Difference between revisions of "Parking"

From Cvillepedia
Jump to: navigation, search
(History: wikilnk)
m (Studies: 2015 downtown corner study and 2016 meter study)
(19 intermediate revisions by 4 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
 
'''Parking''' is a perennial topic of discussion in downtown [[Charlottesville]].  The city has repeatedly grappled with the difficulty of balancing the competition for limited parking among shops and restaurants and their customers, commuting workers, residents, students, tourists, government and court personnel, and others.<ref>City repeatedly grappling with parking issues (examples)
 
'''Parking''' is a perennial topic of discussion in downtown [[Charlottesville]].  The city has repeatedly grappled with the difficulty of balancing the competition for limited parking among shops and restaurants and their customers, commuting workers, residents, students, tourists, government and court personnel, and others.<ref>City repeatedly grappling with parking issues (examples)
 +
 
*{{cite web |url=http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/city-council-backs-downtown-park-and-ride/article_2cf814cc-24f7-5a92-a32b-e523659d4153.html |title=City Council backs downtown park-and-ride - The Daily Progress: News |newspaper=Daily Progress|publishdate=February 3, 2009  |author=Rachana Dixit |accessdate= October 2, 2015}}
 
*{{cite web |url=http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/city-council-backs-downtown-park-and-ride/article_2cf814cc-24f7-5a92-a32b-e523659d4153.html |title=City Council backs downtown park-and-ride - The Daily Progress: News |newspaper=Daily Progress|publishdate=February 3, 2009  |author=Rachana Dixit |accessdate= October 2, 2015}}
 
*{{cite web |url=http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/off-mall-businesses-lament-parking/article_f9be51a0-b6cf-5920-946f-e9ce26892cc0.html |title=Off-mall businesses lament parking - The Daily Progress: News |newspaper=Daily Progress |publishdate=November 10, 2010  |author=Rachana Dixit |accessdate= October 2, 2015}}
 
*{{cite web |url=http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/off-mall-businesses-lament-parking/article_f9be51a0-b6cf-5920-946f-e9ce26892cc0.html |title=Off-mall businesses lament parking - The Daily Progress: News |newspaper=Daily Progress |publishdate=November 10, 2010  |author=Rachana Dixit |accessdate= October 2, 2015}}
Line 7: Line 8:
  
  
 +
==History==
 +
City Council has been wrestling with complaints about downtown parking since the 1930’s. Charlottesville’s [[West Main Streetcar|trolley]] (animal drawn in the 1880’s, electrified by 1895) displaced horses, wagons, and carriages—but was itself displaced by the automobile.  By 1915 it was clear the greater convenience of the gasoline powered “jitney” would doom the trolley; by 1935 Charlottesville began paving over trolley track, making room for increasing numbers of cars.<ref>Jefferson Randolph Kean, Charlottesville’s Street Railway System and its Entrepreneurs, 1866-1936 (1980)(George Mason University) (Master’s Thesis, on deposit Albemarle Historical Society)</ref>
  
==History==
+
By 1939 automobile congestion had reached the point that Charlottesville’s Chief of Police attempted to regulate parking by installing a newly invented mechanical device called the parking meter, on Main Street—now the Downtown Mall.<ref name="“Maurer”">David Maurer, Sooners dropped the coin heard across the U.S., [[The Daily Progress]], May 1, 1994  (Albemarle Historical Society clippings file) (Parking meters had been invented in Oklahoma only four years before.)</ref>  “Then as now, Charlottesville’s business owners argued that business suffered when parking spots were taken up by the same car all day.”<ref name="“Maurer”" />  The original 100 meters were for a ‘trial period only’, five cents for sixty minutes.<ref>John Hammond Moore, Albemarle: Jefferson’s County 1727-1976 (1976) (University of Virginia Press) isbn 0-8139-0645-8</ref> The original 100 grew to 1000, and the three month trial extended into the next several decades.<ref name="“Maurer”" />
City Council has been wrestling with complaints about downtown parking since the 1930’s. Charlottesville’s [[West Main Streetcar|trolley]] (animal drawn in the 1880’s, electrified by 1895) displaced horses, wagons, and carriages—but was itself displaced by the automobileBy 1915 it was clear the greater convenience of the gasoline powered “jitney” would doom the trolley; by 1935 Charlotesville began paving over trolley track, making room for increasing numbers of cars.<ref>Jefferson Randolph Kean, Charlottesville’s Street Railway System and its Entrepreneurs, 1866-1936 (1980)(George Mason University) (Master’s Thesis, on deposit Albemarle Historical Society)</ref>  
 
