The Main Street parking deck in downtown Gainesville will be closing Monday so 180 new spaces can be added.
The deck currently has 419 spaces and is scheduled to reopen in late November. Main Street between Jesse Jewell Parkway and Spring Street closed to traffic on Sept. 19 and is also expected to reopen in late November.
Sidewalks on Main Street will stay open so people can access businesses.
The city will be operating a free shuttle Monday through Friday between Sept. 24 and Nov. 30 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. so people can park in other lots and get a ride into the square.
Pickups are about every 15 minutes, and stops include:
- Intersection of Main Street and Washington Street
- Spring Street lot on the square
- Hall County Courthouse parking deck
- Old Gainesville City Hall
- Ramada hotel on EE Butler Parkway
- Wells Fargo building on Jesse Jewell Parkway
- Regions Bank on EE Butler Parkway
- Brenau University at Tiger Way
- Northeast Georgia History Center
Ralph Miller, a barber at The Hair Shack on the square, said the business’ customers may not be as affected by the parking shortage when the deck closes because people do not get their hair cut as often as they go to restaurants or the other businesses on the square.
Miller said he does not mind walking a little bit if he needs to park farther away.
And upcoming developments, including Carroll Daniel Construction’s new headquarters at Main Street and Jesse Jewell Parkway that will have retail and restaurants on the first floor, will draw people downtown to fill those new parking spots, Miller said.
“Once they get this parking deck built, it should be better. … I think it will be a lot better when we get this stuff done,” he said.
Aimee Hoecker, co-owner of Downtown Drafts on the square, said the shuttle will not benefit employees or customers at her business as much because it does not run at night, so employees and customers may be walking longer distances after dark.
Hoecker said she hopes customers are understanding and still make efforts to go downtown.
“All the businesses are pretty worried, and if people could just have patience with the situation and continue to support downtown businesses, even though it might make it a little more difficult, it would definitely be appreciated,” she said.