Welcome to the Archive of The Carrboro Citizen Logo Image

Aldermen talk parking improvements

By Susan Dickson
Staff Writer

Carrboro — While it might seem difficult to find a parking space in downtown Carrboro, the findings of a recent parking study show that parking is in fact available downtown – just not as close to certain destinations as some might prefer.

Based on findings of the study, which was conducted by students at the Department of City and Regional Planning at UNC in spring 2008, town transportation staff presented recommendations to the Carrboro Board of Aldermen in a work session Tuesday night.

According to the study, parking demand does not exceed 85 percent occupancy for the entire downtown. However, there is a higher demand for parking in certain zones at certain times of day.

Town transportation planner Adena Messinger offered several strategies to be pursued immediately to improve parking downtown, including investigating on-street parking opportunities, improving signage, looking into parking consolidation and sharing opportunities.

Several board members said they would like to improve signage downtown.

Board member Joal Hall Broun said a map in a central location downtown indicating where parking is available could help those in search of a space.

Town Manager Steve Stewart encouraged board members to pursue signage improvements.

“We have an opportunity to not spend a lot of money and do some powerful short-term things with signage,” he said. “We really have a fair amount of [parking], but unless you’re from here, it’s not that obvious.”

Messinger said that while improving signage would help improve parking downtown, it was a short-term solution, since the town is continuing to grow and attract visitors.

Long-term solutions would include revising the parking ordinance, building a parking deck or garage or creating a parking fund.

Board member Randee Haven-O’Donnell said parking improvements were especially important for those coming from out of town or the outskirts of town where there isn’t public transportation service.

“We still want them to come downtown,” she said.

Mayor Mark Chilton pointed out that the town spends far more on public transportation, sidewalks and bicycle lanes than on parking, adding that an investment in parking is important for the local economy.

“Parking downtown has a critical impact on our business community and it is something that we need to continue to work on,” he said.

Comments are closed.