  
By 1939 automobile congestion had reached the point that Charlottesville’s Chief of Police attempted to regulate parking by installing a newly invented mechanical device called the parking meter, on Main Street—now the Downtown Mall.<ref name = “Maurer”> David Maurer, Sooners dropped the coin heard across the U.S., [[The Daily Progress]], May 1, 1994  (Albemarle Historical Society clippings file) (Parking meters had been invented in Oklahoma only four years before.)</ref> “Then as now, Charlottesville’s business owners argued that business suffered when parking spots were taken up by the same car all day.<ref name = “Maurer”/>   The original 100 meters were for  a ‘trial period only’, five cents for sixty minutes.<ref>John Hammond Moore, Albemarle: Jefferson’s County 1727-1976 (1976) (University of Virginia Press) isbn 0-8139-0645-8</ref> The original 100 grew to 1000, and the three month trial extended into the next several decades.<ref name = “Maurer”/>
+
A survey of traffic in the city was conducted in 1947 by the Virginia Department of Highways and a report was published on March 1, 1948. Among the conclusions was that 80 percent of cars within the city had destinations inside of Charlottesville. <ref>{{cite-progress-lindsay|title=Study of Traffic Brings Long List of Suggestions|url=http://search.lib.virginia.edu/catalog/uva-lib:2793466/view#openLayer/uva-lib:2793467/4614/938.5/3/1/0|author=Staff Reports|pageno=1|printdate=March 2, 1948|publishdate=March 2, 1948|accessdate=December 10, 2016 from University of Virginia Library}}</ref> "The practical saturation point has been reached," read the study which cataloged
 +
Specific recommendations on parking included better signage, removing curb cuts and creation of loading zones for trucks. <ref>{{cite-progress-lindsay|title=Study of Traffic Brings Long List of Suggestions|url=http://search.lib.virginia.edu/catalog/uva-lib:2791312/view#openLayer/uva-lib:2791313/818/1522.5/3/1/0|author=Staff Reports|pageno=1|printdate=March 3, 1948|publishdate=March 3, 1948|accessdate=December 11, 2016 from University of Virginia Library}}</ref> Additionally, two-hour space were to be converted to one hour spaces. <ref>{{cite-progress-lindsay|title=Uptown Curb Parking Facilities Utilized Under 50 Per Cent Now|url=http://search.lib.virginia.edu/catalog/uva-lib:2791327/view#openLayer/uva-lib:2791328/1209/2546/3/1/0|author=Staff Reports|pageno=1|printdate=March 4, 1948|publishdate=March 4, 1948|accessdate=December 11, 2016 from University of Virginia Library}}</ref> Other suggestions included purchasing land on Water Street and Commerce Street for off-street parking. <ref>{{cite-progress-lindsay|title=Study of Traffic Brings Long List of Suggestions|url=http://search.lib.virginia.edu/catalog/uva-lib:2791344/view#openLayer/uva-lib:2791345/1152/2376/3/1/0|author=Staff Reports|pageno=1|printdate=March 5, 1948|publishdate=March 5, 1948|accessdate=December 11, 2016 from University of Virginia Library}}</ref>  
  
 
On September 8, 1953 City Council approved parking meters in the city-owned parking lots on High Street, Water Street, Seventh Street, and Williams Street. Meters were also approved for Jefferson Street with a two-hour limit. <ref>{{minutes-citycouncil|when=September 8, 1953|id=307384}}</ref> These meters were purchased at a cost of $21,000 but they were not installed until after the holiday shopping season that year. <ref>{{minutes-citycouncil|when=November 16, 1953|id=308830}}</ref> The Chamber of Commerce petitioned for the right to place nickels in the meters but Council denied this later that year. <ref>{{minutes-citycouncil|when=December 7, 1953|id=307475}}</ref>  
 
On September 8, 1953 City Council approved parking meters in the city-owned parking lots on High Street, Water Street, Seventh Street, and Williams Street. Meters were also approved for Jefferson Street with a two-hour limit. <ref>{{minutes-citycouncil|when=September 8, 1953|id=307384}}</ref> These meters were purchased at a cost of $21,000 but they were not installed until after the holiday shopping season that year. <ref>{{minutes-citycouncil|when=November 16, 1953|id=308830}}</ref> The Chamber of Commerce petitioned for the right to place nickels in the meters but Council denied this later that year. <ref>{{minutes-citycouncil|when=December 7, 1953|id=307475}}</ref>  
  
Meters to regulate parking notwithstanding, complaints about parking as the “number one problem for downtown Charlottesville” recurred throughout the next decades—and continue to this day.<ref>Eliot Clark (letter-to-the-editor) The Greater Value, [[The Daily Progress]], September 18, 1951 (Albemarle Historical Society clippings file)(after calling parking the number one problem, the letter opposes digging up Lee Park for a parking lot)</ref> Proposed and rejected solutions included a 1951 proposal to dig up [[Lee Park]] and turn it into underground parking.<ref> Staff, Garden Club Revives Proposal for Auto Lot Under Lee Park, [[The Daily Progress]], May 22, 1951 (Albemarle Historical Society clippings file)(digging up Lee Park was defeated in part because it appeared to be illegal under the deed by which Paul Goodloe McIntire gave the property to the city.)</ref> The recurring theme is that ”everybody wants a parking space, but very few want to pay for one;” and that “a shortage of free parking in the area makes the nearby shopping centers with their abundance of free parking more attractive.”<ref> Kathleen Brunet, City Looks At Parking Shortages, [[The Daily Progress]], July 6 1986 (Albemarle Historical Society clippings file)</ref>
+
Meters to regulate parking notwithstanding, complaints about parking as the “number one problem for downtown Charlottesville” recurred throughout the next decades—and continue to this day.<ref>Eliot Clark (letter-to-the-editor) The Greater Value, [[The Daily Progress]], September 18, 1951 (Albemarle Historical Society clippings file)(after calling parking the number one problem, the letter opposes digging up Lee Park for a parking lot)</ref> Proposed and rejected solutions included a 1951 proposal to dig up [[Lee Park]] and turn it into underground parking.<ref>Staff, Garden Club Revives Proposal for Auto Lot Under Lee Park, [[The Daily Progress]], May 22, 1951 (Albemarle Historical Society clippings file)(digging up Lee Park was defeated in part because it appeared to be illegal under the deed by which Paul Goodloe McIntire gave the property to the city.)</ref> <ref>{{cite-progress-lindsay|title=The Lee Park Parking Proposal|url=http://search.lib.virginia.edu/catalog/uva-lib:2615187/view#openLayer/uva-lib:2615191/1868/1043.5/3/1/0|author=Staff Reports|pageno=4|printdate=January 23, 1925|accessdate=May 23, 2016 from University of Virginia Library}}</ref> The recurring theme is that ”everybody wants a parking space, but very few want to pay for one;” and that “a shortage of free parking in the area makes the nearby shopping centers with their abundance of free parking more attractive.”<ref>Kathleen Brunet, City Looks At Parking Shortages, [[The Daily Progress]], July 6 1986 (Albemarle Historical Society clippings file)</ref>
 +
 
