Construction in Downtown Florence prompts parking concerns amongst county leaders

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FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – People driving through Florence might find it to be an easy trip. But if you decide to stop in Downtown Florence things could get tricky.

A growing downtown means more people, more people mean more cars and more cars mean less parking.

City and county leaders in Florence held a non-public meeting last week to discuss parking concerns and how it will impact the future.

The parking deck adjacent from the current county complex is expected to open by next month to alleviate parking concerns.

A parking study from the city says more parking spaces won’t be needed in close proximity to the county complex for the next two to three years.

Florence County Vice-chairman James Schofield says the “one” parking deck won’t serve the purpose for both workers and people who go to court there. He says the city and county should come up with a plan to build another one.

Right now the county is allowing 52 parking spaces at the county-complex parking lot to be used for downtown parking until the parking deck wraps.

Schofield says a lot of the parking spaces in the county complex parking lot are being used by shoppers and people dining in.

Some people who live in Florence worry parking problems will get even worse.

“The parking lot is jammed up and you have to go on the other side to park and if you don’t have access to handicap parking then it’s really awkward,” said Florence resident Roy Davis.

Gary and Jo Johnson moved to Florence 15 years ago from Myrtle Beach.

“Well I know the nice little restaurants’ you don’t find a parking place to go in those that’s for sure. Parking is always a problem I think,” mentioned Florence resident Jo Johnson.

County leaders say the parking deck should be complete by the end of the month. Count on News 13 to keep you covered on what the county and city have planned.

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