published Friday, April 8th, 2011

Tougher parking limits to be asked

A new downtown parking ordinance aimed at easing a perceived shortage of spaces could go before city leaders by summer, an official said Thursday.

“We’re making headway,” Kim White, who heads the nonprofit redevelopment group River City Co., told the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce’s Downtown Council.

White’s group is working with CARTA and city officials to revamp parking downtown.

One aim is to turn over on-street parking spaces more often, particularly in the riverfront district. Officials want to spur downtown workers who feed meters all day long to use nearby surface lots and garages instead, White said.

More than a month ago, parking prices for four downtown sites, including Unum’s lot at Fourth and Cherry streets, were discounted for the workers.

Earlier this year, Unum opened another employee parking garage. It leased out several hundred spaces to a vendor who started charging for the slots that over the years had been free for night and weekend users.

Convincing downtown workers at eateries and retail sites to use the discounted spaces is slow going so far, White said. She said enforcement of two-hour parking limits on the street spaces may be needed.

Brent Matthews, CARTA’s director of parking, said drafts of potential ordinances are being drawn up and sent to the city attorney. He also said new technology may be introduced downtown to aid parking solutions.

about Mike Pare...

Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...

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MasterChefLen said...

All the more reason not to go downtown. Republic has the monopoly on downtown parking and the city will enforce street parking. Another great example of the stupidity of the City of Chattanooga. I'm sure the merchants and dining establishments around Hamilton Place will thank you as people will go there more than downtown and risk getting tickets (and pay high parking fees).

April 8, 2011 at 10:01 a.m.
princehal said...

I refuse to pay $5 to park in downtown CHATTANOOGA. Another small town with big-city aspirations that is driving away the locals, while gauging the blissful tourists they so dearly vie for. Grr

April 8, 2011 at 5:18 p.m.
princehal said...

gouging*

April 8, 2011 at 5:25 p.m.
fftspam said...

This is not about the $5 parking... This is about freeing up the meters.. so you DON'T have to pay $5. This is about getting the people who feed the meters all day to move to a parking lot. Go stand in front of Sticky Fingers at 1pm and watch all the employees start running out to feed the meters. What is crazy is the the managers/owners of just this place it that they don't realize that their employees are taking parking spaces that CUSTOMERS could be using. There is plenty of cheap parking downtown. The people who complain about paying do not come downtown so shut up. One of these days Im going to tail a meter-reader and see what they actually do on a shift.. as meter feeding is already illegal. And... why do they need cars? Can't the meter readers walk the beat?

April 9, 2011 at 1:04 a.m.
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