 +
City Council held a public hearing to discuss an off street parking ordinance in 1956, but could not hold a debate since no one supported the measure. <ref name="Metered Lots Preferred">{{cite web |url=https://search.lib.virginia.edu/catalog/uva-lib:2701511/view#openLayer/uva-lib:2701513/3170/1115/3/1/1 |title=Metered Lots Preferred - The Daily Progress |newspaper=Dailyprogress.com |pubdate=February 3, 1956  |author=staff |accessdate= November 4, 2017}}</ref> Council unanimously passed a revised measure later that year exempting Downtown and West Main to Elliewood Avenue.<ref name="Off-street parking">{{cite web |url=https://search.lib.virginia.edu/catalog/uva-lib:2705122/view#openLayer/uva-lib:2705133/4616/2399/3/1/1 |title=Off-street parking - The Daily Progress |newspaper=Dailyprogress.com |pubdate=June 19, 1956  |author=staff |accessdate= November 4, 2017}}</ref>  
  
A traffic survey Charlottesville commissioned in 1957 referred to the tension between short term parking needs for shop customers and all-day parking for employees.<ref name = "1957 survey">Harland Bartholemew & Associates, A Report Upon Major Streets, Parking and Transportation, Charlottesville, Virginia, September 23, 1957 (on deposit at Albemarle Historical Society).</ref> The survey recommended increasing parking meter rates from five cents per hour to five cents per half hour, and building parking lots and garages for all-day parking.<ref name = "1957 survey"/> To compete with the convenient free parking at the then new Barracks Road Shopping Center, downtown businessmen pooled their resources in 1959 to form the Charlottesville Parking Center Inc. - a private company supplementing on-street metered spaces by subsidizing free parking for customers in lots and garages.<ref name="509 parking spaces">{{cite web |url=http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/business/for-sale-parking-spaces/article_64200a0c-0963-5d69-af6f-595966a9168b.html |title=For sale: 509 parking spaces - The Daily Progress: Business |newspaper=Dailyprogress.com |pubdate=March 19, 2007  |author=Brian McNeill |accessdate= October 6, 2015}}</ref>  
+
A traffic survey Charlottesville commissioned in 1957 referred to the tension between short term parking needs for shop customers and all-day parking for employees.<ref name="1957 survey">Harland Bartholemew & Associates, A Report Upon Major Streets, Parking and Transportation, Charlottesville, Virginia, September 23, 1957 (on deposit at Albemarle Historical Society).</ref> The survey recommended increasing parking meter rates from five cents per hour to five cents per half hour, and building parking lots and garages for all-day parking.<ref name="1957 survey" /> To compete with the convenient free parking at the then new Barracks Road Shopping Center, downtown businessmen pooled their resources in 1959 to form the Charlottesville Parking Center Inc. - a private company supplementing on-street metered spaces by subsidizing free parking for customers in lots and garages.<ref name="509 parking spaces">{{cite web |url=http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/business/for-sale-parking-spaces/article_64200a0c-0963-5d69-af6f-595966a9168b.html |title=For sale: 509 parking spaces - The Daily Progress: Business |newspaper=Dailyprogress.com |pubdate=March 19, 2007  |author=Brian McNeill |accessdate= October 6, 2015}}</ref>  
  
After converting Main Street to the Downtown Pedestrian Mall in the 1970's, City Council removed most parking meters on surrounding streets, again primarily to compete with free parking at suburban shopping malls. The [[Daily Progress]] editorialized in 1993 “increasing parking meter rates, raising parking fines, and stepping up measures to collect fines—are punitive measures that will make the mall less attractive . . .” <ref> Editorial, City parking plan should slow down, [[The Daily Progress]], September 16, 1993 (Albemarle Historical Society clippings file)</ref>  The Market Street garage built in 1975, and later the Water Street Parking garage which opened in 1995, were both intended to relieve pressure on free on-street parking.<ref>Charlotte Crystal, Water Street Garage Takes Pressure off Parking, [[The Daily Progress]], May 7, 1995(Claiming that the opening of the garage has provided the downtown with ample free parking for the foreseeable future.)(Albemarle Historical Society clippings file)</ref>   
+
After converting Main Street to the Downtown Pedestrian Mall in the 1970's, City Council removed most parking meters on surrounding streets, again primarily to compete with free parking at suburban shopping malls. Council voted on September 5, 1978 to eliminate 139 meters on Market and Water Streets and 35 on [[West Main Street]]. City Manager [[Cole Hendrix]] cited the construction of [[Fashion Square Mall]] as justification for removing the parking. At the time, the existing signs for two-hour parking were erected. <ref>{{cite-progress-worrell|title=Downtown Parking Meters Banished|url=|author=Ray McGrath|pageno=|printdate=September 6, 1978|publishdate=September 6, 1978|accessdate=May 9, 2016}}</ref>
 +
 
 +
The [[Daily Progress]] editorialized in 1993 “increasing parking meter rates, raising parking fines, and stepping up measures to collect fines—are punitive measures that will make the mall less attractive . . .” <ref>Editorial, City parking plan should slow down, [[The Daily Progress]], September 16, 1993 (Albemarle Historical Society clippings file)</ref>  The Market Street garage built in 1975, and later the Water Street Parking garage which opened in 1995, were both intended to relieve pressure on free on-street parking.<ref>Charlotte Crystal, Water Street Garage Takes Pressure off Parking, [[The Daily Progress]], May 7, 1995(Claiming that the opening of the garage has provided the downtown with ample free parking for the foreseeable future.)(Albemarle Historical Society clippings file)</ref>   
  
 
Hoping to strike the proper parking balance, the city has commissioned at least seven parking studies, about one a decade since the 1940's—though more often than not it has ignored the results.<ref>City commissions study; declines to implement it (examples)
 
Hoping to strike the proper parking balance, the city has commissioned at least seven parking studies, about one a decade since the 1940's—though more often than not it has ignored the results.<ref>City commissions study; declines to implement it (examples)
 +
 
*Harland Bartholemew & Associates, A Report Upon Major Streets, Parking and Transportation, Charlottesville, Virginia, September 23, 1957 (on deposit at Albemarle Historical Society)(refers to an earlier 1947 parking study by the Virginia Department of Transportation; recommended parking garage but City Council balked at the expense).
 
