Author Topic: Life Without Parking Meters: Savannah  (Read 8946 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Life Without Parking Meters: Savannah
« on: June 04, 2008, 04:00:00 AM »
Life Without Parking Meters: Savannah



Another city is discovering how an urban retail district can come back to life with user friendly on-street parking.  Why not Jacksonville?

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/809

adamh0903

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Re: Life Without Parking Meters: Savannah
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2008, 11:44:37 AM »
Im not sure what part of savannah this article is written about, but I most deffinatly had to put money in the meter when I took my wife there for a little weekend getaway. We had to find a place to park, put money in the 2 hour meter, walk around a little, come back put more money in the meter, go eat a Paula Deans place, go back, put more money in the meter, it was VERY aggravating.

vicupstate

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Re: Life Without Parking Meters: Savannah
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2008, 12:15:38 PM »
I think 3 hours probably is too long, the meters themselves are the problem.  Timed but meter-less spaces are the best solution.  Easy to do too.  Just place a bag over them and see how it goes.  Lots of publicity beforehand to make sure people understand the change though.   If it results in problems, just remove the bags.  At least you will know if it will work or not.
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thelakelander

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Re: Life Without Parking Meters: Savannah
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2008, 01:19:08 PM »
Im not sure what part of savannah this article is written about, but I most deffinatly had to put money in the meter when I took my wife there for a little weekend getaway. We had to find a place to park, put money in the 2 hour meter, walk around a little, come back put more money in the meter, go eat a Paula Deans place, go back, put more money in the meter, it was VERY aggravating.

Free two hour parking is only allowed on Broughton Street, the historic district's main retail corridor.  All of the other streets have smart meters.  There's also a couple of small free three hour parking zones along the Riverfront.

Also, if you like to walk, park your car near Forsyth Park, on the south of downtown.  those streets don't have meters either.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2008, 01:20:57 PM by thelakelander »
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civil42806

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Re: Life Without Parking Meters: Savannah
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2008, 07:47:41 PM »
Having just relocated from downtown savannah, lived there only a year, I'm just not sure how much the lack of parking meters has contributed to the revitalization of Broughton street.  I suspect there is a lot, much more signifcant factors causing the upswing.  Savannah is filled with parking meters on all north south roads west of broughton.  Oglethorpe, and Liberty the next two major N/S streets are lined with parking meters from MLK out to Price st.  During the day there isn't hardly an empty parking spot. Plus all the east/west streets leading to bay street are lined with parking meters from liberty to I believe, correct me if I'm wrong, all the way to bay.  All these streets are very vibrant, lots of businesses, cafes, clubs you name it teaming with pedestrian traffic.  Of course the city has the good sense to ensure that you don't have to pay before 8 and after 5, parking is free. I think Savannah has more meter maids than cops.  The meters are of all types from the ancient quaters to state of the art ones.  Not necesarily saying parking meters are a good idea, but I think this article may oversell the results of removing them. 

thelakelander

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Re: Life Without Parking Meters: Savannah
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2008, 09:16:25 PM »
The major difference between Broughton and all the other streets is that Broughton (other than River Street) is the only one lined with a continuous string of retail spaces for several blocks.  All of the other streets tend to be more mixed use with offices, corner retail, residential and religious uses.

I'll have to dig up my old images of Savannah, dating back to the mid 1990's.  Back during my college days (late 90s) Broughton was littered with vacant retail spaces.  While it may be difficult to notice a change within a year or two, looking back over the course of 7, 8, 9 or 10 years and the change is huge.

As for the article, we've been told that having parking meters helps downtown retail.  However, reality is showing that more and more cities are bringing meter free streets back to their cores as a part of an effort to make them more user friendly.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2008, 09:19:03 PM by thelakelander »
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civil42806

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Re: Life Without Parking Meters: Savannah
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2008, 09:46:04 PM »
Well I think Bay street is certainly lined with  retail spaces, in fact there are photos of that on this site.  I know Bull streeet is lined with shops and stores.   Not sure what the problem would be with mixed use., would think that would be a very good idea. I know Oglethorpe and Liberty are lined with both commercial( mellow mushroom anyone) and residdential and misc buisnesse, certainly not unique.  Mixed development I would think is what we would want, a place to live, eat and be entertained. As far as Broughton being the only street lined with a continuous string of retail space, I think bay, oglethorpe and Liberty woud disagree. The mix may be different but the streets are lively and active

thelakelander

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Re: Life Without Parking Meters: Savannah
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2008, 10:04:05 PM »
Quote
Well I think Bay street is certainly lined with  retail spaces, in fact there are photos of that on this site.  I know Bull streeet is lined with shops and stores.

