Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

citiboi27610

Downtown Raleigh parking

157 posts in this topic

I keep up with the Triangle forums and I've noticed that one of the major problems in any of the new developments in Downtown Raleigh is parking. Every development, whether residential or commmercial, has to worry about its own parking for its residents. From what I understand, in other cites, for samller developments parking isn't a problem because there is plenty of parking.

Also, I've noticed ther large amount of above ground parking decks in Downtown Raleigh. With the large amount of development going on downtown, these parking decks are on prime line. Examples include, the moore square station and the alexander square parking deck.

What methods are being used elsewhere to build parking that effectivley provides parking for downtown parking?

This is a link to a company that builds underground parking decks with methods used in Europe.

http://www.skylinesteel.com/documents/apps/Economics.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


What methods are being used elsewhere to build parking that effectivley provides parking for downtown parking?

A lot of other cities use this really crazy approach- it's called public transportation.

Downtown Raleigh has too much parking. The city core needs good in-town circulatory transit, such as a streetcar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of other cities use this really crazy approach- it's called public transportation.

Downtown Raleigh has too much parking. The city core needs good in-town circulatory transit, such as a streetcar.

YES!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Public transit would help, obviously, but the area is still dependent on cars and if people are coming downtown they need somewhere to park. How can our city officials incorporate parking in an efficient manner that promotes good development?

Why hasn't the city created a better downtown transit system?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Public transit would help, obviously, but the area is still dependent on cars and if people are coming downtown they need somewhere to park. How can our city officials incorporate parking in an efficient manner that promotes good development?

Why hasn't the city created a better downtown transit system?

You continue to miss define the problem by putting the wrong answer in as part of your problem statement. The point is not "if people are coming downtown they need somewhere to park." The point is if people are coming downtown they need a way to get there.

As to why the city hasn't created a better transit system, it's because the city of Raleigh oversubsidizes automobility like crazy while keeping bus service spread wide and thin across the poorly developed city landscape.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You continue to miss define the problem by putting the wrong answer in as part of your problem statement. The point is not "if people are coming downtown they need somewhere to park." The point is if people are coming downtown they need a way to get there.

As to why the city hasn't created a better transit system, it's because the city of Raleigh oversubsidizes automobility like crazy while keeping bus service spread wide and thin across the poorly developed city landscape.

it's true Raleigh is too auto-centric, and has gotten that way not by some mysterious hidden process but by repeated public choices. That said, I know of only a few places where cars are totally off limits. Most places integrate transit into the overall mobility system, which usually includes cars. Raleligh will be no different, especially given it's history as a car-dominated place.

Consider what a lousy experiment in auto-free zone Fayetteville Street Mall was. It's true that the approval of North Hills and Crabtree at the time had a bigger effect in killing downtown business, but even so the Mall didn't work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

it's true Raleigh is too auto-centric, and has gotten that way not by some mysterious hidden process but by repeated public choices.

Very well said.

That said, I know of only a few places where cars are totally off limits. Most places integrate transit into the overall mobility system, which usually includes cars. Raleligh will be no different, especially given it's history as a car-dominated place.

My point is not that the city should make certain sections off-limits to cars. You don't have to ban cars to be transit and pedestrian-friendly. You DO have to install crosswalks, stoplights, build buildings to the curb rather than behind massive parking lots, and have street networks that place interconnectivity above buffering via cul-de-sacs.

Pairs of one-way streets with 3 lanes across in each direction (such as Salisbury and Wilmington) don't help much either. The Project For Public Spaces has done a lot of good work on making streets pedestrian-friendly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Consider what a lousy experiment in auto-free zone Fayetteville Street Mall was. It's true that the approval of North Hills and Crabtree at the time had a bigger effect in killing downtown business, but even so the Mall didn't work.

What was the problem with the functionality of the Mall, in your opinion?

In mine, it comes down to the lack of residential in that part of town, leading to a lack of retail. Couple that, with bad design elements (Huge trees which make it dark and uninviting; ugly @ss fish ponds) and its set up to fail.

I'm not sure if any of you have been to Burlington Vermont. There, Church Street is a 'mall' and is very successful. I see the difference as people go there to shop, people-watch, eat, and drink. When I moved here, I thought it would be the same....it was not :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


What was the problem with the functionality of the Mall, in your opinion?

In mine, it comes down to the lack of residential in that part of town, leading to a lack of retail. Couple that, with bad design elements (Huge trees which make it dark and uninviting; ugly @ss fish ponds) and its set up to fail.

