Parking meter proposal won't go to commission this month

A city authority trying to bring parking meters back to downtown Augusta is slowing down its timeline to get them installed.

The Downtown Development Authority of Augusta will not be presenting a plan to the Augusta Commission this month as originally planned.

Instead, the authority said today that it will collect more data and hold more public meetings on the parking meter proposal.

Authority director Margaret Woodard said the public opposition prompted an adjustment to the authority’s parking management strategy.

“The parking proposal was just that,” Ms. Woodard said. “It was a suggestion for how we might manage our parking resources better using recent research and cutting-edge technology. Our proposal was intended to initiate discussion, gauge public sentiment and incorporate new ideas emerging from the public dialogue before implementation begins.”

She said there is now no date to present the proposal to the commission.

“We’re going to take the time we need. We’re not going to put a timeline on it,” Ms. Woodard said.

Dates and times for the public input sessions haven’t been set.

The development authority on Dec. 10 approved a plan to install parking meters in the Broad Street corridor – from Fifth to 13th streets – in an effort to free up parking for patrons.

The proposal calls for spending $1 million on smart meters that would monitor 1,000 parking spaces. Parking in the metered areas would cost $1 per hour between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. weekdays.

Parking on Reynolds, Greene and Telfair streets would remain free under the proposal.

The DDA would be responsible for monitoring, ticketing and money collection. Proceeds from the parking system would be directed toward downtown beautification efforts, the board proposed.

Broad Street hasn’t had parking meters since 1978.

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