MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – You’ll soon have to pay to park in Downtown Macon. Parking meters are being installed in the next couple of weeks.
About 600 parking meters will go up to manage 900 spaces from First Street to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Walnut Street to Plum Street. The Macon-Bibb County Urban Development Authority is working with Lanier Parking to get them up and running.
“Our partnership with McKay and with Passport parking is going to allow us to do things in a customer service, customer service manner in town. We’re not into counting quarters, we’re worried about the customer experience,” said Ben Steffen, Lanier’s territory manager.
Urban Development Authority (UDA) Executive Director, Alex Morrison says parking meters were in the works for years after being taken away in 1989.
“Parking all day in one space isn’t going to be something you can do anymore,” said Morrison.
“The parking’s just terrible down here,” said Doughboy Pizza employee, Victoria. “You can never find a parking spot. Ever.”
Although Williams likes the idea of having controlled parking, she is a little skeptical about the meters are going up.
“So I’m going to have to run out every two hours to pay to park,” said Williams. “Which is cutting into my money working here.”
Morrison says employees who work downtown will have to pay for parking, unless they find spaces further away. But Lanier will work with businesses to find a solution.
“By having centralized parking management with Lanier and park Macon-Bibb, it’ll be easier for people to get monthly parking passes and then actually use those in multiple ways,” said Morrison.
The parking meters charge $1.25 an hour, up to 3 hours. You can use coins, cash, a credit or debit card. You can also use your smartphone to pay for parking, with Passport Parking.
The meters will be up and running by July 1st.
Lanier will have employees patrolling downtown, handing out citations for those who don’t pay.
The money collected in parking fees goes back to the installation of the parking meters and operations. Any money collected after that, will go into the beautification of downtown.