City’s Downtown Parking Plan

munk writes: Looking at the Charlottesville site, I found the official Downtown Parking Study Recommendations. That’s the one that says, to alleviate the problem of parking near the mall, we should: increase fines, decrease time per space, make the spaces smaller, and have better signage leading to the 125 day-only spaces on the other side of Garrett Square. Oh, yeah, they also suggest a computerized ticketing system so you can’t move from one two-hour space to another. Do they not realize that some of us live downtown or spend sixteen-hour work days on the mall?

8 thoughts on “City’s Downtown Parking Plan”

  1. Those suggestions sound more like bigger problems; not smaller ones. Making spaces smaller would be fine if people would stop driving those ridiculous SUVs. But they won’t. With shorter times per space and increased fines, people will just be more pissed off at the city. It’s not going to solve anything or even serve as a short-term improvement.

    Ever since cars were invented, mankind has been plagued by the problem of where to put the damned things.

    What’s the deal with the big field by Garrett Square? Is that being used for anything in a formal sense? Maybe we could turn that into parking and have the free trolley go past it every 15 minutes.


  2. I’d hate to see that go, primarily because there’s so little greenery around Garrett. I often see kids playing football or kickball there after school.

    That’s the worst part about the parking situation: we’re to the point where taking away green space is one of few viable options.


  3. In a formal sense, it’s the backyard for all the residents of Garret Square. Just because it’s empty frequently doesn’t mean it’s a good candidate for asphalt.

    Suggesting we devote that to parking would be akin to saying we can tear out your front lawn to make space for a wider road if you aren’t sitting outside 24/7.

    It’s not a question of unutilized open space. It’s space that actually belongs to a community of people.

    The full-day parking spaces recently created on Monticello Ave. are a good idea, and almost as close to the mall as your ersatz parking scheme…

  4. If City Council would like me stay the hell out of downtown – if they would like to shoo me away and get me to do my shopping and dining on 29 North, then they are doing a stellar job.

    Alienate the customers – yeah, that’s the way to go.

    Janis Jaquith


  5. Having a good place to play kickball is a pretty good reason not to make something a parking lot in my opinion.

    I wonder what would happen if the city just did nothing. Would people ultimately solve the problem themselves by utilising public transport or carpooling? Or just leave the mall? What would the Darwinian answer to this be?

  6. I think they’d just leave the mall. Though you and I might think otherwise, I’ll bet that the Mall isn’t yet attractive enough to Joe Commuter to deal with the lack of parking. I wish it were otherwise.


  7. Well, is it me, or does anyone look at the Water St. parking garage and wonder, ‘Why are there two (typically full) parking lots right next to it?’ I mean we can put people on the moon, couldn’t we have built a parking garage that would handle the amount of traffic in the area?

    I mean why are all those cars parked out on Water St. near Lexus during the day, suspiciously close to yet another full parking garage? It seems to me that massive incompetence rules when it comes to planning these things in Charlottesville, either that or someone so engrossed in bucolic fantasy as to be disfunctional (which may of course be the pot calling the kettle black, but I digress) is running the show.

    My guess is the same people are being asked to solve the problem yet again, this time not by adding on or making modifications to the current facilities, but rather, “Hey, there’s another lot that doesn’t seem like it’s being used, let’s slap down some asphalt, and build on that!” That and the fact that none of the people working on the recommendations has to try to find parking on a downtown street during their working day, I’d wager.

    In my opinion, all of the recommendations put forth seem to be completely against reason, but inline with the decision to build a parking garage that is completely useless, in terms of handling the amount of traffic the downtown area sees. Not to mention the fact that it frigging closes. Why not leave it open to residents at night, or offer reasonable monthly rates?

    It’s almost as if the people making the decisions about the downtown area are doing so by proxy (perhaps even from the moon).

    Ah well, one could go on, but I think I’ve made my point.


  8. I attended the recent Court Facilities meetings, of which there were three, held over the course of a year. The goal of these meetings was to provide citizens’ input regarding the planned court complex in downtown Charlottesville. Every plan that was proposed involved building a large parking deck that could hold hundreds of cars, which is appropriate for the size of the complex being discussed.

    At one meeting, somebody asked about the parking’s reusability; wouldn’t it be wise to put this parking close to the Mall, such that people could park here at night, weekends, etc., to help solve the parking problem?

    It turned out that there was no (and presumably still is not) communication between between the folks running this extensive parking study and the folks running the study of the new court facilities. The right hand simply has no idea of what the left is doing.

    In a best-case scenario, we’ll end up with two garages. More likely, we’ll end up with none.


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