By Alex Cameron, News 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- As the NBA makes its move to the metro, some residents have raised concerns about parking in Bricktown. A new study showed that many of those fears may not be justified directly following the move, but in years to come parking could become a larger problem.
There are a total of 5,639 parking spaces in Bricktown, and the study said that on weekend nights, when demand for parking is greatest, only 62 percent of those spots are taken.
The study also acknowledges there's much that could be done and needs to be done, or the fans could have a growing problem.
Finding on-street parking in Bricktown is made difficult due to a quarter of the 220 metered spaces being used by those who work in Bricktown.
"Employees ought to be encouraged in a very strong way to park in employee lots at the periphery," said Gerald Salzman of Desman Associates.
While utilizing employee parking is one of the recommendations the consultant who conducted the study made to the City Council today, they said there is surplus parking available. As new development takes away the existing spaces, demand will be created for more.
"That combined impact will take what's a surplus and convert it into a deficit," Salzman said.
Eventually, the consultant said there will have to be new parking facilities built, but for now the city and Bricktown need to get better use out of the ballpark lot, which is locked on non-game days.
"Santa Fe Garage...it's available all the time, but people don't realize it because it's an extra block north," Salzman said.
Better signage will help solve the problem, the report said, especially on NBA game days. Bricktown officials said they're working to keep parking affordable on game day.
"Parking spaces on an NBA game night will either be free or $5.00," said Jim Cowan of the Bricktown Association.
Bricktown officials said they have already begun to act on many of the consultant's recommendations, like getting employees here not to use the metered spots. They said there are five different lots that offer reduced rates for workers, and most businesses are using them.
The report contains 50 actionable items which the City Council can act or not act on. The city paid $38,000 for the study.