Despite Study's Findings, Some Want Downtown Dover Parking Garag - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Despite Study's Findings, Some Want Downtown Dover Parking Garage

Posted: 09/06/2017 16:53:00 -04:00 Updated:

DOVER, Del. -- A recently conducted study on parking in the Downtown Dover area did not recommend the construction of a parking garage, though some businesses and officials think the idea should not be abandoned.

The study was shown to the public during a meeting of the Dover/Kent Metropolitan Planning Organization last month. It recommended Dover manage its 1,800 parking spaces more effectively, particularly the roughly 450 spaces it has downtown.

But Ra'Shin Aikins, who works at Shep's House of Styles, said a parking garage would help people like customers and workers who need to find convenient parking spaces, especially when street parking spots are occupied. 

"They don't have to worry about 'will I get a ticket if I park here,' or 'is this a legitimate parking space?' Or 'I'm running short on time, so where can I park," he said.

Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen, who also chairs the Dover/Kent MPO, said he was disappointed the report did not recommend a garage.

Parking, Christiansen said, has been a major problem for decades in Dover because many downtown visitors try to find a parking space located in front of a business along roads like Loockerman Street.

But could money be found to build a parking garage? The mayor believes it's possible.

"There was no money on the table when State Route 1 was built. There was no money on the table when the Bay Bridge was built. It was a concept that was brought out," he said.

The report also pointed out much of Dover's metered parking is fairly cheap compared to other towns and cities, with all-day parking in some metered spaces requiring only $1. It also recommended a change in how metered and permit marking were organized to reduce confusion.

Additionally, it found the busiest times of day for parking lots were from 11 a.m. to noon, though lots averaged 63 percent in occupancy on average during the day.

Not everyone believes a parking garage is necessary. Marianne Magee of Dover said she doesn't have a problem parking with the current situation.

"I think a parking garage is a little much. I don't think that we need one down here. I can always find a parking space when I come."

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