*Harland Bartholemew & Associates, A Report Upon Major Streets, Parking and Transportation, Charlottesville, Virginia, September 23, 1957 (on deposit at Albemarle Historical Society)(refers to an earlier 1947 parking study by the Virginia Department of Transportation; recommended parking garage but City Council balked at the expense).
 
*Sherri Nee, Disputed parking proposals stall, [[Daily Progress]] October 13, 1993, (Planning Commission rejects study recommending reduction from two hours parking to one, and rejects $15 a month commuter-tag parking; recommends reconstituting parking commission so it represents residents and merchants)(Albemarle Historical Society clippings file).
 
*Sherri Nee, Disputed parking proposals stall, [[Daily Progress]] October 13, 1993, (Planning Commission rejects study recommending reduction from two hours parking to one, and rejects $15 a month commuter-tag parking; recommends reconstituting parking commission so it represents residents and merchants)(Albemarle Historical Society clippings file).
Line 28: Line 36:
 
*Rich and Associates, Inc., Parking Master Plan (2000)(on deposit, main branch, Jefferson/Madison Library(recommending two hour free parking reduced to one to increase turnover--rejected by City Council)
 
*Rich and Associates, Inc., Parking Master Plan (2000)(on deposit, main branch, Jefferson/Madison Library(recommending two hour free parking reduced to one to increase turnover--rejected by City Council)
 
*Jake Mooney, Merchants oppose parking restrictions, [[Daily Progress]] January 16, 2001 (opposing study recommendations of reducing free parking time from two hours to one; opposing higher fines)(Albemarle Historical Society clippings file).
 
*Jake Mooney, Merchants oppose parking restrictions, [[Daily Progress]] January 16, 2001 (opposing study recommendations of reducing free parking time from two hours to one; opposing higher fines)(Albemarle Historical Society clippings file).
*see also 2008 parking study recommendations rejected discussed below.</ref> Council rejected a parking study recommendation to create a new system of zones in February 2009.<ref name ="2009 City Council decision">{{cite web|title=Council modifies downtown parking; keeps 2 hour spots|url=http://www.cvilletomorrow.org/news/article/6963-downtown-parking/|author=Fania Gordon|work=|publisher=Charlottesville Tomorrow|location=|publishdate=|accessdate=June 19, 2014}}</ref> City Council also rejected the study's recommendation to consider replacing time limit signs with parking meters.<ref name="Meters2009Study">{{cite web |url=http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/parking-meters-worth-look-see-say-some-in-city/article_3d33cd09-7547-5d20-af6e-1a5265458390.html |title=Parking meters worth look-see, say some in city - The Daily Progress: News |newspaper=Dailyprogress.com |publishdate=May 3, 2009  |author=Rachana Dixit |accessdate= October 13, 2015}}</ref> “I think the free parking that we have downtown … creates a better, more inviting atmosphere for visitors downtown,” [then Mayor] Dave Norris said in 2009.<ref name="Meters2009Study"/>
+
*see also 2008 parking study recommendations rejected discussed below.</ref> Council rejected a parking study recommendation to create a new system of zones in February 2009.<ref name="2009 City Council decision">{{cite web|title=Council modifies downtown parking; keeps 2 hour spots|url=http://www.cvilletomorrow.org/news/article/6963-downtown-parking/|author=Fania Gordon|work=|publisher=Charlottesville Tomorrow|location=|publishdate=|accessdate=June 19, 2014}}</ref> City Council also rejected the study's recommendation to consider replacing time limit signs with parking meters.<ref name="Meters2009Study">{{cite web |url=http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/parking-meters-worth-look-see-say-some-in-city/article_3d33cd09-7547-5d20-af6e-1a5265458390.html |title=Parking meters worth look-see, say some in city - The Daily Progress: News |newspaper=Dailyprogress.com |publishdate=May 3, 2009  |author=Rachana Dixit |accessdate= October 13, 2015}}</ref> “I think the free parking that we have downtown … creates a better, more inviting atmosphere for visitors downtown,” [then Mayor] Dave Norris said in 2009.<ref name="Meters2009Study" />
  
 
==Current parking situation==
 
==Current parking situation==
Line 41: Line 49:
  
