More Parking Concerns Downtown: Lights and Possible New Garage

5 years 8 months 1 week ago September 14, 2011 Sep 14, 2011 Wednesday, September 14 2011 Wednesday, September 14, 2011 2:54:00 AM CDT in News
By: Caitlin Alexander

COLUMBIA - Parking is a hot topic of discussion yet again Wednesday, as the public reacts to the bright lights of the 5th and Walnut parking garage and the Downtown Parking Task Force's possible construction of another parking structure.

For the past few weeks, the City has been testing different kinds of lighting on the third through eighth levels of the 5th and Walnut garage after complaints that the bright lights were an eyesore. Since the test began, the city has asked for public feedback. Sustainability manager, Barbara Buffaloe, says so far, she's only heard back from a handful of people. Those who have contacted her said they appreciated the opportunity to give feedback and preferred the lights on the fourth floor of the garage. She said these lights diffuse glare and have an appealing color.

Buffaloe says the public has about a week more to get their word in before the city reaches a decision.

Also, the Downtown Parking Task Force will meet Wednesday afternoon at 4 in City Hall to discuss the results of a private group's study of the Short Street area, where it is considering building another parking structure. The projected garage would sit on Walnut and Short Street in the North-Village Eco-Arts District. The group, Walker Parking Consultants, expects this area of Columbia to grow in a few years. The group found more often than not, people take up 85 percent of the parking in the Short Street Area. It therefore recommended that the new structure contain between 422 and 524 parking spaces.

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