Supply and demand: City officials working to solve downtown parking problems

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OKLAHOMA CITY - It's a common problem among many growing cities.

"Yes, there's definitely a parking problem down here,” John Stratton said.

Oklahomans who work at businesses in the downtown area are feeling the frustrations.

"We're seeing companies that are wanting to expand, or new companies coming in may have a need for additional parking," said Debi Holtzclaw, parking manager for the City of Oklahoma City.

The city owns five parking garages downtown including the new Arts District Garage.

Many spots are paid for each month by commuters.

"We could always use more parking," Holtzclaw said. “We always have parking, but sometimes it's not as convenient."

One way city officials plan to relieve the parking stress is to create more parking garages.

"We aren't quite to the point where we have a public transportation system that is robust enough to support everyone's transportation needs, and I think we're many years away from being there," Cathy O’Connor, with the Alliance for Economic Development, said.

As crews begin to work on the Flat Iron building to transform it into office space, developers are already working on a solution to the upcoming parking problem.

"We're going to have to figure out how many parking places we need per 1,000 square feet,” Chuck Ainsworth, a project developer, said.

He has seen issues with parking since he purchased a building in Bricktown during MAPS 1.

"The challenge has been the parking hasn't kept up with the demand," Ainsworth said.

He says part of it is a shift in mindset. It’s something he's glad he's already seeing.

"People are driving smart cars. They're driving scooters. I see people rollerblading to work,” Ainsworth said.

The parking garages cost $110 a month.

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