current trend is "speak your mind, we will hear you and then do whatever we wanted to do in the first place". That begins at the local level and goes all the way to the White House.

JacquesUlar
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JacquesUlar 12/10/09 - 10:47 am
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It's simply a ploy to get

It's simply a ploy to get folks to use the newly approved parking garage so Fry can pay off the bribe money.....

Native007
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Native007 12/10/09 - 10:53 am
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FINALLY. A plan that will

FINALLY. A plan that will bring revenue and be profitable. I am all for ideas that are sensible. I think it is a good idea.

Opinionated one1
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Opinionated one1 12/10/09 - 10:57 am
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Is it any wonder why tax

Is it any wonder why tax paying people are moving out of Augusta. The Augusta Richmond County Commissioners are an inept and expensive group of jesters.

corgimom
28485
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corgimom 12/10/09 - 11:00 am
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I thought they were taken out

I thought they were taken out at the request of the merchants.

up2nogood
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up2nogood 12/10/09 - 11:06 am
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How many of you people

How many of you people actually read the stories you comment on? Commissioners aren't doing this, at least not yet. It's a proposal by the development authority that hasn't even gone before the commission.

southernguy08
499
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southernguy08 12/10/09 - 11:08 am
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The economy already sucks
Unpublished

The economy already sucks downtown due to crime, poor choice of stores, and shortage of parking, and these morons are giving buyers another reason to ignore the downtown merchants. When every shop is closed, and nothing is on Broad Street but hookers and pimps, then maybe they will wake up and see that demanding more from the public isn't the answer.

museofsatie
586
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museofsatie 12/10/09 - 11:12 am
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This is a good idea to bring

This is a good idea to bring in money, but it's a terrible idea for the merchants and employees who work for downtown businesses.

AnotherPerspective
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AnotherPerspective 12/10/09 - 11:15 am
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If it's such a good idea, why

If it's such a good idea, why not do it the week before Masters? Could it be because the meters will deter people from going downtown and spending money there? And, where is the revenue going?

Newsreader
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Newsreader 12/10/09 - 11:23 am
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Seems to me it should be a

Seems to me it should be a good idea 52 weeks a year, not 51. Why not get some enforcement on time limits and allow the revenue to be genterated by tickets to the violators. I do not think the problem is too few spaces, but too many long term parkers.

fd1962
26
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fd1962 12/10/09 - 11:26 am
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A thousand nails should
Unpublished

A thousand nails should tighten-up downtown's coffin.

oh man
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oh man 12/10/09 - 11:26 am
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you would think the

you would think the commissioners would want more business downtown not less. Good job commissioners you are helping na and columbia co grower more each day. You die hard merchants of broad just when are you going to give up and realize the commissions want broad to be a ghosttown left for the thugs.

crackertroy
540
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crackertroy 12/10/09 - 11:29 am
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To help pay for the TEE
Unpublished

To help pay for the TEE center.

LEO
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LEO 12/10/09 - 11:29 am
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If they use the revenue

If they use the revenue generated to repair and/or replace infrastructure such as storefront sidewalks, Riverwalk, etc., or hire off-duty deputies for security (instead of the Segway-driving, trash collectors), then I'm all for it. Otherwise, I see this new money generated being used to cover the usual annual budget shortfalls caused by our financially inept commission. What do the merchants in the BIDs have to say about this?

paulwheeler
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paulwheeler 12/10/09 - 11:35 am
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The DDA is like the

The DDA is like the convention ad visitors bureau...USELESS!
Hopefully the commission will have enough sense not to pass this

bigdogsrule
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bigdogsrule 12/10/09 - 11:36 am
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This is a bad idea,anyone who

This is a bad idea,anyone who remembers the old parking meters in downdown Augusta will remember what an eyesore and hassle they were.Augusta Mall should applaud this as a real boast to there business. As someone who has been going to Health Central for 20 years I will stop going downtown if this is approved.

andnowfor
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andnowfor 12/10/09 - 11:40 am
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Okay, really....why does this

Okay, really....why does this city have to take 20 steps backwards for every one it takes forward? This has to be a joke. Why is the DDA so committed to destroying downtown? with generating $300,000 a year you are going to have to pay at least half that to hire people to write parking tickets; so really it is only $150,000 a year in income. Now cut out the taxes from people no longer coming downtown for lunch and you are out the other $150,000. What a stupid plan. I wonder how many people on the DDA own stock in the Augusta Mall and other outlying commercial real estate?

coco rubio
4
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coco rubio 12/10/09 - 11:45 am
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the DDA should be disbanded

the DDA should be disbanded -- what exactly do they do, besides waste money on useless studies and bad ideas like this?

coco rubio
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coco rubio 12/10/09 - 11:46 am
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when & where will these

when & where will these "public meetings" be? that would be a good point to include in this story..... thanks!

crackertroy
540
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crackertroy 12/10/09 - 11:51 am
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Jarques 9:46 AM post =
Unpublished

Jarques 9:46 AM post = exactly. We need a new commission.

mommie2
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mommie2 12/10/09 - 12:02 pm
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Why after Masters? That's

Why after Masters? That's when they will make a buttload of money!

corgimom
28485
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corgimom 12/10/09 - 12:03 pm
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All the workers will do "The

All the workers will do "The 2 hour shuffle" again.

Just My Opinion
5296
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Just My Opinion 12/10/09 - 12:10 pm
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Couple of things...first off,

Couple of things...first off, like up2nogood said, y'all need to re-read this article...this hasn't gotten anywhere near the commissioners yet. It will, but not yet. Secondly, what do the merchants say about it? Or is this DDA consist of only merchants?? Hard to believe that. I understand they want/need to raise money, but this may not have been fully thought out yet. I think the public is going to raise cane about it. If they are definitely going to do it, why not just put the parking meters in CENTRAL downtown, thereby allowing people (customers) the chance to walk further down Broad Street to where the free parking spots are. This would appease people who don't want to pay, get them some exercise, and expose them to some of the stores that are futher down Broad Street that they normally may not see. Just an idea. Bottom line, though, I don't think it's a good idea.

Don KING
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Don KING 12/10/09 - 12:31 pm
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All these parking meters are

All these parking meters are going to absorb the suns heat and radiate it back into our environment which will further contribute to global warming!! Ask Al !!!

caddie160
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caddie160 12/10/09 - 12:36 pm
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hmmmmm, how can we get people

hmmmmm, how can we get people to come downtown and patronize our businesses?.....I Know! lets charge them!

dpm626
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dpm626 12/10/09 - 12:45 pm
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When the DDA brings this

When the DDA brings this before the commission, hope the commission see that this is a bad idea too.

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