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New downtown garage planned to ease Durham parking woes

Posted January 23

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— The City of Durham is planning to help ease parking woes by building a new parking deck at the intersection of Morgan and Mangum streets.

With about 800 additional spots, residents believe the new deck will help.

"It's kind of a struggle," said Fenn Walsh-Seaman. "You're going through downtown looking for spots."

"Years ago, you could just find a spot wherever," said Dara Baldwin. "Now, it’s like, it'll just be backed up all the way down the sidewalk. It's kind of crazy."

City officials said they have seen an unprecedented demand in city-owned parking facilities.

"I think when every city kind of grows, sometimes the infrastructure takes a while to catch up to it," said Land Arnold, owner of Letters Bookshop.

Arnold said he has seen the parking troubles firsthand.

"We definitely have had customers who only come in if they can find a parking space," Arnold said.

Like others in downtown Durham, Arnold says improvements to public transportation, walkability and bike-ability are key.

"I hope the car will be needed in downtown Durham the more popular it becomes," Jeffrey Sullivan said. "And that's the reason why it's important for cities to make investments in transit and making sure that biking and walking is safe."

Durham officials will hold a community meeting on Jan. 25 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Durham Armory to gain input.

The total expected cost for the new garage is $23 million.

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