Walton Arts Center lot could move to kiosk parking system

The city’s West Lot currently utilizes a gated parking system, but the lot may soon be converted to a kiosk-based system

Staff photo

One of the city’s largest downtown parking lots may have a new pay system soon.

City staff is recommending that the West Lot at the corner of West Avenue and Dickson Street, known locally as the Walton Arts Center, move away from the gated system that has been in place since 2008, and toward the kiosk-based system in use in most of the rest of the downtown area.

Parking and Telecommunications manager Sharon Waters told the city council Tuesday that the goal is to help with the long-standing problem with gates getting broken off by late-night patrons, to create a more uniform system with the overall parking experience in the area, and to take advantage of extra features like pay-by-phone options only available on the kiosk system.

The city’s other two gated lots, the East Lot next to Kingfish and the South Lot just south of Grub’s, are currently being used for staging for construction materials for the city’s municipal parking deck, but are already in the process of being converted to the kiosk system.

The gates on the lot will be in the up-position for the majority of the time, but will remain in place so that the city will still be able to close them for festivals or “event parking” nights, Waters said.

Equipment needed to make the switch would cost $66,985. The council will also consider a recommendation to purchase equipment for the Spring Street parking deck in the amount of $98,805.95.

The city council will consider the equipment purchases at next week’s meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 17.