Carbondale to Add Parking Downtown


By Matthew Searcy

CARBONDALE -- Carbondale city leaders are preparing to add more parking spaces to make room for growth downtown. 

Downtown development is bringing more traffic to the strip and increasing demand. 
"They are having to ride around a little bit more to try and find parking," said downtown business owner Becky Bailey.  
Bailey owns "The Shop" Hair Salon on the strip and says parking has been hard to come by for her customers.  
"That's the problem that I run into," said Bailey. "People park and then they stay longer."
The city will spend $125,000 to improve and expand the lot behind Bailey's business. It's a plan that has been in place since 2006 when the city first bought the property.  
"Between then and now there really hadn't been a need for that parking," said city manager Kevin Baity. "Their need for parking has caused us to evaluate whether to build this parking lot in at a quicker pace, and the city has now decided to do that." 
The city will add more than 50 metered spaces. Leaders say the money generated is used to fund future city parking projects.  
"We do make money on the meters," explained Baity. "Where we make the money is from the parking tickets."
He says the rate for parking will remain unchanged.  
"Our one quarter per hour rate is significantly lower than what people are used to paying in larger cities," said Baity. 
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