Columbus organization works to alleviate parking problems in Uptown

COLUMBUS,GA (WTVM) – Two hotels, two Columbus State University Departments, and several businesses are making the move to Uptown, which has many who frequent the area concerned about parking.

Josh Horne is opening a business in the Uptown area and he says there is no good option when it comes to finding a place to park.

"They just aren't centrally located," Horne said. "The closest deck is two or three blocks away, I don't mind walking but I don't want to every time I come down here."

Horne is not alone, Christina Shively is a student at Columbus State and says she has been late to her classes at the River Park campus several times because of parking.

"I have been late to several classes because I go to one class for an hour and thirty minutes, then go out and check my car and possibly move it to another spot, which takes time," Shively said. "The two-to-six rule doesn't really work for students, seeing as how we can have more classes in that period of time. We are constantly moving our cars and it takes time to find a new spot so you end up being late."

The two-to-six rule says that students can only park in a spot for two hours between 2 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Richard Bishop with Uptown Columbus Inc. says they recognize the parking issue and are working on solutions to fix it. He says the current decks in the area can support development but that they know they are not convenient.

"There's room in our current decks to match that but unfortunately they are not located where they need to be" says Bishop. "In the next few months you will see opportunities present its self on how we plan for a future parking deck."

One factor that should help in the construction of a new deck is Uptown's recent designation as a tax allocation district.

"The tax allocation district is something the city got approved just a few months ago." explains Bishop. "You can actually take new development and it will interject new tax dollars and you can use that to fund capital projects such as a parking deck."

For now, if you plan to visit Uptown there are 2,000 parking spaces on the street level and another 700 in the RiverCenter deck, which city council voted to make free parking in October.

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