Changes may be in store for the downtown parking situation in Nacogdoches

There's nothing definite yet, but based on Tuesday morning's discussion about downtown Nacogdoches parking issues, some changes are in store.

Finding a downtown parking space exactly where you want it can be a challenge, depending on the day and hour.

"We don't have a quantity problem," said Nacogdoches Police Chief Jim Sevey. "We have a convenience problem."

Either way, it was big enough to call a meeting Tuesday to seek solutions.

"I think the parking problem is a great thing," said Sarah O'Brien, Nacogdoches' Main Street manager. It means we're growing and developing."

The goal is to keep street spots open for customers, and not so much for employees or residents.

""What's my solution? Take down all the 2 hour parking signs," Sevey said. "Do away with that. Stop it."

Tourist promoters agree for one important reason.

"And that is money in your pocket," said Melissa Sanford, the Nacogdoches Convention and Visitors Bureau director. "They're looking at their watch, saying, 'I have to get in and get out.'"

So downtown employees and residents are encouraged to park off Main Street. The question is will they? Self governance is a suggestion.

"You just tattle-tale on each other, and I know that sounds so elementary, but shame goes a long way," O'Brien said. "And if you're not following the rules, how do you expect your neighbors to follow the rules."

So where can you park? Customers, try downtown first. There are 9 public parking lots located on the perimeters of downtown.

Right now, two downtown banks are fairly generous with their private lots. Yet, more 'no parking' signs are going up. There are even threats of being towed.  Parking lot control between a leaser and lessee is an issue at this location.  Others are resorting to renting a spot.

The mayor weighed in on the downtown parking issue as well.

"It's a great time in our city. Downtown is getting busy," said Nacogdoches Mayor Roger Van Horn. "It's a real issue that we need to solve."

The solution for now is do away with limitations, save spaces for customers, and walk to work or home with a smile on your face.

The city planning department is conducting a downtown parking study. The city council must approve an end to the 2-hour parking limit. And the possibility of building a parking garage is slim, primarily due to expense.

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