Mobile, Ala: – Businesses in downtown Mobile are asking – What would make the people in west Mobile (WeMo) come downtown? Why don’t they come downtown?
The Downtown Mobile Alliance did a survey to discover that many people in WeMo worry about the ability to park. Even though there are over 18,000 parking spaces available in downtown, it is often difficult to park near the location of your destination. Also, if your parking spot is two blocks from your destination the need to feed the meter adds to the frustration for the folks accustomed to WeMo parking.
Nowhere in WeMo does a street or parking lot require a driver to pay for parking their car, with the only exception being the airport. Granted WeMo doesn’t have as many specialty boutiques with handmade items, but there isn’t much you can’t get in the way of products and services in the area west of Broad Street.
In the June Downtown Mobile Alliance newsletter they addressed the parking issue and survey. In their article they suggested that downtown employees park further away from the business to leave parking spaces for shoppers and clients.
From a fairly non-scientific survey of random employees walking down Dauphin Street. Examiner Redmond discovered that of the nearly 150 persons asked their employers paid for a parking space in a specific parking lot as opposed to making them park on the street. So, the employee parking doesn’t seem to be so much of the problem.
During a recent meeting with Tracy Host of Host Gallery, the idea of a shuttle to carry people from one of the western shopping center parking lots to downtown. Perhaps the LoDa bus or one of the WAVE buses could serve as a shuttle. This idea would be a tremendous help during Mardi Gras to help alleviate the parking situation during those two weeks of festivities.
Another parking issue for WeMo residents is that there isn’t a notice on the meters that after 5:00 p.m. and on weekends metered parking is free. Perhaps a sign or some other notification of free parking would lend to a friendlier experience to residents that aren’t accustomed to paying.
Businesses and event coordinators are seriously searching for the answer to: What will bring the people in to downtown from west Mobile? The Downtown Mobile Alliance will accept suggestions Phone:251-434-8498, You can also visit their website http://www.downtownmobile.org/index.html to learn more about what is taking place and what is available in downtown Mobile, Ala.