Got parking? Edmond business owners concerned about lack of spaces

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EDMOND, Okla. - Edmond continues to grow but residents and business owners are complaining about one thing that they say is staying the same.

"We get a lot of comments from our customers that they had a hard time finding places to park," David Spannagel, co-owner Sterling's, said. "We could really use some new resources for people to come down."

Part of the concern stems from construction projects across the city, including the new public safety center at the Edmond Police Department.

Casey Moore, City of Edmond's marketing manager, said, "It'll be the largest building in downtown Edmond, so I think as those types of things are happening we're thinking about, how can we be proactive in what our downtown looks like moving forward?"

Experts say being proactive when it comes to the now 80,000 residents of Edmond means creating a parking solution for the evolving city.

"There is a downtown master plan study that's happening," Moore said. "We've hired a consultant for that."

He added, "I believe parking is one the things they're going to address."

A presentation by Tom Small, a local architect, suggested building a parking garage and parking lot downtown.

However, those plans have a few pitfalls.

Mary Edwards, with the Downtown Edmond Business Association, said, "I personally don't like parking garages in a downtown area. I think it sort of distracts from the look of the town."

Edwards doesn't seem too concerned with parking near her business, Cinnamon Bears.

She said, "We have fairly decent parking down here, even with all of the issues with the construction."

Consultants plan to discuss options for downtown Edmond in an open forum in February.

Meanwhile, the City of Edmond has put up a sign near the Festival Market Place with available parking locations.