Council approves 2nd reading limiting public parking at Battery

Parking changes at The Battery

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston City Council passed the second reading of an ordinance Tuesday to revise parking distribution along The Battery.

The ordinance, designed to provide more room for residents in the area, would limit parking times on several streets to just two hours.  The parking restrictions would be enforced Monday through Friday betwee 9 a.m. and 5p.m. People who live in the area would be given permits that would allow them to continue to park for unlimited amounts of times as long as their permits were displayed.

The ordinance would affect the north side of Murray Boulevard, portions of Broad, Chisolm, King, Gibbes, South Battery, Limehouse, Lowndes, and Greenhill streets within the Charleston neighborhoods.

Tourists said the parking restrictions would affect their time downtown.

"How far can we go," asked Hannah Ferguson as she took in the sites with her family visiting from Rockville, South Carolina. "If we go that far will we have time to get back to the car?  Is our car going to be gone when we get back?

"It  would affect where I wanted to go, where I wanted to eat lunch,  because if I had to worry about moving my car or what I was doing, I feel like it would really impact my time down here," said Meg Lilly who visits Charleston at least once a month.

Ralph Stewart, a contractor who frequently does long term projects in the area, said the unlimited time on the parking spots are like parking gold to him.

"I need time to be able to park and move ladders and stuff like that."

There are several streets surrounding the Battery already zoned to limit parking spots for visitors.  Smith Carleson, another resident, agreed with the proposed parking changes.

"Definitely priority to the people who live here," said Carleson.

However, he sympathizes with tourists and business owners.

"I think there is free unlimited parking on the water which is nice," added Carleson.

There seemed to be no easy answer to find the balance between appeasing tourists and residents simultaneously. While people who live in the area say they need more parking, they also recognize the benefit of tourists being able to find parking as well.

Lilly said the new changes could affect where she spends her money.

"I definitely go to the places that I normally park so I think it would change up where I went to."

A third reading on the ordinance will be held before it could become law.

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