Five Points Business Owners Speak About Proposed Parking Changes

Business owners talk about parking enforcement

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Columbia city council is preparing for a first reading on a new parking ordinance that could increase enforcement hours in Five Points.

From the hours of 11am to 6pm drivers keep know to keep an eye on the meter.

Now there are talks that those hours could be extended to 9 or 10pm, even on the weekends.

The ordinance would be designed to prevent drivers from leaving cars in Five Points overnight, mainly on the weekends.

"If you leave your car, it's probably going to get towed first thing in the morning,” says Ann Jones, with Five Points Shoe Repair.

Businesses, in what's known as Columbia’s Village Neighborhood, have mixed feelings about the proposed changes.

"I think it would be bad for business,” says Jones. "The kids don't want to use the meters at night. We think it would be bad for the restaurants and it would be bad for the bars."

Joshua Hennessee, with the Purple Haze vapor shop, agrees with Jones, but wants to the two hour parking limit increased.

"People need more time to walk,” says Hennessee. “That's what five points is, it's meant to be strolled through. The last thing we need is for people to be in a rush."

On the other hand, increasing the number of customers is a goal for business owners who don't want to see people park and leave cars all day on the weekends.

"That takes up vital parking for us because our customers aren't able to come shop with us,” says Kelly Taybor, owner of Good For the Sole Shoes.

Taybor says he would just like council to focus on changing parking enforcement on Saturdays and Sundays.

"To enforce it late in the evening I think deters customers from coming down and patrons from going to the restaurants and the bars,” says Taybor. “We don't want to penalize anyone who leaves their car overnight because they've had a little too much to drink."

City Council staff is still working out the details, but we could soon see some changes overnight, making you reconsider leaving your car after dark.

Columbia city council could have a first reading on the parking enforcement ordinance at their next meeting on September 20th.


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