Ogden leaders consider paid parking downtown
OGDEN, Utah — Free parking could become a thing of the past in downtown Ogden. City leaders there are considering adding a pay system to help accommodate future growth.
“No! Absolutely no,” said Britainy Gibbons, a hair salon employee.
Gibbons said her salon customers wouldn’t like it.
“I don’t think it needs to be paid parking,” she said. “They give out tickets anyways and make money if you’re over two hours.”
And there’s Ron Yeates.
“The biggest complaint I hear everyday from my customers is the parking/trying to get to the restaurant,” Yeates said.
He says people don’t need another obstacle to getting into No Frills Diner.
“Yeah, I think a lot of people just see it as an added cost,” he said.
But city leaders say that cost will be there one way or another.
“As development happens, we have to deal with parking,” said Brandon Cooper, Ogden’s director of community and economic development.
Cooper says the city is working on a 20-year plan for downtown called Make Ogden.
And during that time, there will be thousands of new jobs and homes.
“And so, it would coincide with development phases,” Cooper said. “Any parking solution would be a phased implementation, and that would take place over a course of many years.”
The plan includes over 900 new spaces where the old Wonder Bread factory used to be.
Cooper says pay-on-the-spot parking isn’t the only solution, though they will be looking for feedback on the idea.
“We’re taking this very seriously,” he said. “We’re trying to collaborate with as many stakeholders downtown as we can — our Ogden Downtown Alliance, our Chamber of Commerce.”
But when traffic into downtown is where your money is made, entrepreneurs can’t help but worry.
“They’re not going to like it,” Gibbons said. “It will hurt my business.”
In all, the new parking and parking structures would cost over $90 million over 20 years. That would come down through five phases.
The city expects to get public feedback in a meeting coming up next month.
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