 
==Parking meters reconsidered in 2015==
 
==Parking meters reconsidered in 2015==
[[image:20150909-parking-study-inventory.jpg|left|thumb]]In 2015 business owner Mark Brown, after buying the Charlottesville Parking Center (two downtown parking garages and part of a parking lot) as well as Charlottesville's Yellow Cab company,  advocated eliminating free parking on downtown streets.<ref name="Cvilletomorrow.orgA">{{cite web |url=http://www.cvilletomorrow.org/news/article/19968-access-downtown-proposal/ |title=Owner of city garages proposing radically new approach for downtown ⋅ Charlottesville Tomorrow |newspaper=Cvilletomorrow.org |publishdate=January 18, 2015  |author=Sean Tubbs |accessdate= October 1, 2015}}</ref><ref name=" Cvilletomorrow.orgB">{{cite web |url=http://www.cvilletomorrow.org/news/article/21964-ceda-parking-involvement/ |title=Charlottesville economic development authority might pay for more parking ⋅ Charlottesville Tomorrow |newspaper=Cvilletomorrow.org |publishdate=September 8, 2015  |author=Sean Tubbs |accessdate= October 2, 2015}}</ref> Mr. Brown initially attempted to remove downtown parking management from city control through a self-taxing "community improvement district," but withdrew the proposal in March 2015 after encountering opposition.<ref name=" Cvilletomorrow.orgC">{{cite web |url=http://www.cvilletomorrow.org/news/article/20287-tax-district-withdrawn/ |title=Downtown business association withdraws tax district request ⋅ Charlottesville Tomorrow |newspaper=Cvilletomorrow.org |publishdate=March 2, 2015  |author=Sean Tubbs |accessdate= October 2, 2015}}</ref>
+
[[image:20150909-parking-study-inventory.jpg|left|thumb]]In 2015 business owner Mark Brown, after buying the Charlottesville Parking Center (two downtown parking garages and part of a parking lot) as well as Charlottesville's Yellow Cab company,  advocated eliminating free parking on downtown streets.<ref name="Cvilletomorrow.orgA">{{cite web |url=http://www.cvilletomorrow.org/news/article/19968-access-downtown-proposal/ |title=Owner of city garages proposing radically new approach for downtown ⋅ Charlottesville Tomorrow |newspaper=Cvilletomorrow.org |publishdate=January 18, 2015  |author=Sean Tubbs |accessdate= October 1, 2015}}</ref><ref name="Cvilletomorrow.orgB">{{cite web |url=http://www.cvilletomorrow.org/news/article/21964-ceda-parking-involvement/ |title=Charlottesville economic development authority might pay for more parking ⋅ Charlottesville Tomorrow |newspaper=Cvilletomorrow.org |publishdate=September 8, 2015  |author=Sean Tubbs |accessdate= October 2, 2015}}</ref> Mr. Brown initially attempted to remove downtown parking management from city control through a self-taxing "community improvement district," but withdrew the proposal in March 2015 after encountering opposition.<ref name="Cvilletomorrow.orgC">{{cite web |url=http://www.cvilletomorrow.org/news/article/20287-tax-district-withdrawn/ |title=Downtown business association withdraws tax district request ⋅ Charlottesville Tomorrow |newspaper=Cvilletomorrow.org |publishdate=March 2, 2015  |author=Sean Tubbs |accessdate= October 2, 2015}}</ref>
 +
 
 +
At Mr. Brown's instigation in 2014 Charlottesville's Office of Economic Development obtained from City Council funding to update the 2008 consultant's study that recommended metered parking (rejected after a series of public hearings in 2009 and 2010).<ref name="Cvilletomorrow.orgA" /><ref name="2009 City Council decision" />  The resulting 2015 consultant's study, unveiled at an October 1, 2015 work session, recommended installing meters where parking is most in demand, while at the same time keeping some spaces free.<ref name="MyUser_Nbc29.com_October_2_2015c">{{cite web |url=http://www.nbc29.com/story/30168132/parking-study-consultant-says-metered-parking-a-solution |title=Parking Study Consultant Says Metered Parking a Solution |newspaper=Nbc29.com |publishdate=October 1, 2015  |author=WVIR staff |accessdate= October 2, 2015}}</ref> City Council has asked for an implementation plan including cost estimates for a new city parking department and so-called "smart meters", and was to hold public hearings on the proposal.<ref name="MyUser_Nbc29.com_October_2_2015c" />
 +
 
 +
On April 5, 2016, City Council approved a six month test of new parking meters downtown. The western and eastern boundaries will be Second Street West and Sixth Street East, respectively. Market Street will be the northern border and the railroad tracks will serve as the southern limit. In all, 157 parking spaces would be converted to metered spots. Council voted 4-1 to approve the program with [[Bob Fenwick]] voting against. <ref>{{cite web|title=Council to discuss downtown parking meters|url=http://www.cvilletomorrow.org/news/article/23390-downtown-parking-meters/|author=Sean Tubbs|work=News Article|publisher=Charlottesville Tomorrow|location=|publishdate=April 4, 2016|accessdate=January 2, 2017}}</ref> <ref name="new meters">{{cite web |url=http://www.cvilletomorrow.org/news/article/23433-council-adopts-meters/ |title=http://www.cvilletomorrow.org/news/article/23433-council-adopts-meters/ |newspaper=Charlottesville Tomorrow |publishdate=April 5, 2016  |author=Sean Tubbs |accessdate= January 2, 2017}}</ref>
 +
 
 +
{{current}}
 +
The pilot began on September 5, 2017 with a fee of $1.80 an hour in the affected areas with a two-hour maximum. A mixture of single-space and multi-space meters will be used. As part of the plan, the Market Street Parking Garage will offer one hour of free parking and the hourly rate will be reduced from $2.50 to $1.50 an hour. <ref>{{cite web|title=
 +
Downtown stakeholders learn more about parking meters|url=http://www.cvilletomorrow.org/news/article/28060-downtown-stakeholders-learn-more-about-meters/|author=Sean Tubbs|work=News Article|publisher=Charlottesville Tomorrow|location=|publishdate=August 2, 2017|accessdate=August 3, 2017}}</ref> However, the program was suspended during the holidays and will resume on January 2, 2018. <ref>{{cite web|title=Parking meter pilot to resume Jan. 2, despite controversy|url=http://www.cvilletomorrow.org/news/article/29438-parking-meter-pilot-to-resume-jan-2-despite-contro/|author=Sean Tubbs|work=News Article|publisher=Charlottesville Tomorrow|location=|publishdate=December 22, 2017|accessdate=December 27, 2017}}</ref> On January 2, 2018, City Council voted to suspend the pilot indefinitely, pending re-evaluation one year later.<ref>{{Minutes-citycouncil|newid=60199|when=January 2, 2018|accessdate=2019-03-20}}</ref><ref>{{Cite web|url=https://www.cvilletomorrow.org/articles/city-ends-parking-meter-pilot-program|title=Press Release: City Ends Parking Meter Pilot Program|last=|first=|publishdate=January 3, 2018|publisher=City of Charlottesville|archive-url=|archive-date=|dead-url=|accessdate=2019-03-20}}</ref><ref>{{Cite web|url=https://www.cvilletomorrow.org/articles/parking-plan-continues/|title=Parking plan continues despite removal of meters|last=Sean Tubbs|first=|publishdate=February 8, 2018|publisher=Charlottesville Tomorrow|archive-url=|archive-date=|dead-url=|accessdate=2019-03-20}}</ref> As of March 2019, the program had not been re-evaluated.
 +
 
