CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Almost five months after beginning its study on parking in the city, Charleston officials will announce its findings to the public on Monday and Tuesday.
The city initiated the study earlier in 2018 in an attempt to update its parking system for the first time in 20 years. It examines current and future parking trends for Charleston residents and businesses.
“Parking is a key component of our overall transportation and quality of life strategy here in the city, and it’s critical that we get it right," Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said. “That’s why it’s so important for us to hear our citizens’ ideas and input now, before any final decisions are made.”
At a drop-in session on Monday afternoon, city officials said over 3,500 people took the survey. Forty percent of those who answered the survey work on the peninsula and 36 percent of people live on the peninsula. The results show people generally perceive parking as being difficult. However, most people reported it took them less than 5 minutes to find parking and were able to park within three blocks of their destination.
People also reported a desire for better public transit, rideshare services and bicycle infrastructure. At the drop-in meeting there was also an opportunity to express interest in different kinds of transit like street cars, GOTCHA ride, scooters and express buses.
“We saw with residents, workers and visitors that they would choose another mode of transportation if they knew it was connected, reliable and safe and that’s a big piece to think about,” Director of Traffic and Transportation for the City of Charleston, Keith Benjamin, said.
Other potential strategies included adding more parking lots and decks, improving signage for parking, using smart phones to find parking or pay for meters and improving valet services.
“We’re really excited about it,” Benjamin said. "We’re really happy to make sure we’re engaged. We want to hear everybody’s ideas, everybody’s questions, everybody’s concerns re guarding parking.”
An open house is scheduled for Tuesday at the Clemson Design Center located in Suite 200 at 701 E. Bay St. from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. A formal presentation of the findings will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Clemson Design Center.