Downtown Macon business owner hopes for parking meters

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – “We do have a problem,” said Travis Jean owner Jean Bragg.

Business owners like Jean Bragg  already have enough to deal with running a business.

“Not only do I know we have a problem–my customers tell me I have a problem,” said Bragg. “Many have indicated ‘I drove round and around and I could not come into shop.'”

But losing customers because they can’t park?

“I could’ve found a spot I would have come in before now,” Bragg says customers have told her.

That’s one of the toughest–that’s why she’s in favor of a new parking plan for downtown.

“Metered parking on the street would help the visitor to our downtown Macon have the ability to park and shop at their leisure,” said Bragg.

Alex Morrison is the executive director of the Macon Bibb Urban Development Authority.

He presented information about the proposed parking resolution at Tuesday’s commission meeting.

“What we’re trying to do is actually look at parking downtown as a neighborhood amenity,” said Morrison.

He knows all about the problem Bragg and other business owners are talking about.

“Everybody talks about parking downtown talks about how aggravating it is, how unavailable it is,” said Morrison.

So his solution allows the Urban Development Authority to manage a new parking plan and turn the parking spaces over quickly.

“When business owners, employees and residents take up those spaces for long amounts of time it’s actually negative impact on businesses so the whole thrust of what we’re trying to do is support business in downtown,” said Morrison.

That support is what Bragg hopes to get.

“We must have people come in and shop our retail shops in order to purchase, in order to generate sales tax, and sales tax means more money for the city,” said Bragg.

Morrison and Bragg both believed the commissioners liked the idea.

They’re confident it’ll pass soon.