  
At Mr. Brown's instigation in 2014 Charlottesville's Office of Economic Development obtained from City Council funding to update the 2008 consultant's study that recommended metered parking (rejected after a series of public hearings in 2009 and 2010).<ref name="Cvilletomorrow.orgA"/><ref name ="2009 City Council decision"/>  The resulting 2015 consultant's study, unveiled at an October 1, 2015 work session, recommended installing meters where parking is most in demand, while at the same time keeping some spaces free.<ref name="MyUser_Nbc29.com_October_2_2015c">{{cite web |url=http://www.nbc29.com/story/30168132/parking-study-consultant-says-metered-parking-a-solution |title=Parking Study Consultant Says Metered Parking a Solution |newspaper=Nbc29.com |publishdate=October 1, 2015  |author=WVIR staff |accessdate= October 2, 2015}}</ref> City Council has asked for an implementation plan including cost estimates for a new city parking department and so-called "smart meters", and will hold public hearings on the proposal.<ref name="MyUser_Nbc29.com_October_2_2015c"/>
 
 
{{clear}}
 
{{clear}}
  
Line 50: Line 66:
  
 
===Studies===
 
===Studies===
 +
 
*[http://www.cvillepedia.org/mediawiki/index.php/File:20081028-parking-study.pdf October 27, 2008 downtown parking study]
 
*[http://www.cvillepedia.org/mediawiki/index.php/File:20081028-parking-study.pdf October 27, 2008 downtown parking study]
*[http://www.cvillepedia.org/mediawiki/index.php/File:20150105-CC-Parking-Staff-Report.pdf Staff report for January 5, City Council discussion]
+
*[https://www.charlottesville.org/home/showdocument?id=40131 2015 Downtown and University Corner Comprehensive Parking Analysis by Nelson\Nygaard]
 +
*[http://www.cvillepedia.org/mediawiki/index.php/File:20150105-CC-Parking-Staff-Report.pdf Staff report for January 5, 2015 City Council discussion]
 +
*[http://s3.amazonaws.com/cville/cm%2Fmutlimedia%2FAccess-Downtown-Presentation.pdf CPC's Access Downtown proposal, January 2015]
 +
*[http://www.charlottesville.org/home/showdocument?id=40129 March 3, 2016 On-Street Parking Pricing Pilot Program study by Nelson\Nygaard]
 +
*[http://www.cvillepedia.org/mediawiki/images/20160831-Mondschein-Letter.pdf Andrew Mondschein's August 31, 2016 analysis of parking situation]
 +
<references />

Revision as of 15:39, 25 April 2019

Parking is a perennial topic of discussion in downtown Charlottesville. The city has repeatedly grappled with the difficulty of balancing the competition for limited parking among shops and restaurants and their customers, commuting workers, residents, students, tourists, government and court personnel, and others.[1]


History

City Council has been wrestling with complaints about downtown parking since the 1930’s. Charlottesville’s trolley (animal drawn in the 1880’s, electrified by 1895) displaced horses, wagons, and carriages—but was itself displaced by the automobile. By 1915 it was clear the greater convenience of the gasoline powered “jitney” would doom the trolley; by 1935 Charlottesville began paving over trolley track, making room for increasing numbers of cars.[2]

By 1939 automobile congestion had reached the point that Charlottesville’s Chief of Police attempted to regulate parking by installing a newly invented mechanical device called the parking meter, on Main Street—now the Downtown Mall.[3] “Then as now, Charlottesville’s business owners argued that business suffered when parking spots were taken up by the same car all day.”[3] The original 100 meters were for a ‘trial period only’, five cents for sixty minutes.”[4] The original 100 grew to 1000, and the three month trial extended into the next several decades.[3]

A survey of traffic in the city was conducted in 1947 by the Virginia Department of Highways and a report was published on March 1, 1948. Among the conclusions was that 80 percent of cars within the city had destinations inside of Charlottesville. [5] "The practical saturation point has been reached," read the study which cataloged Specific recommendations on parking included better signage, removing curb cuts and creation of loading zones for trucks. [6] Additionally, two-hour space were to be converted to one hour spaces. [7] Other suggestions included purchasing land on Water Street and Commerce Street for off-street parking. [8]

On September 8, 1953 City Council approved parking meters in the city-owned parking lots on High Street, Water Street, Seventh Street, and Williams Street. Meters were also approved for Jefferson Street with a two-hour limit. [9] These meters were purchased at a cost of $21,000 but they were not installed until after the holiday shopping season that year. [10] The Chamber of Commerce petitioned for the right to place nickels in the meters but Council denied this later that year. [11]

Meters to regulate parking notwithstanding, complaints about parking as the “number one problem for downtown Charlottesville” recurred throughout the next decades—and continue to this day.[12] Proposed and rejected solutions included a 1951 proposal to dig up Lee Park and turn it into underground parking.[13] [14] The recurring theme is that ”everybody wants a parking space, but very few want to pay for one;” and that “a shortage of free parking in the area makes the nearby shopping centers with their abundance of free parking more attractive.”[15]