I'm not sure if any of you have been to Burlington Vermont. There, Church Street is a 'mall' and is very successful. I see the difference as people go there to shop, people-watch, eat, and drink. When I moved here, I thought it would be the same....it was not :(

Agreed no residential no way to get to it, (parking, subway tunnel, or otherwise) and a tiny convention center doomed the mall from the beginning. A half dozen 15 story apartment buildings, a convention center 4 times as big with two or three hotels, sufficient parking on Salisbury and Wilmington and say a subway tunnel with a escalator rising in front of the CC and the Capital and then the mall might have actually had people on it at all hours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What doomed the mall more than anything was the decision to build the mall / convention center, and let that be the end of downtown investment for decades, while spending billions of dollars over the ensuing decades on freeway / street widening and cul-de-sac matintenence.

Now, after decades of continuous investment in suburban infrastructure, resulting in a congested, rather dysfunctional system with no end in sight, downtown is coming back on the radar. However, it will take a long time for downtown to make up for all those years of disinvestment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right now there is plenty of parking downtown. The city of Raleigh has always kept up with the demand for parking. The real problem is when people come downtown, no one wants to pay for parking. This is something that everyone will eventually have to get over. Once a downtown establishes itself, then people will get over the fact that it costs a little bit to park their car.

Right now the city offers free parking after 7pm and it is also free all weekend too. As for building more decks, after the cost explosion on the latest underground deck, the city might sit back for a little while before their next project.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some people have mentioned the various mixed-use developments (North Hills, Cameron Village, etc). I call them outdoor malls. And even though they do a good job attracting business (or rob the downtowns of it), they serve this argument well:

People want walkable places. I think it's in our nature to desire pleasant, walkable places, and that's why North Hills and Southpoint and pretty much every one of these developments thrives. They have outdoor seating at some restaurants, a staple of metropolitan cities like New York and Boston, and upscale retail shops lining their "streets" like you might find in San Francisco. Even indoor malls share these qualities, however artificial it may all be.

But as we can all agree, they are not "real places" in the same way city centers are "real". You can look at parking as the problem, or the fact that driving around the city is too confusing for some, or even point to crime in some places. These factors will keep some folks away.

Here in the Triangle, people are attracted to walkable, lively "outdoor malls" because they have good food and shopping and because they can get there and find a parking spot easily.

I don't think our downtowns, or any downtowns, can thrive by using the same auto-centric means of transportation that these other places thrive. Creating more parking garages in hopes of attracting more people is like trying to gain weight by buying bigger clothes.

Downtowns can't mimic what the imitators (the outdoor malls) do. They've got to be an entirely different realm. Jobs, homes, retail, services, and a combination of history and progress on every block. Not a conglomeration of buildings surrounded by acres of asphalt. Downtowns can't expect people to experience downtowns without street-level attractions that rival and outnumber the North Hills of the world. And they certainly can't thrive without public transportation (especially the kind that runs late into the night for all y'all who stay out late).

I'm ranting now, so I'll stop there. One final thought: if you want to decrease auto dependence, slash some tires. Just kidding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People have a MUCH harding time parking and walk WAY farther at Southpoint than they do in DT Raleigh. The primary reason F-St mall failed is: bums. People never felt safe there.

The second reason: It didn't offer any unique shopping experiences. Why go to the DT Hudson Belk store when Crabtree's was better and had another 150 interesting stores next to it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know the DT Raleigh Alliance works to attract Big businesses. Does anyone know if they work with building owners and retail corporations to bring shops down? I'm wondering if a single manager for DT properties worked to place businesses. that way, a Gap isn't playing two owners off each other, and instead, getting a Gap and a Banana Republic (for example).

I completely agree that parking is plentiful. I think the parking areas, however, can be difficult to find for the un initiated. Could/should the current lots use neon signs, or something that stands out a bit more than the current (white on green) signs?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


What doomed the mall more than anything was the decision to build the mall / convention center, and let that be the end of downtown investment for decades, while spending billions of dollars over the ensuing decades on freeway / street widening and cul-de-sac matintenence.

Now, after decades of continuous investment in suburban infrastructure, resulting in a congested, rather dysfunctional system with no end in sight, downtown is coming back on the radar. However, it will take a long time for downtown to make up for all those years of disinvestment.

I agree Orulz...It will take a long time to "Catch up". But with any luck the cycle will reverse itself in the favor of Urban Growth. Then maybe to the point where 20 years from now people will say we are too dense. Could you imagine a skyline similar to Charlottes but with the current sprawl limits that we are at now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Charlottes skyline is a little too clumped together. I would prefer Raleigh to have a more balanced skyline that isnt just one cluster of buildings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for replying to my question. That was one of my first posts. I am an engineering student and have been keeping track of the developement in Raleigh since I've been away. I'm trying to learn some 'real' knowledge as I go through my education.

