Bibb County officials are considering a plan to install parking meters along the streets of downtown Macon.
The Macon-Bibb County Urban Development Authority is presenting the project at Tuesday's commission meeting.
The proposal says the meters would be in clearly marked parking spaces and monitored by a parking enforcement officer.
Willie Cotton says he remembers when Macon had downtown meters.
“Everybody got along fine with the parking meters,” says Cotton. However, in the late '70s, Cotton says Macon got rid of the downtown meters.
“Something just needs to be done,” says Cotton. As a resident of downtown, Cotton says it is hard to find open spots.
Cotton says, “A lot of times when these people park, they stay for 3 or 4 hours,” but he says meters would fix that.
“If they've got an hour for parking, they know they have to come back and move the car,” says Cotton.
Downtown business owner, Brian Ochoa, says the meters will free up spots more often, which could encourage more people to shop and eat downtown.
“The parking situation will improve because too many people park downtown and just stay there all day,” says Ochoa.
Bibb County's plan says that funds from the meters will help pay for the project, and the revenue will go to streetscape improvements. One downtown employee, Christine Rosales, says the meters would mean she has to pay to go to work.
“I probably wouldn't like working downtown if I had to pay daily or two times if I had to go somewhere and come back,” says Rosales. According to the plan, there will be signs to clearly indicate metered parking spaces, and cotton says that will help people know where they can park.
“So with the parking meters i have a nice place to park,” says Cotton.
This project needs approval from the commission.
Mary Grace Shaw, 13WMAZ