Major Parking Changes Coming to Downtown Auburn
The city of Auburn ranks high in national quality of life surveys.
But, marks for traffic flow and parking aren’t so hot.
“I often equate Auburn to a kid hitting a growth spurt. It’s not comfortable, it can be painful, but once you’ve grown up, you are vibrant and I think once we are done with this, that’s how downtown Auburn will be. It’s going to bring more energy to downtown,” said Beth Witten, Councilwoman Ward 3.
The plan to fix parking problems created by that growth includes: a valet service at the top of the Gay St. parking deck that would create an additional 75 parking spots and cost similar to a meter.
Second, the cost of a metered parking space increases from one quarter to one dollar and the time limit is cut in half from four hours to two hours.
Auburn students being blamed for hogging parking spots.
“Students recognize when you are only paying a quarter an hour to park downtown or you can pay $180 a semester on campus. They seem to choose to park downtown,” said Jim Buston, Interim Auburn City Manager.
So, third idea, coordinating long-term parking plans with the university.
And, finally, asking downtown workers not to park on the street.
“That’s 200 employees that could use the parking, we only have 608 spaces total and if you can free up a third of that, that’s a lot of space for our public to park,” said Buston.
So, planners hope larger lots at churches, banks and other businesses in the area might provide parking for downtown workers.
Big changes the city hopes to hope to have in place before school starts in the Fall.