Consultants are recommending that the city of Columbia start charging for parking at night and over the weekend. The recommendation is not sitting well with some merchants and shoppers in Five Points.
The say parking is already a hassle in Five Points, and shoppers and bar owners don't believe the new parking master plan is going to be positive.
Sarah Rama says she comes to Five Points frequently and she thinks feeding meters over the weekend is an "awful" idea.
"I think that's going to deter people from coming to Five Points," said Rama.
Rama says she already has a hard time finding a parking spot in Five Points as it is, and this will only make it more difficult.
"I just drove around for probably five minutes circling the block just trying to find a spot," said Rama.
Delaney's owner Joe Wilson says he is not sure if charging for the meters over the weekend will increase parking availability. He says parking studies that have been done on Five Points in the past couple of years show that the area is from 155 to 215 parking spots short of what they need for the number of visitors.
"That's not talking for growth, that's not talking about sustainability. That's just straight numbers for the business we have here," said Wilson.
City Councilman, Moe Baddourah, says that not charging meters over the weekend is not helping businesses either.
"You have got somebody who parked their car on a Friday night and not pick it up until Monday," said Baddourah. " Some Five Points stores are losing customers from not being able to park and go spend money, or shop in restaurants and retail stores in Five Points."
Wilson says its the timing of these changes that is concerning.
"Are these issues with people parking their cars and not coming to pick them up until Sunday sometime, yeah its been like that for fifteen years," said Wilson.
Several changes to parking system are being considered to increase revenue for the city. Baddourah says the new master plan could start charging at meters after 6:00 p.m., which it doesn't do now, and over the weekend. There is also a plan to build a parking garage in the Vista.
Wilson says they should've added a parking garage in Five Points "like yesterday."