ROSWELL, Ga. — The City of Roswell has drafted a fee schedule for street parking at the corner of Canton Street and Elizabeth Way. The fees are similar to those instituted for East Alley parking.
City officials voted to bring the proposed schedule up for discussion possible adoption at the next City Council meeting.
The push for paid parking has been around for years, especially in the highly active Historic District.
In 2017, the Historic Roswell Business Association requested the city examine ways to improve parking availability and turnover, said Dave Cox, transportation planning manager.
“The concern was people were taking spots for several hours and employees were taking spots for a good part of the day or the evening,” Cox said.
City Councilman Matt Judy said that parking turnover has been a large issue for Canton Street merchants for several years. The idea behind paid parking is to free up spots more often and, in turn, drive more business.
Cox pointed out that the city has already taken steps to improve the parking situation on Canton Street. In 2018, the city leased three parking lots: the Green Street lot, with 70 spaces, Harlow lot on the corner of Canton and Norcross Street, with 84 spaces on nights and weekends, and the Methodist Church lot on Magnolia Street, with 92 spaces on Friday and Saturday nights. It has also created a Rideshare space on Canton Street.
Converting the 38 spaces on Canton Street and Elizabeth Way to paid would be another step to free up an important section of prime parking spaces, Cox said.
Last November, the City Council directed staff to research parking options and technologies. On July 8, the council adopted a new parking ordinance to designate and enforce paid on-street parking in specific areas.
Staff recommended placing a parking kiosk at the corner of the two streets by the Heart of Roswell Park. The kiosk would be supplemented by a smartphone app with Park Mobile, which is used to find parking in Atlanta.
There are no startup costs with the app, and the city already uses a similar kiosk for East Alley parking.
The kiosk would cost the city $8,100 to install, and the app charges users a convenience fee of $0.35 per transaction. Users can avoid the convenience fee by using the kiosk, Cox said.
The proposed fee schedule for the Canton Street and Elizabeth Way lot is the same as the East Alley lot and could be enforced by part-time or contract employees. Councilman Matthew Tyser asked to consider making the first two hours of parking free at all times, unlike in East Alley.
He added that the city could easily change parking fees, for example for an event, using the kiosk and app.
“This is not for the city to make money,” Tyser said. “This is to move people through those prime parking spaces so that our merchants can benefit from people coming and going… I think once it’s there, just like in East Alley, it will work great.”
The City Council voted to bring the parking fee schedule for discussion at the Aug. 12 City Council meeting.