A new angle on parking

A new angle on parking

August 6th, 2009 by Mike Pare in Businesstopstory

Staff Photo by John Rawlston Parallel on-street parking is seen on Wednesday along Broad Street between Second Street and Fourth Street. There is discussion on replacing parallel parking spaces with angled parking to increase the number of spots available in the riverfront area.

Staff Photo by John Rawlston Parallel on-street parking is...

With downtown parking often at a premium, the idea of placing angle parking on Broad Street to create more spaces in the busy riverfront district is gaining a new look.

"It would definitely give us more spots," said Kim White, chief executive of the nonprofit downtown redevelopment group RiverCity Co.

She said residents and businesses in the central city have urged RiverCity to revisit the downtown parking issue. Angle parking is part of the discussion along with other ideas, the RiverCity CEO said.

"We're trying to get a solution to get more parking and manage it better," Mrs. White said.

Craig Barrett, general manager of Big River Grille and Brewing Works at 222 Broad St., said angle parking could be a positive for the restaurant.

"There is a limited amount of parking," he said. Mr. Barrett said Big River has a program in which frequent diners can get parking validation at the CARTA garage across the street.

Mrs. White said the planned November opening of The Majestic, the new Carmike 12-screen movie theater on Broad between Third and Fourth streets, will create even more demand for on-street parking in that area.

Also, RiverCity is trying to woo more retail to the central city, and that's expected to attract added cars. Putting angle parking in a small area of downtown, such as the riverfront district, and seeing how it works is one idea, Mrs. White said.

She didn't expect any changes to happen, if they do, until next year.

Placing angle parking on Broad, which now has parallel parking, has been raised in the past. A study of downtown parking released by RiverCity Co. five years ago called for angle parking on Broad along with a variety of other steps, some of which have been implemented.

In the late 1990s, city planners weighed angle parking on Broad between Second and Fourth streets. One idea raised then was that Broad could be narrowed from six to four lanes with angle parking on both sides of the street.

They said then that Broad had angle parking in the 1950s.

Kenny Westmoreland, a manager at Ben & Jerry's at 201 Broad St., thinks angle parking would work in the area.

But he questioned if angle parking might cause more traffic congestion.

"It might cause a problem with the size of vehicles," Mr. Westmoreland said.

Another issue has to do with the trucking deliveries to restaurants, Mrs. White said.

"We're going to meet with the restaurants to figure out deliveries and what makes sense," she said.

Mrs. White said a number of people who work downtown still feed parking meters.

"It gives the appearance to everything being full," she said.


CARTA owns and operates three downtown parking structures, including one in the riverfront district near the Tennessee Aquarium.