That being said: Do any of the city officials or the Dowtown Raleigh Alliance read these forums? I've seen so many valuable ideas and insight on all of the forums. It would be a powerful asset to be aware of what is posted here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for replying to my question. That was one of my first posts. I am an engineering student and have been keeping track of the developement in Raleigh since I've been away. I'm trying to learn some 'real' knowledge as I go through my education.

That being said: Do any of the city officials or the Dowtown Raleigh Alliance read these forums? I've seen so many valuable ideas and insight on all of the forums. It would be a powerful asset to be aware of what is posted here.

:thumbsup:;) you picking up what i'm putting down?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a poll on the front page of the TBJ website asking the question "Does Raleigh's parking situation keep you from visiting downtown?". This question intrigued me because I honestly do not see a "parking situation" downtown. Maybe its because I live downtown and don't have to worry about it as much, or maybe its because I know where all the parking decks are, etc...

And obviously I think parking will be better once a majority of the projects are complete and all lanes of traffic are open.

(Here is a link to a brochure the DRA has out about parking downtown)

So I wanted to get people's opinion here. Do you think there is a major parking shortage downtown? Or do you think the city and the DRA are doing a poor job of letting the public know where they are able to park after hours? Last year the city leased some of Dillon's parking lots for visitors to the Warehouse district to use at night for a fee. Did that help? Should the signage for parking decks be different?

What have you seen in other cities' downtowns in terms of parking? How does Raleigh compare? What are some things Raleigh could learn from other cities?

Oh, and go to the poll and vote, its in the middle of the homepage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I voted "No. I never have a problem finding a parking place downtown." and added a comment about how parking is free at night in most of the decks and the lot by City Market. Why people can walk a few blocks to get to Glenwood South, but won't for the rest of downtown, I'll never understand. It is great the Downtown Raleigh Alliance has a brochure, but I've never seen it.

Unfortunately, "Absolutely. I dread going there for any reason, mainly because of the parking." is first at 47% and "Parking is a problem, but it doesn't keep me from going downtown." is in second at 20%. If "business leaders" don't want to go downtown, they are not going to relocate their business there.

I know several members of the TBJ staff... they're nice people but they know the nature of their publication serves a conservative subscriber base. I came close to getting the transportation reporter to buy a house downtown, but everything available was out of his price range.

There should be a big promotional push when Fayetville street reopens, pointing out the added on-street parking for the lazy. Also, I noticed that the bus stop benches on Martin just west of Fayetville were removed. Does anyone know if they will be replaced, or do they just want people to shulffe down to Moore Square to catch CAT?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think Raleigh has a parking problem at all. In fact I'm always taken back by the limited number of people dowtown and the amount of parking available. In my opinion we need to develope some of the parking lots in Raleigh.

I've lived in both Portland and Seattle and they seem (I don't have actual data) to have significantly less parking dowtown. On top of that it is not uncommon in Seattle or Portland to pay $15-20 to park dowtown for an extended period of time (several hours). Both cities do offer superior public transporation, however. Just a different philosophy on transportation in the Pacific Northwest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I really wish that people would stop complaining about parking downtown. Use your two legs and walk a block or two, it's good for you! Although I do feel for folks who are physically incapable of walking a couple blocks (due to handicap or something).

I believe that all these people complaining about parking downtown are just afraid of parking decks, and yet they're the reason that we have a dozen (usually underutilized) decks taking up so much valuable real estate already. No matter how many decks the city builds, these people won't be satisfied with parking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Or do you think the city and the DRA are doing a poor job of letting the public know where they are able to park after hours?

This seems to be the problem. I've talked with folks who have been to 518 West and didn't realize there is a garage just behind Southend.

The city added banners on the parking decks, but they are (if I remember) are dark green. This is terrible for contrast at night. They should add some neon signs on the decks (to make them stand out) and other signs directing folks around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^Yeah, I like all of the signage they've done around the Powerhouse Square district. They've put the logo on most of the buildings, and added a lighted parking sign to the deck. Southend has a big sign on it promoting the powerhouse area.

But, the DRA can't and won't mail out a brochure to every resident of Raleigh. The problem is most don't come downtown enough to know where to park. It would be nice if the DRA could partner with the restaurants and give them something with the parking options around that particular restaurant with their check when they leave.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.