Rome City Commissioners approved a parking plan that will see downtown customers pay for on street parking Monday.
The final vote was split with Evie McNeice, Milton Slack, Bill Irmscher and Bill Collins voting in favor and Craig McDaniel, Randy Quick, Wendy Davis and Sundai Stevenson voting “No.”
Mayor Jamie Doss broke the tie with a yes vote.
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The City of Rome Downtown Development Authority (DDA) approved a new parking plan today to present to the Rome City Commission. The expanded Free Parking Program Plan serves to enhance overall parking in Downtown Rome, increase the amount of free parking downtown and eliminate the 2-hour parking limit. The plan also includes enhancements to the safety, cleanliness and access to downtown parking decks.
The program restructures the current allocation of 412 free parking spaces to over 1,400 free parking spaces. Currently, 1,000 spaces are allocated as “pay for parking” and are located in decks and surface lots throughout the downtown area. Free parking would be available at all public parking decks to include Third Avenue, Fourth Avenue and Sixth Avenue decks.
The expanded Free Parking Program provides 1 hour of free on-street parking. It eliminates the two-hour parking limit and shifts to unlimited street parking. On-street parking costs are as follows:
First hour is FREE
2nd hour is $1
3rd hour is $2
4th hour on is $5 per hour
Mon-Sat: 10am – 8pm
By opening up the decks for free parking, more on-street parking will become available. It eliminates the need for patrons to circle blocks searching for on-street parking. Additionally, the new parking plan enables and encourages downtown patrons to spend more time downtown, and eliminates the need for patrons to move their vehicles.
The roll-out of the parking plan calls for new digital signage at Parking Decks and directional signage on Broad Street. Up-to-the-minute parking options will be posted on a new Downtown Parking app. A new Parking Website will provide multiple resources for parking from maps, to app information to news.
“The parking plan accommodates increased demand for the most sought-after parking spaces in downtown while offering free, convenient parking options,” said DDA Chairman and downtown business owner, Robert Blumberg.
“The new plan is forward thinking,” said Mark Cochran, DDA Parking Committee Member and downtown business owner. “We want the growth of downtown to continue; this plan prepares downtown for continued growth.”
“We are confident that this plan will help patrons and visitors park with ease, said Becky Smyth, Downtown Parking Manager. “Customers who prefer to park in front of a business can easily find a parking spot; and they will have the option to stay downtown as long as they like.”
“The DDA Board is striving for the downtown experience to be more focused on visiting and supporting Downtown Rome, while attempting to make parking a non-factor in your experience,” said Connie Sams, DDA Board Member and downtown business owner.
For questions concerning the Downtown Parking, contact Parking Services Manager, Becky Smyth at 706-236-4520, firstname.lastname@example.org.