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Parking proposal raises concerns
Nancy Wilkes says there is nothing the City Commission can do to the parking ordinance that would solve the problem in front of her delicatessen.

Wilkes, co-owner of the newly renamed Maggie May's at the corner of Gloucester and Bay streets, said the few parking places in front of her business are occupied by library patrons and other downtown visitors during morning breakfast hours and into the lunch rush.

The Brunswick-Glynn County Public Library is across Gloucester Street from the business.

"Parking here has always been a problem, and having a two-hour (limit) would just be the same situation (for us)," Wilkes said. "We have just a few spots for parking in front of us, but most of the people don't even need two hours (to dine)."

The area near Wilkes' business, which used to be named Salvador's Deli, has always been considered a two-hour enforced area. But over the years Wilkes said enforcement has waned.

Under the newly proposed ordinance, only the spaces along Gloucester from Bay to Richmond streets, and the 1500 block of Newcastle will be designated for two-hour parking that will be enforced, if the proposal is accepted by the city commission at the Aug. 1 meeting.

Everywhere else will be unlimited parking, said Mathew Hill, director of the Downtown Development Authority.

"The parking study we did a few years ago shows that's where we get the most volume," he said. "The reason we chose that area is because it's where we've had problems in the past."

Wilkes said the city would be better off going back to the days of parking meters. She said the city used to have meters in busy areas, allowing patrons to pay for the amount of time they needed. There was even a dedicated enforcement officer who was responsible for monitoring parking downtown until he fell ill, she said.

"I personally wish that we could go back to the parking meters downtown," Wilkes said. "Maybe the city will make some money with this. I don't see how it will help me in any way."

Parking meters would allow patrons to set the time they need in the downtown area, Wilkes said.

"And over time, I'm sure the meters would pay for themselves," Wilkes said. "So many other downtown areas do that and benefit greatly from it."



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