The people say "keep it".
The powers that be just don't understand the real problem that keeps people from coming downtown, or coming back to downtown.
The parking situation is horrible. The spaces are small, the rate is high, and the penalty for an expired meter is severe in this economy.
Has the city tried turning the street parking places into extra space for business to use. The parking decks would be the only option for parking, and could be capped at $5 a day. At least customers would know they wouldn't be getting a ticket, and it would be fairly convenient for most. Handicapped individuals could call and have a city van or other means of transport pick them up and take them to the shops.
Charleston and Savannah are incredible walking towns. It seems they have found a way to make it into a great stroll with many business to choose from, with little traffic. And, I've never seen a parking ticket being written, or on a car. I'm sure they have them, I just haven't see one.
This is just an idea. But anything is better than coming back to your car and seeing a ticket hanging on the wiper. This is an instant business killer. The taste of that experience will take years to get out of your mouth.
When your asking someone to come spend money at your business, and your already behind in the race because of parking fees, and let's face it, it's more expensive downtown, you have to have some creative thinkers to draw people in.
When the "Bounty" was here my wife and I went to see it. On the way back, I saw parking enforcement write 5 tickets while we were walking back to the parking deck.
Those 5 people will think hard and long before they come out of their way to downtown, when they could go somewhere in the county for free.
It also reminded me why I don't go downtown more often.
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