GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The city of Glens Falls is home to three parking garages. One is entirely reserved for private business, but the other two are – at least partially, and at least sometimes – open for public use. If you live in or around the city and didn’t know that, you may not be alone.

The question of public parking arose on Monday following a city presentation on the Downtown Revitalization Initiative plan to build a new farmers market space on South Street, and construct a pair of multiuse apartment buildings where the market – and the majority of its associated parking spots – now reside. After the presentation ended, several residents who drive to the city’s weekly summer markets asked where they would be expected to park to do so.

One resident asked Glens Falls Mayor Bill Collins which of the city’s parking garages were open to the public – a question that even the mayor wasn’t able to give an immediate answer. The bottom line: While Glens Falls has on-street parking and its share of free lots, there isn’t a parking garage that’s entirely open for public use.

“It’s a little bit confusing,” said city Economic Development Director Jeff Flagg on Tuesday. “One of the things we really are trying to do is to have, distill, crystalize and clarify is what is available and what is not available. One thing that I think is absolutely true is that the city does not have a good handle on utilization.” Flagg was also among city officials present at Monday’s meeting.

This fall, the city of Glens Falls is embarking on a parking study, so that questions like those raised on Monday can get a clearer answer. In the meantime, the city’s public lots are joined with a reasonable amount of street parking. That’s good, because the garages don’t break down as simply.

  • Park Street garage
    • 58-60 Park St.
    • Five stories
    • Public access, but most spaces are reserved by 14 Hudson residents and Glens Falls Hospital employees

This 524-space lot resides between the Park Theater, Glens Falls Hospital, and the 14 Hudson apartment complex. Both it and 14 Hudson are relatively recent additions to the cityscape – and the extra parking fills up fast.

Around 220 of the garage’s spaces are reserved for residents and businesses at 14 Hudson, which houses 87 apartments as well as a restaurant used by SUNY Adirondack’s culinary arts program. From there, a varying number of spaces get taken up by employees of Glens Falls Hospital – from around 150 on weekends to upwards of 300 on weekdays. That means that, ideally, around 150 spaces can be available to visitors looking to park for a weekend event, but that weekday motorists may be out of luck.

  • The Mill garage
    • 20 Elm St.
    • Four stories
    • First-floor is for public use

This parking garage, set on Elm Street next to The Mill apartment building, has a first-floor open to the public. That floor is available in return for the city giving building owners the space, to create a parking solution for residents of the 70-unit building. Those spots come with a catch.

The garage doesn’t have a gate. In order to identify what cars are approved to be there, The Mill requires any non-resident who wants to park in the garage to rent a space for a year at a time.

  • Travelers Building garage
    • 333 Glen St.
    • Four stories
    • Closed to the public

The Travelers Insurance building is home to 10 floors of office space, used by Travelers Insurance, American Red Cross and other businesses. The building’s parking garage is reserved for employees of businesses inside the building.

The city has also put some consideration into the lot across from The Mill’s parking structure on Elm Street. The Elm Street lot is consistently busy, providing parking to downtown Glen Street, Exchange Street and South Street businesses, as well as Downtown City Tavern, located on its corner. The lot offers free 3-hour parking from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and unrestricted access from 6 p.m. – 9 a.m.

The city performed a study a number of years ago that indicated that the high-traffic location may be an ideal spot for a public garage. Currently, business and resident concerns have given the city cause to reconsider.

“Circumstances can change, and viability can change,” said Flagg. “As for that particular location, the study will have to pan out.”

Parking lots open for public use operate by different rules. The bank lot between Maple and Washington streets offers free parking at any time. Permit parking is available at lots on Ridge, Warren and Exchange Streets and Clinton Avenue. The current South Street lot offers 2-hour parking from 5 a.m. – 1 p.m. daily.

The public presentation on Monday was the first of two. A second one was held Monday evening at the Park Theater. Flagg said that similar questions came up, and that he feels confident that the parking study set to start this fall will help the city ensure that when the farmers market moves, the farmers will have space to unload, and the shoppers a place to park.