City Council held a public hearing to discuss an off street parking ordinance in 1956, but could not hold a debate since no one supported the measure. [16] Council unanimously passed a revised measure later that year exempting Downtown and West Main to Elliewood Avenue.[17]

A traffic survey Charlottesville commissioned in 1957 referred to the tension between short term parking needs for shop customers and all-day parking for employees.[18] The survey recommended increasing parking meter rates from five cents per hour to five cents per half hour, and building parking lots and garages for all-day parking.[18] To compete with the convenient free parking at the then new Barracks Road Shopping Center, downtown businessmen pooled their resources in 1959 to form the Charlottesville Parking Center Inc. - a private company supplementing on-street metered spaces by subsidizing free parking for customers in lots and garages.[19]

After converting Main Street to the Downtown Pedestrian Mall in the 1970's, City Council removed most parking meters on surrounding streets, again primarily to compete with free parking at suburban shopping malls. Council voted on September 5, 1978 to eliminate 139 meters on Market and Water Streets and 35 on West Main Street. City Manager Cole Hendrix cited the construction of Fashion Square Mall as justification for removing the parking. At the time, the existing signs for two-hour parking were erected. [20]

The Daily Progress editorialized in 1993 “increasing parking meter rates, raising parking fines, and stepping up measures to collect fines—are punitive measures that will make the mall less attractive . . .” [21] The Market Street garage built in 1975, and later the Water Street Parking garage which opened in 1995, were both intended to relieve pressure on free on-street parking.[22]

Hoping to strike the proper parking balance, the city has commissioned at least seven parking studies, about one a decade since the 1940's—though more often than not it has ignored the results.[23] Council rejected a parking study recommendation to create a new system of zones in February 2009.[24] City Council also rejected the study's recommendation to consider replacing time limit signs with parking meters.[25] “I think the free parking that we have downtown … creates a better, more inviting atmosphere for visitors downtown,” [then Mayor] Dave Norris said in 2009.[25]

Current parking situation

20081027--parking-study-table2.1.jpg

A 2008 parking study found that downtown Charlottesville has about 6,000 parking spaces. 5,000 are off-street and 1,000 are on-street.

The following parking spots are managed by the private Charlottesville Parking Center, in a public/private partnershp with the city:

Parking meters reconsidered in 2015

20150909-parking-study-inventory.jpg

In 2015 business owner Mark Brown, after buying the Charlottesville Parking Center (two downtown parking garages and part of a parking lot) as well as Charlottesville's Yellow Cab company, advocated eliminating free parking on downtown streets.[26][27] Mr. Brown initially attempted to remove downtown parking management from city control through a self-taxing "community improvement district," but withdrew the proposal in March 2015 after encountering opposition.[28]

At Mr. Brown's instigation in 2014 Charlottesville's Office of Economic Development obtained from City Council funding to update the 2008 consultant's study that recommended metered parking (rejected after a series of public hearings in 2009 and 2010).[26][24] The resulting 2015 consultant's study, unveiled at an October 1, 2015 work session, recommended installing meters where parking is most in demand, while at the same time keeping some spaces free.[29] City Council has asked for an implementation plan including cost estimates for a new city parking department and so-called "smart meters", and was to hold public hearings on the proposal.[29]

On April 5, 2016, City Council approved a six month test of new parking meters downtown. The western and eastern boundaries will be Second Street West and Sixth Street East, respectively. Market Street will be the northern border and the railroad tracks will serve as the southern limit. In all, 157 parking spaces would be converted to metered spots. Council voted 4-1 to approve the program with Bob Fenwick voting against. [30] [31]


Ambox notice.png This article documents a current event. Information may change rapidly as the event progresses.

The pilot began on September 5, 2017 with a fee of $1.80 an hour in the affected areas with a two-hour maximum. A mixture of single-space and multi-space meters will be used. As part of the plan, the Market Street Parking Garage will offer one hour of free parking and the hourly rate will be reduced from $2.50 to $1.50 an hour. [32] However, the program was suspended during the holidays and will resume on January 2, 2018. [33] On January 2, 2018, City Council voted to suspend the pilot indefinitely, pending re-evaluation one year later.[34][35][36] As of March 2019, the program had not been re-evaluated.


