Perry finds answers and solutions to downtown parking

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Perry residents have mixed feelings about downtown parking

PERRY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – As Perry continues to grow, so does the need for parking.

Residents have mixed feelings about downtown parking. Some business owners say there’s enough parking.

”As of now, it’s great. We’re having a good time educating our customers on other places to park and not just in front of our businesses,” MeMe’s co-owner Avoly Wainwright said.

Meanwhile, other business owners disagree.

”As downtown grows and more people come down here, we absolutely need more parking. Maybe a parking garage built somewhere,” Yes! It’s Consignment owner Suzanne Evans said.

To settle the debate, Perry Downtown Development Authority and Middle Georgia Regional Commission conducted a parking survey.

There’s 310 parking spaces downtown. The survey results indicate adequate downtown parking.

Assistant City Manager Robert Smith says the survey found during any given time 34-percent of the parking spaces were occupied. During lunch and dinner rushes, parked cars occupied only 48-percent of spaces.

He says the issue is that people have to walk long distances between their car and their destination.

”Our food truck Friday series, on average, attracts about 3,500 people to our downtown. That’s when there’s issues parking,” Smith said.

Middle Georgia Regional Commission gave the city some public safety recommendations because of parallel parking and speedy drivers on Main Street.

”Every three or four parallel parking spaces, you’ll eliminate a parking space. Then you’d bring the curb and gutter out to where the road way is. That really helps with the perception you can go fast and helps buffer traffic for people parked on the sides,” he said

The city is also adding more public parking signage later in March.

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Tanya comes all the way from Chicago, Illinois. She’s a city girl that’s excited to be a part of Middle Georgia’s community and tell your stories! She received a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Columbia College Chicago. She also spent a few semesters studying at San Diego State University. While in college, she interviewed Joan Rivers before she passed away, was on the red carpet for the movie premiere of “Chiraq” and also interned with ABC7’s investigative reporters and Bill Kurtis. Tanya spent nearly 2 years reporting in Billings, Montana where she covered a lot of politics and agriculture. In her spare time, Tanya is a sports fanatic, so even though the Chicago Bears and Bulls didn’t know how to win this season, she still roots for them. You can guarantee you’ll run into her at the gym every day. If you do, stop by and say hi! Share your stories with her and don’t be surprised if she’s hiding chocolate chip cookies in her gym bag.