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City of Oxford Proposes Parking Garage for the Square

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Soon, many Oxonians could lose their lucky spots in a free-parking lot directly on the Square due to the city’s planning for the parking garage.

During their monthly meeting on February 5, the commission discussed building a parking garage of Van Buren Avenue, directly behind City Hall. Currently, the East Jackson Guest House on the corner of Jackson Avenue East and South 15th Street exists in the proposed location for the garage. The lot behind City Hall is one of three proposed spots for the garage, including beside the Oxford-University Club, and on the corner of Van Buren Avenue and South 9th Street.

According to the commission, the City Hall lot is an ideal place for several reasons. It is easy for traffic to flow within that area. It’s the most convenient location near the Square, and the pedestrian access is the best of the three options.

Although, the downsides are that, due to the smallness of the area, the garage’s capacity would be low. And due to the lay of the land, the construction costs would be higher. It also affects the neighborhood more and is visible from busy streets.

Parking Commission chairperson, Tom Sharpe said, “It would require an expensive facade.”

When asked for an estimated cost of the garage, Parking Director Matt Davis replied the concept has not been readied yet.

“Options are still being weighed by the parking commission, so the exact concept has not been designed yet, so a price tag is not available at this time,” Davis said. “A study was performed a few years ago that projected the cost of a few different garages designs to be between $7 to $10 million dollars.”

The government officials did not answer other questions such as if and how much residents, citizens or employees will pay to park in the garage.

Some citizens feel that a parking garage on the Square is both unneeded, as well as takes away from the small-town vibe that people love.

Ole Miss senior Micah Taylor said, “I believe that the Square has a very natural and homey feel to it, and building a parking garage would only make it chaotic and cluttered.”

On the other hand, some students believe the new addition to the Square would be beneficial.

Ole Miss sophomore Julianne Ranis said, “I hate paying those parking meters, and it would be easier to park in a garage and walk around the Square. Walking around the Square is what makes it quaint. The stores, and people, and scenery would stay the same. A parking garage would just make it more accessible, without the stress of paying for a spot.”

Cambria Abdeen is a HottyToddy.com intern. She can be reached at cambria.abdeen@yahoo.com.

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