Tammy Mutasa, NBC 5 Garland Reporter
Garland city leaders are looking for solutions to a parking dilemma as they push to make downtown a destination for the community.
Garland is considering time limits on parking in the downtown area after complaints from businesses.
The City Council on Tuesday night will look at plans to enforce a parking time limit in designated areas. A two- or three-hour limit is being considered for certain streets.
"This is something that's really needed," said Paul Luedtke, of the city transportation department. "I know that the merchants on Main Street have been wanting this for quite a while, and it will help with their business."
Local businesses say that construction and limited parking is putting a squeeze on them.
"I get complaints every week -- 'Wow, I drove around three times, couldn't find parking. I guess ya'll were really busy,' and we weren't that day," said Carlos Porras, the owner of Dos Banderos Restaurant.
It is a battle for prime parking between people who work in downtown Garland and the customers they are trying to bring in, Porras said.
"A lot of the merchants and their employees are parking in the most convenient spots, the ones right in front of their business and, as a result, we have customers who come downtown [and] it looks like there's no parking and they just move on to other areas," he said.
Downtown parking will not get easier to find as more spaces will be lost during the construction of an apartment complex and parking garage and the resurfacing of City Hall.
"During construction, which will be about two years, we will need to restrict parking and really park in certain places so that there is enough for City Hall workers and people coming to City Hall," Luedtke said.
If the plan passes, signs will go up and a city marshal will phase in the new rules a few weeks later.
The City Council would also decide how much violators would be fined if the time limits are instituted.