Community task force meet to discuss downtown parking issues

Arkansas News

EL DORADO, Ark. (09/20/19) — A small group of leaders met today to discuss the parking issues downtown.

The city hired a parking attendant but fired her in January. They were many complaints about her, not just as a parking attendant but around City Hall.

Since then, residents say parking has worsened and there hasn’t been a solution to the matter.

Mayor Veronica Smith-Creer met with a concerned citizen, the police chief, city code inspector and others to brainstorm options that would work.

“We talked about parking meters. We talked about a mobile pay app,” Mayor Veronica Smith-Creer said. “We talked about civilian ticket warden.”

They also discussed the possibility of a parking garage. Many residents say that would be the best option with all of the activities that happen downtown.

“I think it’s more of the employees don’t have anywhere to park,” Linda Washington said. “So, they take up other spaces like the courthouse and in front of restaurants.”

Mayor Smith-Creer isn’t opposed to a parking garage but she says that’s not feasible right now.

“Maybe in the future that might be a solution but I don’t think we’re quite ready for it yet and the cost that it would be incur,” she said.

She would like to come to a solution soon but she knows it’s not going to be an easy fix.

“There are so many components to the situation. It’s not just customers. It’s not just employees,” she said. “We have to look at people coming from all over. It’s not just an El Dorado situation.”

One thing they are working on is bringing in more people to the discussion. She wants to add downtown business owners, employees and even churches to help come up with the best solution.

They will also have to survey downtown parking lots to see how they can be better utilized for customers and employees.

The next meeting is yet to be determined.

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