Cooper-Young Parking Garage Up For Discussion - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Cooper-Young Parking Garage Up For Discussion

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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MIDTOWN MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) - A proposal to build a parking garage in the Cooper-Young district in Midtown Memphis is gaining traction.

Next week city council will consider a plan to spend $3.6 million of taxpayer dollars on the project. Businesses in Cooper-Young are pushing the plan but some Memphians think a parking garage will hurt the popular neighborhood's character.

MORE: Cooper-Young district to discuss parking garage (2013)

Finding a place to park in Cooper-Young can be a challenge on a busy Friday night.

"Sure enough they took the last spot so I had to park all the way back there," said Yuien Li.

Some avoid the neighborhood altogether because of the parking situation.

"I haven't been to this area for like two years because of this terrible parking," Li added. "I just, I always just don't want to come."

A proposal to build a parking garage on Young Avenue is gaining traction. City Councilwoman Janis Fullilove wants the city to help fund the project with $3.6 million of taxpayer money. The council voted against spending money on the project in 2013, but they'll consider it again on Tuesday.

"That would help a lot when people come down more to like eat and drink and stuff to have a parking garage to go to," said Megan Hollahan.

Cooper-Young businesses are supporting the parking garage. Several restaurants offer valet parking and some have small lots, but those aren't large enough to handle all of their customers.
 
Many visitors end up parking in the neighborhood's residential areas.

"I think the garage might be a little bit more central," said Joel Bumgardner. "You won't have people parking on the streets in front of people's houses so much."

The Cooper-Young Community Association ran a survey in 2013 and it showed residents are split over the garage but the majority of respondents support it.
 
Recently a Facebook campaign called Keep Cooper-Young Walkable launched urging the council to reject the money for the proposal. Some like Tony coleman who live in the district feel a garage would hurt the area's character.
    
"There's a neighborhood vibe to this place and I think having a parking garage would really kind of thrown that off in a way," Coleman said.

Expect people on all sides of this issue to show up at city hall Tuesday as council members consider the garage money. Another factor in this is the city's budget situation. Can the city afford to spend more than $3.5 million on this project?

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