More parking available in downtown Hattiesburg

More parking available in downtown Hattiesburg

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The City of Hattiesburg recently made some changes to the parking spaces in the downtown area.

On Pine and Front streets, residents will now notice nearly 30 new parking spaces that are now diagonal.

The center turn lane on Main Street has been eliminated between Pine and Front Streets, making room for parking on that block.

Andrea Saffle of the Hattiesburg Downtown Association said that the need for the additional spaces has existed for several years but were now implemented since an updated traffic study by the city.

"So far, the businesses along Front Street and Pine Street all love it," Saffle said. "They are hearing great things from their customers. People really appreciate it. I think when you drive through downtown, it doesn't look like a ghost town. There's cars in the street and it's more inviting. It makes you want to stop in and kind of wander around and see what's going on."

Saffle also said this change is all about bringing more people to the downtown area.

"We wanted to do a temporary striping on it and see how it went through Christmas and get some feedback from some businesses and customers alike," Saffle added. "It's really about adding more on-street parking for the businesses and hopefully to generate more interest in the commercial spaces that are available downtown by having on-street parking."

However, the new parking is not without its problems.

"Right now, the lights are still working the way they worked when there was a turn lane, so once they get that synced up with this light and that light working together then the flow will be that much better," said downtown business owner Bryan Shroder.

Shroder did see the positive aspects of the change though.

"Oh, I think from a restaurant standpoint, you going to be able to park right here on the street and be able to walk in instead of trying to find a parking spot or go into one of the different parking lots and whatnot, so yea I think it's going to be great," he said.

To give your feedback you can contact the Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association.