Sylvan Park's success brings parking problems - WSMV Channel 4

Sylvan Park's success brings parking problems

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One of the most popular areas to eat in Nashville is buckling over its own success.

The one big idea to solve the problem is being met with horror by some of the businesses involved.

Sylvan Park has six popular restaurants in a one block area, and that's led to both prosperity and problems.

When Metro Nashville decided to allow restaurants to open without parking lots in Sylvan Park, that created a parking problem.

When it's lunchtime at Sylvan Park the choices include Local Taco, Cafe Nonna, McCabe's Pub, Sylvan Park Restaurant and Star Bagel.

There are so many choices to eat, but few choices to park.

"I think what you do is just peruse the area, keep your eyes open, and if you see something, you jump on it," said Ginger Endicott, who visits the area for lunch.

Signs that say "You'll Be Towed" are all over Sylvan Park, threatening drivers if they park in undesignated areas.

Sylvan Park Restaurant has a nice little parking lot, but they can't keep people who eat at other restaurants from parking in their lot, which they said is costly for business.

"This restaurant will be 80 years old next year. If the parking lot continues the way it is, sooner or later we'll lose business because of our senior citizens. They think we're full and they can't park way down there and walk here, so they don't stop. We may have to close our restaurant," said Juanita Lane, who works at the Sylvan Park Restaurant.

Councilman Jason Holleman helped champion a plan for a new design that uses metered parking and a roundabout similar to the one on Demonbreun Street that would have sidewalks and street parking.

It looked pretty on paper, but a couple businesses said it would have been devastating.

"We would have been completely curbed. There would have actually been a net loss of parking (under Holleman's plan)," said Krista Miller of Star Bagel.

The opposition to the plan worked, and now the parking mess is in a neighborhood study committee.

"There is a little tension between the desire to have more parking in the area and the desire to make it more pedestrian friendly," Holleman said.

Holleman hopes the study committee that combines business and neighbors can come up with a new plan by the end of the year and take it to the entire Sylvan Park community for review.

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