You shouldn’t have a hard time finding somewhere to park in downtown Franklin if the city adds a new lot and overhauls the existing parking.
Franklin has unveiled a new parking plan for downtown, and it doesn’t include a garage.
The city hopes to partner with Johnson County government to redesign parking lots to have more spaces, replace curbs, install new streetlights and beautify the downtown with trees and shrubs, Mayor Joe McGuinness said. Trees would brighten bare asphalt lots, line Jefferson Street and greet visitors driving downtown from South Main Street.
Parking lots would be repaved and redesigned to carve the maximum number of spaces out of the available land. Downtown Franklin would gain at least 30 more spaces as a result of the project.
“We saw an opportunity to address a lack of the downtown parking,” McGuinness said. “It address that needs as well as improves the aesthetic appeal of downtown by adding greenspace and trees.”
He estimates the city and the county together could spend $600,000 to $800,000 on the project.
Franklin would spend dollars from a special tax district that collects property taxes from new development in a geographic area and channels it into road or other infrastructure improvements. Johnson County has at least $2 million in property tax dollars that are set aside just for construction projects, commissioner John Price said.
The county is interested in working with the city because it will need more parking when it adds another court in two years, Price said. County government also is downtown’s largest employer and has a responsibility to help the area.