Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Parking gives way to sidewalks (update)

Here's a city that's not afraid to try new things. San Francisco is taking away some parking spaces in order to have wider sidewalks. Here's a link to the full article, courtesy SF.streetsblog.org

Gee. In Charlotte we're still trying to get the city to allow MORE onstreet parking – as a way to slow traffic and avoid having to build surface lots or decks. They were on the right track but after 9/11 someone deep in the bowels of the CMGC decided Osama was planning to park a bomb-laden truck outside all the local banks, so a lot of the parking vanished. Interestingly, no such protection was afforded to the daily newspaper office (or the weekly ones for that matter) or multiple other businesses uptown.

Update, 5:35 p.m., from Charlotte Department of Transportation's Jim Kimbler: It turns out Charlotte is doing a small version of what SF is, along Fifth Street between North Tryon and Church streets. Kimbler told me via e-mail that the city is helping the retail property owner at the Ivey's building, Stefan Latorre, who plans to open the interior restaurant space onto Fifth. It would mean wider sidewalks and removing the on-street parking on that block.

"Both the widened sidewalks and the removal of parking are consistent with the Center City Transportation Street Enhancement Standards," Kimbler wrote. "We believe this will help activate this street with outdoor dining and more comfortable sidewalk space."

(And no, Mayor Gavin Newsom is no relation. But at least he spells his name right.)


Anonymous said...

Ehhh...Charlotte is doing this on 5th between Church and Tryon....

J said...

Being the ardent conservative that I am, my knee-jerk reaction to anything coming out of Frisco is to do whatever is the opposite of what Frisco is doing, with Frisco being the closest thing to Nirvana that liberals are likely to find in the US. Except maybe for Boston. However, this looks like a very interesting idea. Not sure it would work downtown though.

I've never been a big fan of onstreet parking downtown. It doesn't slow traffic, it completely chokes it. And as my bus tries to get out of downtown every evening, I see multiple violations of the alleged law that there is no onstreet parking from 4-6 PM. (Maybe the East Blvd. tow trucks could help enforce that?)

This is one instance where I'm not in favor of fewer lanes.

J said...

Oh, yeah, I forgot to add... I got a hearty laugh after 9/11 at the ubelievably inflated vision Charlotte had of itself - leaders here actually believed Charlotte would be high on the terrorists' hit lists. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Mary Newsom said...

Dear Anon 1:59 PM - That's interesting, if Charlotte's doing this, too. I have queries in at CDOT to see if that's the case.

And thanks for the tip!

WashuOtaku said...

I don't see that much of an issue in Uptown Charlotte; of course it varies by street.