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City officials looking at more parking options in Franklin

Posted: 4:08 PM, Jul 29, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-29 20:49:51-04
Parking sign in Franklin

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — Sometimes there's a mad dash to grab an open parking spot in downtown Franklin as it's one of the fastest growing cities in the nation.

"People who live here know, and are aware, that parking is tricky," Gini David said.

Rapid growth, booming business, and tourism are contributing factors. Drivers have noticed the changes. Some private parking lots that used to be free are now paid lots too.

"If there’s a special event going on you have to be very creative and plan your parking ahead, you better know about the parking garages, and know about parking a couple blocks away, David said"

Franklin City Administrator Eric Stuckey said they conducted a parking study which showed the city would benefit from additional parking.

"Just in the year since that’s been done, we’ve seen more parking demand, we have more businesses that are relocating in downtown Franklin so there’s a larger employment base with some of the construction that’s happening," Stuckey said.

Stuckey said one option is rebuilding city hall, and adding parking to it. However, they're keeping their options open.

"We have about 1,500 free public parking spaces either on the street or in one of our two parking garages, and so 'How do we best use those?' was our first question, and now we’re looking at ways to invest in additional, whether it’s a surface parking lot, or another structure parking lot," Stuckey said.

In addition to the city’s plan, the Harpeth Square development is going to have 200 additional paid parking spaces for the public in the fall.

"They have 300 reserved or designated spaces that cover the apartments and the hotel, and then the remainder supports the public that’s going in and out of either the hotel or the retail space," Stuckey said.

As the city continues to change, people hope there's not too many changes too fast.

"People love Franklin the way it is," David said.

City officials will discuss building a new parking structure at one of their August meetings.