Petition started against proposed parking changes in Savannah

A petition has been started to stop the changes to parking prices and times in Downtown Savannah.

As of 1pm Friday the petition on Change.org, started by Katherine Penrod, has 1453 signatures.

The petition says in part:

The Savannah City Council has recently proposed the idea of raising the price of parking meters located in downtown Savannah to $2.00 an hour and to start charging on weekends from the hours of 10am to 10pm. All city residents and people who disagree with this decision, please sign this petition to prevent this change!!

If you would like to sign the petition, click this link Parking Meter Petition

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SAVANNAH, GA (WSAV-TV)- The new parking study for downtown Savannah shows the city could be making more parking revenue if they made the right steps and that could lead to changes in pricing and enforcement.

Downtown business owners are saying if they’re going to do it they better do it right.

“My clientele’s number one complaint is parking and i think that’s the song everybody has heard downtown,” says Dancing Dog and Beatnix Yoga owner Shelly Lowther.

It’s the message the city has heard loud and clear during its first comprehensive parking study. Parking in Savannah can be a headache. Now with a first look in decades of how supply and demand of parking is looking for the city, city staff are looking at what moves to make to better revenue as well as improving convenience for motorists.

“We already have a number of people who feel hampered coming downtown. our goal once again is to make for the availability of spaces and sometimes we’ll use pricing for that,” says Leisure services Bureau Chief Sean Brandon.

The city is looking to alter hours for parking meters from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M to 10 A.M. to 10 P.M. Even though many of the changes would come to counteract that, Lowther sees it pushing customers away.

“T think bringing it to 10 o’ clock at night would actually hurt a lot of shops and businesses downtown.”

So to justify the changes, the city is looking to reduce rates in parking decks, eliminate hour limits on meters as well as giving a first offense leniency for drivers who don’t feed the meters long enough.

The city says their goal is to change the parking atmosphere so they will ticket less drivers. Although the proposal could change the problems of supply and demand of deck parking versus on street parking, Lowther says if the city goes the pricing and enforcement route, they will need to keep the public informed as much as possible.

“I think if they role out this new program it will need to come with a lot of education for tourists and for locals.”

The city is still taking public comment on the parking study you can fill out the survey here. The comment period ends on March 31st and recommendations for changing or not changing the ways the city makes money on parking could come as soon as May.

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