Paid parking at Oglethorpe Mall has community, mall officials weighing in

Upfront paid parking will be in effect until Dec. 30 (Credit:Robert Catanese)

A recent social media post has community members concerned over paid upfront parking at the Oglethorpe Mall on Savannah’s Southside.

The Facebook post has gained hundreds of comments. The picture appears to show handicap parking spaces blocked off to make room for upfront parking at a fee of $5.

The pictures were posted by Cindy Gordon, who has concerns over the spaces being used for premium parking at the mall.

“It makes them have to walk further or push a wheelchair further to access areas of the store that they may need. That’s a hardship for people,” said Gordon.

We took Cindy’s concerns to mall officials.

“We are aware of the negative feedback and we are looking into that,” said Lindsay Kahn, a spokesperson for the Oglethorpe Mall.

We specifically asked Kahn about the handicap spaces being blocked off she said, “We heard rumors that we are eliminating handicap parking and charging for handicap parking and both are completely false.”

Jackie Bryant, a Savannah shopper, said she has an issue with paying a parking fee.

“They are coming to spend their money anyway, so they don't want to spend $5. I wouldn't want to spend five extra dollars just for upfront parking,” said Bryant.

But, for Midway resident Nick Long, he has a different take on the issue.

“The $5 parking was very convenient for me. At least it probably made me feel a little bit safer that my vehicle was being watched and attended to,” he said.

Mall officials say they were offering a convenient alternative to holiday shopping and at no time were any handicap spaces blocked.

“It is available, it is not reserved and it is free to park there always. We are always looking for ways to improve, enhance, simplify parking at our shopping centers, especially during the busy holiday shopping season,” said Kahn.

The upfront parking fees will be in effect until Dec. 30.

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