Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- You may not need that extra change to park the next time you have to make a quick trip downtown.
Starting the first week in November, the City of Columbia will launch a new test parking program.
"There's just something about putting change in a meter that is a turn-off for some people," said City Center Partnership President Matt Kennell.
Those days will soon come to a temporary end along the1600 block of Main Street. The city will launch a pilot program that will replace the parking meters with timed parking signs. It is expected to last for two months.
Kennell says the test could benefit the Capital City.
"What we're all about is making sure people have a good experience downtown, we want people to feel good about coming downtown," Kennell said. "We don't want them to worry about whether they have change in their pocket or purse, and this would give them the availability to do that."
Jeffery Picow hopes that happens. He says the idea is worth a try for his customers at King's Jewelers.
"I think it's wonderful for customers to come downtown to the 1600 block to come and shop and they don't have to feed the meter," said Picow.
Parking officials will still issue tickets and check to make sure people do not stay in a space too long, but people downtown think the idea is good one.
"Giving somebody just that free time, even if it's just a short period of time, might help people," said Kimberly Daniels. "Help people who work around the stores, help people who shop here frequently."
Right now, the city is conducting a turnover vacancy study to see how much time people are spending in the area. That study will continue after the pilot program begins so the city can identify any results that come from the parking change.
Kennell says similar parking rules work for other cities, and he is glad Columbia is taking a look at what it could do here as well.
"I think overall people want to see a change downtown. I think they see this as just being another step in the positive evolution of downtown and are anxious to see how it works," said Kennell.