Downtown Development Authority looks toward parking solution

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - 8:25am

If you've ever had trouble finding a parking space in downtown Shreveport, help could soon be on the way. That's after the release of a study which calculated the number of available parking spots and how many extra ones the city needs. The Rich & Associates report was commissioned by the Downtown Development Authority, after the city lost a major developer for a historic building because of inadequate parking, said Liz Swaine, Director.

"It made me sick to my stomach when this developer walked away from a historic building that needs this money, that needs to be renovated, that needs to be put back into commerce. We had someone who was willing to do it and they left because they couldn't get the parking," she said. The study split the downtown area into two areas and found inadequate parking for both, adding up to a total of more than 600 deficit spaces. That's projected to grow to over 1,100 deficit spaces within 5 years.

However, the Downtown Development Authority is looking at options to ease the problem. One of the possible solutions is building multi-level parking decks in both areas. There are many people who agree that action needs to be taken, said Swaine, but the problem now...paying for it all. There's no timetable on how long that could take, though. "We're in the process of talking to some money people, talking to developers, trying to put together some options," she said.

The Rich & Associates report spanned over several days from data collected in January and February of 2012.

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