City looking into diagonal parking for downtown

GONZALES — The City of Gonzales is pursuing an idea for more parking on Belden Street and around Central Park to accommodate more residents and visitors to the town.

"This item was brought to all staff to discuss about improving parking in the downtown area," said Public Works Director Harold Wolgamott.

Wolgamott, along with Police Chief Keith Wise and Fire Chief Jason Muscio, observed different downtown parking areas and came up with the idea to have diagonal parking on Belden Street between Fifth Street and Sixth Street and two sections around Central Park. The areas around Central Park would be Center Street and Sixth Street.

"We believe this will add significant parking to go from four parking spaces to a full block," Wolgamott said. "It would go from four spaces to 18 parking spaces."

If the council chose to move forward with the diagonal parking spaces, residents living near the areas impacted would be notified and the item would be brought back to council in the form of a resolution.

"Around the park I think it's a great idea because of the high usage," said Mayor Pro-Tem Liz Silva. "I can definitely see a huge need for parking around the park not just for events that are sponsored by the city but when people have birthday parties there, there is a problem with the parking."

Council Members Robert Bonincontri and Scott Funk were also in support of the additional parking at the park.

The response was not shared by local resident.

"By putting more parking year-round you're kind of asking for unwanted parking in front of people's homes," Gonzales resident Henry Martinez Jr. said. "To me it just seems to be a waste for only a few days of the year."

Martinez said the city might want to speak with residents who live a block away and get their feedback.

The city is also expecting Clinic De Salud to open soon and the employees would take some of the spaces that would be provided by the additional parking.

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