Would you pay to park in downtown Augusta?

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News 12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Commission seal

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Some downtown business owners want you to pay to park your car on Broad Street. Others say that could stop people from coming downtown.

"It's not that it's nowhere to park, it's the employees taking up the spots. The city won't enforce the parking ordinance," said downtown business owner Kay White.

White is the owner of Whitehouse Antiques. She's considering selling, packing up every Georgia plate and leaving Broad Street for good. Her customers have nowhere to park.

"I need constant changeover for a big business like myself. I need parking available," White said.

"We've got to encourage people to use spaces that are not on Broad Street. Making people feel safe to use those spaces and providing transportation," said downtown business owner Paul King.

A group of downtown business owners and residents met with Deputy Administrator Bill Shanahan to talk parking. Monthly decals and parking meters were discussed as options for the problem.

"I admit I am for that, but everyone wants to park on Broad Street," King said.

The main problem committee members found was customer versus employee. Employees need spaces to work, and customers need spaces to shop.

"The thing is they have not addressed the problems downtown. They need to fix the basic problems so we can have the growth we need as a whole downtown," White said.

Until the issue is fixed, customers for Whitehouse Antiques will just have to find another place to park.

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