In Science and Space: The signage is clearly visible. In Gulfport’s downtown, parking is only permitted for two hours, Monday through Friday.
Owner of 13th Street Salon and Barber Hannah O’Keefe finds it difficult in both her personal and professional life.
Although the law has been in place for a while, the city is now strictly enforcing it.
According to her, between 60% and 80% of our business is with clients that are coloured. “Services for all colour clients take more than two hours.”
She continued, “I attempt to deduct the $25 price from their ticket so that it doesn’t annoy them to the point where they won’t come back.
The law is fair but not ideal in the eyes of the city. According to Mayor Billy Hewes, “by having a rotation and a time limit on this, it provides more people more access to companies downtown, particularly those who need to park nearby.” “It’s a delicate act of balancing, and we’re trying our hardest.
Hewes continued, “We aim to make our downtown as welcoming as possible, and we take a comprehensive approach to it. Therefore, if a particular business is hampered, we will endeavour to limit or alter as much as we can. But occasionally, when we do that, that solution also presents difficulties or problems for other businesses. So, it’s a delicate act of balancing, and we’re doing our best. But the reality is not a brand-new ordinance that we implemented. The ordinance is necessary for other businesses, like Downtown Bistro.
According to owner Brian Ladner, “There are multiple bars and eateries in the region that need that controlled turnover and for traffic flow continuous throughout the day.” It’s a terrific problem to have, he continued, as downtown develops as a tourist destination.
Hewes stated that other communities, especially those that are expanding, are using alternate ideas such as metered processes, and Gulfport is no different. “I mean, the fact that we’re discussing parking here suggests that people are arriving in the city. Parking problems don’t exist if no one visits downtown. So, I hope it keeps expanding, and we need to construct parking garages,” he remarked.