CANTON — The city of Canton has contracted a Michigan-based company to perform a study attempting to solve the city’s long-standing troubles
with parking downtown.
Ken Patton, Canton development director, said Thursday that the city has agreed to pay more than $29,000 to Rich and Associates to perform a 20-week inquiry into downtown parking, and as part of the study, a public meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday night at 6 p.m. at City Hall.
During the meeting, Patton said residents will be asked to weigh in on the city’s issue of too few available parking spaces downtown, which he said has existed for quite some time, especially for businesses.
Mayor Gene Hobgood, a life long resident of the Canton area, also said the issues aren’t new.
“I think there’s always been an issue with the merchants and shoppers trying to find a place to park,” Hobgood said.
Hobgood, however, isn’t sure how soon the city needs to take action or what the solution will be.
“Is it a serious problem, is it something we need to address as soon as we can?” he said. “That’s what we’re trying to find out.”
Patton said over the course of the 20 weeks of the study, Rich and Associates will identify the severity of the parking issues downtown and attempt to determine how best to solve them.
The company will be examining the existing parking situation in downtown Canton on a “block-by-block” basis, he said.
Rich and Associates will do “modeling” to test potential solutions, which Patton said could include a multi-level parking garage or additional on-street parking.
If additional property would be needed by the city to install such improvements, the company will attempt to identify which sites could work, Patton said.
Patton said there are multiple vacant lots in downtown Canton that the city could consider if construction were necessary.