Downtown parking

We predict it is going to take more than a large culvert and a sidewalk to get people to park in the city lot near the Union County Library, but it’s a start. And it’s a start we support.

The City of New Albany, based on a recommendation of its downtown parking committee, is going to cover a section of the ditch next to the Carter Avenue city parking lot, put in some landscaping and wind a sidewalk from the lot to Carter Avenue, then beside it to Main Street.

The group plans to add signage and more markings giving pedestrians the right-of-way downtown. And they hope to persuade regular workers downtown to park in the Carter Avenue lot to free up space on Bankhead and Main streets for shoppers.

We think the only way the plan will work is if parking maximums of two or three hours are approved on both Bankhead and Main streets, and if those limits are backed up with an enforcement program.

As we have said before, downtown parking congestion is a wonderful problem to have because it means our downtown – unlike many in Mississippi and elsewhere – is thriving.

But some sort of parking limits need to be established if we are to prevent customers from becoming frustrated with the lack of parking spaces and giving up.

We would like to see a revised overall plan for the Carter Avenue lot, so that citizens can be assured we are not doing a piece-meal fix. But short of building a parking garage, which likely would be unsightly and expensive, pushing folks to use the Carter Avenue lot seems to be the best alternative.