Hillcrest parking crunch could tighten

Posted at 10:31 PM, Dec 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-06 01:31:26-05

Hillcrest's tight parking crunch continues to plague businesses across the bustling neighborhood. And now, some believe it could get worse.

Adeline Tillman is one of them. She's an optician at The Unoptical, on University Avenue. It sells all sorts of styles of glasses, and also offers eye exams. 

"You're going to have some funk over here, as well as like drama going on," Tillman said, describing some of the shelves along in the locally owned store.

But TIllman also says The Unoptical is losing out on many potential customers. 

"There's not much parking," she said. "We only have one strip right here."

The strip at 1000 University Avenue is one of the last unrestricted strips of street parking in Hillcrest's main area. But even that could be changing - because there's a new plan to add parking meters to University Avenue's north side - right in front of The Unoptical. There are already plenty on the south side. 

Tillman says they'll make even more people feel too rushed to stop in and browse.

"People are in and out," she said. "I do not think it would be a good idea to get meters on this street. It's really going to harm people."

But Elizabeth Hannon, one of the leaders of the Uptown Community Parking District, says the meters would help businesses.

"We would see greater turnover, allowing more patrons to visit," she said. 

The meters are already approved and could be installed as early as March. The agency is beginning to inform local businesses of the potential changes and will host public informational meetings. 

Tillman said she's concerned about extra restrictions.

"I feel it would be important for us to create more parking spaces so people can enjoy shopping in our small business," she said. 

And for the glasses shop, more parking spaces in Hillcrest would be quite the spectacle.