More parking spots in the works for downtown Baton Rouge

More parking spots in the works for downtown Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - More parking spots are in the works by Downtown Development's Davis Rhorer. His attempt to get the East Baton Rouge Metro Council to approve the money needed to begin a study on downtown parking did not make the cut at Wednesday's meeting. Instead, the Fairness Ordinance took up much of Wednesday's meeting.

Rhorer is asking for $49,500 to have AECOM, a professional engineering corporation, conduct a feasibility study. The last such study on downtown parking was nearly a decade ago at the end of 2004. Rhorer says that study however did not take into account all of downtown's latest development and what's to come.  

"It's going to update our demand. What's the supply? What's the demand and basically where we need some expansion," said Rhorer.

The study will look at the development that's in the works, including major corporations such as IBM, a grocery store,  and several hundred residential units.

"I have 11 different projects underway along the Third Street corridor and North Boulevard that will again invite more people down here, and I have residential coming down here, some 350 units," said Rhorer.

It will then look at how many additional parking spots downtown needs, if and where an additional parking garage would go, and if the cost of metered and garage parking needs to increase. Rhorer says currently all of downtown which stretches from I-10 to past the Capitol has about 16,000 to 18,000 parking spots between garage and street parking. If you focus on the heart of downtown near Third Street, Rhorer says there are roughly 10,000 spots.

Rhorer says everyday downtown gets about 140,000 people coming in and out and that number is only expected to continue growing with all the new projects lined up. This is something the city needs to keep up with the supply and demand as well as to stay up to date with all the change.

The Metro Council will take up the item at its next council meeting on Aug. 13.

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