The Downtown Development Commission is seeking grant funds to upgrade the City Center Parking Garage. Built in 1975 as part of the Urban Renewal movement, the garage has an overall capacity of 338 parking spaces. Currently less than half of the spaces are used on a daily basis. The DDC is pursuing funding for garage enhancements to help attract more customers to downtown.
Among the improvements will be an increase in signage including a large blue “P” to help identify the structure as a parking facility and new signs placed at the entrances and exits. All signs on the interior of the garage are original (1975) and will be replaced as part of this project. Other improvements include power washing and cleaning the exterior of the garage, painting the stairwell and making repairs to the handrails, painting the two walls around the elevator on each floor to make it more appealing, and replacing the glass panels in stairwell.
Another major goal of the project is to refurbish the existing gate system that is currently not working. Ticket machines would be placed at the entrance and exit of the garage. The ticket machines would be able to read permit holder’s passes, as well as, to provide a ticket as to the time entering and exiting the garage, displaying the cost of hourly parking.
The sidewalks that surround the garage are in deteriorating condition. Additional grant funds of $50,000 will be dedicated to the construction of new sidewalks, ramps and curbs that are adjacent the garage to meet ADA requirements.
The project was accepted by the Cumberland Mayor and City Council at a public meeting held on May 16, 2017 and they are ready to proceed once funding is secured. The DDC is also seeking additional funding in an effort to expedite some of the improvements. The Downtown Development Commission hopes that these improvements will make the garage more user friendly to locals and tourists.
These improvements are in addition to recent changes to MPA lot #1, located under Interstate 68 between Mechanic Street and Centre Street. That lot now offers 81 parking spaces free to the public. It is accessible on Mechanic Street and a new sign indicating this is expected to be installed shortly.