More paid parking coming to Lansing’s Old Town neighborhood

Lansing’s Old Town neighborhood will soon see more paid parking.
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 7:00 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Where people used to park for free, they’ll soon have to pay. Lansing’s Old Town neighborhood will soon see more paid parking.

While paid parking has been the norm on streets like Cesar E Chavez, it’s a first for Turner Street. The bustling block is known as Lansing’s art district, and it’s lined with dozens of shops and businesses.

Now that a year-long Lansing City Council ruling is finally going into effect, business owners can expect to see pay-to-park kiosks outside their doors in the coming months. Although parking on Turner Street remains free for the time being, Sweet Custom Jewelry Co-Owner Alissa Sweet said she’s concerned paid parking might keep customers away.

“Everybody always complains about it, that there are no spots, or they have to park really, really far away to come to us,” she said. “And especially with our elderly clientele having to walk from wherever they can find a spot, it’s not going to help Old Town shopping at all.”

Just down the street from Sweet, Loyalty Barber Shop Owner Alexander Dominguez is dealing with his own concerns about the addition of paid parking. Dominguez isn’t sure whether the change will have a negative impact on his shop in the long run but said he suspects customers may miss the convenience.

“They could find parking, no hassle, leave their car, and then come in and get their hair cut,” he said. “So now, with the paid parking, I understand it, but I’m a little worried to see what clients think of it.”

Customers have already been coming into Polka Dots Boutique, confused about the state of Old Town’s parking. While the kiosks have yet to arrive, Retail Associate Lyndsi Teachout said the pay-to-park signs that have been hanging along Turner Street for several days are misleading.

“It’s very awkward, I’ll be honest,” she said. “Because they’ll come in, and they’ll be like, ‘Am I supposed to pay for parking? What am I supposed to do? Am I going to get a ticket?’”

Officials with the City of Lansing told News 10 that Turner Street parking will be free until the kiosks are installed. As for parking in other Lansing neighborhoods, city officials said they’re in the process of selecting a national firm to conduct a comprehensive parking study, which will determine whether more paid parking is a necessity.

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