New parking plan in works for Springfield

New parking plan in works for Springfield »Play Video

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Parking is becoming a problem in downtown Springfield, according to several business owners along Main Street.

Jack Koehler, owner of Sweety's Yogurt, said a growing number of people who work downtown are pulling into 2-hour spots, and parking there all day.

"Some of my customers are saying, "You know what? We came down and couldn't find parking, so we left,'" Koehler said.
A new study backs him up.

Rick Williams, a Portland parking consultant, told the city council Monday night that about 1 in 3 people who park downtown stay longer than the limit allows. That limits the turnover of spaces, which can send impulsive shoppers elsewhere.

"If somebody's driving and they don't see a place, they may not bother," said Michael Healy, an employee at Antique Peddlers.

With help from the consultant, the city is developing a new parking plan for downtown. The plan will look at everything from creating new spaces by getting rid of unnecessary loading zones to tougher enforcement of parking rules.

"There's plenty of parking downtown Springfield -- it's free and plentiful," said Niel Laudati, a city spokesman. "It's just about trying to make sure it's in the best spots."