Posted: Sep 16, 2013 3:06 PM by Danielle Carter, KOMU 8 News Reporter
Updated: Sep 16, 2013 11:14 PM
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council will vote Monday night to approve adjustments to a pilot program that's easing parking frustrations in the North Village.
An influx of people in the North Village (which includes Ash, Orr, Walnut, Short, Ninth, and Tenth Streets) has led to very little parking for those who actually reside in the North Village. As a result, the city rolled out a pilot program making certain parts of the North Village permit-only parking, giving two parking spots to each household. Signs posted on the streets mark which areas are permit-only, and how much you will have to pay if you park there without a permit. Some residents say it has helped immensely.
"It has been an incredible thing for our neighborhood," said North Village resident Mara Aruguete. "And we're really really grateful. I think you can ask any of the neighbors around here."
However, some residents are concerned for visiting friends and family, who don't have parking permits - so the city council is considering a change to the ordinance that will provide each household in the North Village parking district with a visitor's card for guests.
"My only concern was when friends and family come to visit," said North Village resident Denise McElroy. "There's not a lot of parking available for anybody extra besides the residents on this street."
Even with adjustments like the pilot program, parking is still an issue - not only for residents but for business owners as well.
Mark Timberlake of Timberlake Engineering owns a few properties on Orr Street in the North Village, and says that while the pilot program was needed, businesses need to be taken care of next.
"The next phase as we see it is to do something that will also address the needs of the businesses in the area," said Timberlake. "We feel like we've addressed the needs of the residences on those streets, but as a result we've lost about 30 spots in the area. So we need to do something to accomodate the businesses and artists and those people in the area also."