City Council Addresses Parking Problem In Downtown OKC

Tuesday, December 13th 2011, 4:05 pm
By: News 9

The City of Oklahoma City is facing a serious issue: parking, or more specifically, the lack of it.

City council members and other city leaders held a special meeting Tuesday morning to discuss building a new parking garage downtown.

Rick Cain, the city's Director of Transportation and Parking, said downtown parking garages are at 91 percent capacity.

"As a rule of thumb, when spaces are at 84 percent capacity, that's full," Cain said.

The city recently took a survey asking where the best places are to build a parking garage. It identified nine locations; one in Bricktown, four options downtown, two in Midtown, and two in Automobile Alley.

Cain said it will cost around $9 million to build a garage with 600 parking spaces. The funds will come from municipal bonds. He said if something isn't done soon, the lack of parking could have an adverse affect on downtown later.

"There is so much continuing demand for facilities that without putting more down there, I think what's going to end up happening is you will see a reverse reaction where people will not want to come downtown and developers will not want to build downtown," Cain said.

At the special meeting, the council learned three retail stores in Bricktown went out of business, possibly due to the parking problem.

The city will make a decision on where to build a new garage in the coming months.