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GREENSBORO, N.C.–With any growing and thriving downtown, parking or the lack of it, is a hot topic.
For the folks who live and work on the Southside of Greensboro, their fight for better parking has been answered.

Tuesday night, the city council approved an ordinance that would allow residents and business owners in the area to obtain parking permits.

“Parking is critical to growth and promotion of development,” said Phillip Marsh who lives nearby.

That’s why Tuesday’s approval for changes to the controlled parking permit program is a win for neighbors who’ve been trying to deal with the parking woes in the Southside neighborhood.

“A momentous achievement,” said Abigail Harris, Marsh’s partner.

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Harris is one of many neighbors who have been working with city leaders for years to do something about having available parking spaces for those who live and work here.

“I had to walk down and get a boot removed one time,” Harris said.

Not only has she spent hundreds of dollars on parking tickets near her home…but having no nearby spaces puts her in a difficult position when she gets home after working a long shift at the ER.

“Sometimes I have to park really far away which you, know, in the middle of the night two o’clock in the morning, bars are letting out…it can be a little concerning,” Harris explained.

Some business owners said permits will help.

“It’s great to hear because otherwise, we have to move our cars every four hours or take the risk of getting a ticket, said Chuck Ainsworth who works at a downtown business.

But others said it still doesn’t solve the solution for parking accessibility for their patrons.
There will be new parking signage put up to indicate which spots are for workers and residents.

Neighbors hope this step in the right direction leads to economic development.

“That can mean the difference between a headhunter from a different organization coming in and seeing, is this place right for development, or they take their opportunity to another community because we don’t have the tools in place for that business to not only locate here, but to grow as well,” Marsh said.

The permits will be free for residents.

Business owners say they still want city leaders to work towards creating more parking overall because the lack of parking in other parts of downtown forces spillover in Southside.

City leaders said improving public transportation and making it more accessible is part of the bigger discussion.