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Spartan

Peninsula Parking...

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This article in the P&C today highlights some of the parking "issues" in Charleston.

Basicly there was an article recently about some business owners concerns that parking was too difficult to find downtown, even though there are about 2500 spaces just around the King Street area (not all of downtown). Part of the problem is that people expect to be able to park in front of their destination.

The mayor points out that you can generally park closer to your destination downtown than in the suburbs, and that people need to break the mentality that you have to park in front of where you are going.

My favorite quote from the article:

"Other readers said the story underscores the need to encourage residents to use alternative transportation, such as buses or bicycles, to get downtown.

Making the area more pedestrian- friendly also could entice more people to the peninsula, said Tom Bradford, director of Charleston Moves, a nonprofit group that promotes bicycling, walking, running and public transportation.

"Streets are for use of people, not just people in cars," he said."

That quote sums it up nicely from my point of view. What do you think about parking downtown?

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Are the parking garages marked well and easily visible? Then again, I'm not sure how comfortable people are with using garages.

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When I was working at MUSC, the running joke was that they should just make downtown one huge parking garage intertwined among the historic homes, buildings, and parks. :D The fact is that parking has always been an issue in any DT, but it is most prevalent in cities like Chas where streets are so narrow.

Some parking garages are easy to miss. They're purposely designed to blend with the other buildings, usually giving the appearance of a building. The problem is that there is a city ordinance which prohibits large signs indicating "Parking" or something similar. I've always said that Chas needs more parking garages...and some people lack the foresight to accomplish this. For instance, after the old College Lodge was demolished at Calhoun and Coming, the perfect replacement for it would have been a large, 6-8 story garage. Instead, a parking lot was made! Now, the parking lot is going to be removed to make way for another C of C building. Why not make another garage for students who live on the northwest end of the campus? It just seems like the demand for parking is never fully met because strange decisions such as that are made.

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Aren't they building a garage on St Phillip for CofC?

I agree that signage for Charleston's garages is horrible. But the article said the City if going to address that. I never cna find the things anyway, and when I do I'm never sure if I can park in them. I always park about 3 blocks off of King St in Harleston Village somewhere thats not resident only parking.

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Oh ok. As long as the garage is mixes use, then I'm all for it.

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I should've asked this earlier, what do you mean by a garage being mixed-use? Are you saying the only way you support more parking garages built is for them to be a mixture of garages, apartments, offices, and/or shops? If so, I do have a problem with that...your garage ends up becoming exclusive only to the development its intertwined with. Parking spaces in the garage would eventually fill with residents, workers, or shoppers that use only that building.

Parking garages are, IMO, a smart way to accomodate parking needs and generate revenue for a city. To make them effectively reduce parking issues, you need to allow the people to use garages for various needs, and not exclude them with a mixed-use building.

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Shops and restaurants on the first level, cars up top. Like Columbia does. Parking garages are notoriously bad for the pedestrian environment, despite their good intentions for denser parking. I heard about a study in Charleston that used the old St Phillip St garage as an example where people who might walk down St Phillip tend to walk on the opposite side from the garage rather than adjacent to it, despite the same sidewalk conditions. If there is a row of shops or housing facing the street, or if the first level is entirely shops facing the road or something to this effect, it helps to remove the psychological barrier.

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^ Oh alright, I see what you're saying now. The ones in Cola do provide adequate pedestrian activity with some restaurants and even a dry cleaners on Sumter Street. Actually, come to think of it, a parking garage at the corner of Calhoun and Coming with retail on the ground level would be a perfect addition across the street from the new C of C library in DT Chas. A coffee or sandwich shop would cater to students and faculty...maybe even a dry cleaners for MUSC students and the like. ;)

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There's an article in today's edition of the P&C that talks about the successes (and challenges/downsides) of downtown and King Street in particular. Here's the excerpt that deals with downtown parking:

Parking perspectives

For all of downtown's charms, many residents say they avoid shopping there because it's too hard to find convenient parking.

Riley counters that parking is plentiful, and people need to acquaint themselves with the various parking options.

The city has worked to place public parking facilities strategically within a block's walk of the main shopping areas, he said. In the area around King Street between Mary and Broad streets, there are about 2,500 public parking spots, including metered on-street, surface lot and garage spaces, a city tally found.

To help drivers find those spaces, the city recently installed new, easier-to-read "public parking" signs downtown and posted a peninsula parking map on its Web site.

To free up even more parking spots, the city lets downtown drivers park in loading zones on evenings and weekends, Riley said.

In the coming months, he added, there will be more than 900 new parking spaces downtown with the opening of new decks at King and Queen streets and at George and Liberty streets near the College of Charleston.

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I still say parking a block or two away is the way to go. Its not like the scenery is lacking in Charleston. Enjoy the walk ;)

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All I know is that its extremely disgusting when I have to get a permit to park in front of my own house that Ive lived in all my life.

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For instance, after the old College Lodge was demolished at Calhoun and Coming, the perfect replacement for it would have been a large, 6-8 story garage. Instead, a parking lot was made! Now, the parking lot is going to be removed to make way for another C of C building. Why not make another garage for students who live on the northwest end of the campus? It just seems like the demand for parking is never fully met because strange decisions such as that are made.

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^ Oh that's right. Thanks for the correction dig! For the life of me though, I still can't understand what drives some people neglect common sense development. Once College Inn was removed, anybody could see that more parking with a garage would be needed, especially with my old alma mater, Bishop England High school, which was demolished for the new C of C library, being located across the street. Present day, the new library needs a garage across the street now more than ever.

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^ Oh that's right. Thanks for the correction dig! For the life of me though, I still can't understand what drives some people neglect common sense development. Once College Inn was removed, anybody could see that more parking with a garage would be needed, especially with my old alma mater, Bishop England High school, which was demolished for the new C of C library, being located across the street. Present day, the new library needs a garage across the street now more than ever.

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