References

  1. City repeatedly grappling with parking issues (examples)
  2. Jefferson Randolph Kean, Charlottesville’s Street Railway System and its Entrepreneurs, 1866-1936 (1980)(George Mason University) (Master’s Thesis, on deposit Albemarle Historical Society)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 David Maurer, Sooners dropped the coin heard across the U.S., The Daily Progress, May 1, 1994 (Albemarle Historical Society clippings file) (Parking meters had been invented in Oklahoma only four years before.)
  4. John Hammond Moore, Albemarle: Jefferson’s County 1727-1976 (1976) (University of Virginia Press) isbn 0-8139-0645-8
  5. Web. Study of Traffic Brings Long List of Suggestions, Staff Reports, Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm, Lindsay family, March 2, 1948, retrieved December 10, 2016 from University of Virginia Library. Print. March 2, 1948 page 1.
  6. Web. Study of Traffic Brings Long List of Suggestions, Staff Reports, Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm, Lindsay family, March 3, 1948, retrieved December 11, 2016 from University of Virginia Library. Print. March 3, 1948 page 1.
  7. Web. Uptown Curb Parking Facilities Utilized Under 50 Per Cent Now, Staff Reports, Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm, Lindsay family, March 4, 1948, retrieved December 11, 2016 from University of Virginia Library. Print. March 4, 1948 page 1.
  8. Web. Study of Traffic Brings Long List of Suggestions, Staff Reports, Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm, Lindsay family, March 5, 1948, retrieved December 11, 2016 from University of Virginia Library. Print. March 5, 1948 page 1.
  9. Web. Charlottesville City Council meeting minutes, .pdf, Council Chambers, City of Charlottesville, September 8, 1953.
  10. Web. Charlottesville City Council meeting minutes, .pdf, Council Chambers, City of Charlottesville, November 16, 1953.
  11. Web. Charlottesville City Council meeting minutes, .pdf, Council Chambers, City of Charlottesville, December 7, 1953.
  12. Eliot Clark (letter-to-the-editor) The Greater Value, The Daily Progress, September 18, 1951 (Albemarle Historical Society clippings file)(after calling parking the number one problem, the letter opposes digging up Lee Park for a parking lot)
  13. Staff, Garden Club Revives Proposal for Auto Lot Under Lee Park, The Daily Progress, May 22, 1951 (Albemarle Historical Society clippings file)(digging up Lee Park was defeated in part because it appeared to be illegal under the deed by which Paul Goodloe McIntire gave the property to the city.)
  14. Web. The Lee Park Parking Proposal, Staff Reports, Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm, Lindsay family, retrieved May 23, 2016 from University of Virginia Library. Print. January 23, 1925 page 4.
  15. Kathleen Brunet, City Looks At Parking Shortages, The Daily Progress, July 6 1986 (Albemarle Historical Society clippings file)
  16. Web. Metered Lots Preferred - The Daily Progress, staff, retrieved November 4, 2017.
  17. Web. Off-street parking - The Daily Progress, staff, retrieved November 4, 2017.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Harland Bartholemew & Associates, A Report Upon Major Streets, Parking and Transportation, Charlottesville, Virginia, September 23, 1957 (on deposit at Albemarle Historical Society).
  19. Web. For sale: 509 parking spaces - The Daily Progress: Business, Brian McNeill, retrieved October 6, 2015.
  20. Print: Downtown Parking Meters Banished, Ray McGrath, Daily Progress, Worrell Newspaper group September 6, 1978, Page .
  21. Editorial, City parking plan should slow down, The Daily Progress, September 16, 1993 (Albemarle Historical Society clippings file)
  22. Charlotte Crystal, Water Street Garage Takes Pressure off Parking, The Daily Progress, May 7, 1995(Claiming that the opening of the garage has provided the downtown with ample free parking for the foreseeable future.)(Albemarle Historical Society clippings file)
  23. City commissions study; declines to implement it (examples)
    • Harland Bartholemew & Associates, A Report Upon Major Streets, Parking and Transportation, Charlottesville, Virginia, September 23, 1957 (on deposit at Albemarle Historical Society)(refers to an earlier 1947 parking study by the Virginia Department of Transportation; recommended parking garage but City Council balked at the expense).
    • Sherri Nee, Disputed parking proposals stall, Daily Progress October 13, 1993, (Planning Commission rejects study recommending reduction from two hours parking to one, and rejects $15 a month commuter-tag parking; recommends reconstituting parking commission so it represents residents and merchants)(Albemarle Historical Society clippings file).
    • Staff, City’s Parking Plan Draws Sharp Criticism,Daily Progress September 15, 1993 (“residents, employes and business owners blasted a proposed parking plan. . . [reducing 2 hours parking to one, charging commuters, and raising meter rates])(Albemarle Historical Society clippings file).
    • Catherine Wray, City ignores report of its own task force in sale of ‘civic resource,’ Letter-to-the- editor, Daily Progress June 24, 1996 (citing sale of Jefferson Street parking lot to law firm Maguire Woods contrary to 1995 study)(Albemarle Historical Society clippings file).
    • Rich and Associates, Inc., Parking Master Plan (2000)(on deposit, main branch, Jefferson/Madison Library(recommending two hour free parking reduced to one to increase turnover--rejected by City Council)
    • Jake Mooney, Merchants oppose parking restrictions, Daily Progress January 16, 2001 (opposing study recommendations of reducing free parking time from two hours to one; opposing higher fines)(Albemarle Historical Society clippings file).
    • see also 2008 parking study recommendations rejected discussed below.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Web. Council modifies downtown parking; keeps 2 hour spots, Fania Gordon, Charlottesville Tomorrow, retrieved June 19, 2014.
  25. 25.0 25.1 Web. Parking meters worth look-see, say some in city - The Daily Progress: News, Rachana Dixit, May 3, 2009, retrieved October 13, 2015.
  26. 26.0 26.1 Web. Owner of city garages proposing radically new approach for downtown ⋅ Charlottesville Tomorrow, Sean Tubbs, January 18, 2015, retrieved October 1, 2015.
  27. Web. Charlottesville economic development authority might pay for more parking ⋅ Charlottesville Tomorrow, Sean Tubbs, September 8, 2015, retrieved October 2, 2015.
  28. Web. Downtown business association withdraws tax district request ⋅ Charlottesville Tomorrow, Sean Tubbs, March 2, 2015, retrieved October 2, 2015.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Web. Parking Study Consultant Says Metered Parking a Solution, WVIR staff, October 1, 2015, retrieved October 2, 2015.
  30. Web. Council to discuss downtown parking meters, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, April 4, 2016, retrieved January 2, 2017.
  31. Web. http://www.cvilletomorrow.org/news/article/23433-council-adopts-meters/, Sean Tubbs, April 5, 2016, retrieved January 2, 2017.
  32. Web. Downtown stakeholders learn more about parking meters, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, August 2, 2017, retrieved August 3, 2017.
  33. Web. Parking meter pilot to resume Jan. 2, despite controversy, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, December 22, 2017, retrieved December 27, 2017.
  34. Web. Charlottesville City Council meeting minutes, .pdf, Council Chambers, City of Charlottesville, January 2, 2018.
  35. Web. Press Release: City Ends Parking Meter Pilot Program, City of Charlottesville, January 3, 2018, retrieved 2019-03-20.
  36. Web. Parking plan continues despite removal of meters, Charlottesville Tomorrow, February 8, 2018, retrieved 2019-03-20.

Studies