Bay is dominated by hotels to the south (with a few restaurants/bars slipped in), mostly park space/parking to the north and no on-street parking, although the city has done a great job with some of the newer garages, just south of Bay.  Bull has retail, but not at the density of Broughton.  After all, Broughton was Savannah's main retail strip before sprawl took over Abercorn.

Quote
Not sure what the problem would be with mixed use., would think that would be a very good idea. I know Oglethorpe and Liberty are lined with both commercial( mellow mushroom anyone) and residdential and misc buisnesse, certainly not unique.  Mixed development I would think is what we would want, a place to live, eat and be entertained.

There's no problem with a mix of uses.  However, having the option of free parking along your most dense retail strip certainly doesn't hurt, which has been suggested by the local parking guys here on several occassions.  While free parking is not the end all solution, it is an element that makes retail more viable.

Quote
I know Oglethorpe and Liberty are lined with both commercial( mellow mushroom anyone) and residdential and misc buisnesse, certainly not unique.  Mixed development I would think is what we would want, a place to live, eat and be entertained. As far as Broughton being the only street lined with a continuous string of retail space, I think bay, oglethorpe and Liberty woud disagree.



here's an image of Mellow Mushroom I snapped last year.  The rest of the block is not littered with the amount of retail that Broughton (below) contains.



Quote
The mix may be different but the streets are lively and active


Of course they are.  However, having free parking in front of the city's densest commercial strip is more beneficial for the small businesses there, as opposed to hotels on Bay or the lower density mix of uses on Oglethorpe or Liberty.  Nevertheless, no one is claiming that Broughton is the only vibrant street in Savannah.

« Last Edit: June 04, 2008, 10:06:22 PM by thelakelander »
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civil42806

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Re: Life Without Parking Meters: Savannah
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2008, 10:04:35 PM »
I apologize I missed this part of your response  "As for the article, we've been told that having parking meters helps downtown retail.  However, reality is showing that more and more cities are bringing meter free streets back to their cores as a part of an effort to make them more user friendly."  I   missed this part of your response. I guess my point is that the whole parking meter issue is a red herring,  Parking meters don't deteremine your destination.  Savannah is a GREAT response to that  If you want to eliminate them in the core city, fine and dandy, but make sure that you have something that someone wants to visit in response.  Savannah, is as dicy as any city when you get a few block off the main drag.   Number oen rule, keep your head on a 360 swivel in the parks after dark.  As bad as downtown is if you eliminated the parkin meters it wouldn't certainly change a whole lot.  If you want to visit savannah they will pay the meter.  The tragic situation is that no one wants to be downtown in jax,  Don't trash me I remeber going to sears downtown, Yeah I know thats considered a bad moment, but the fact is the politicians did there best and thought that woud help salvage downtwon, and later spent my fair share in the silver dollar saloon ;)

civil42806

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Re: Life Without Parking Meters: Savannah
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2008, 10:10:56 PM »
"Of course they are.  However, having free parking in front of the city's densest commercial strip is more beneficial for the small businesses there, as opposed to hotels on Bay or the lower density mix of uses on Oglethorpe or Liberty.  Nevertheless, no one is claiming that Broughton is the only vibrant street in Savannah."

My apoloigies but this article read as though an amazing breakthrough was made on Broughten by just eliminating the parking meters.  No other comments were made concerning previous owenrs possibly restrictiing redevelopment or even the citys zoning.   My point is the article painted the redeveopment as a result of the removal of parking meters.


thelakelander

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Re: Life Without Parking Meters: Savannah
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2008, 10:15:08 PM »
I think Downtown Jax has all the potential in the world if some little inexpensive things are done to let the free market take over.  These would include:

1. Better Lighting
2. Wayfaring signage (both pedestrian and vehicular)
3. Conversion of some less traveled streets into two-way
4. Strict Building Code Enforcement
5. City of Jacksonville, stops playing developer, sitting on property and sells excess land
6. Installation of public parking garage signage
7. More investment in improving spaces like Hemming Plaza and Springfield Parks
8. Enforcement of Downtown Master Plan (especially in regards to building layout and design).
9. Removal of meters on retail dominated streets or installation of smart meters.
10. Making it tougher to demolish historic building stock.

Things won't change overnight, but efforts such as this would create a better environment for small businesses to strive.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

thelakelander

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Re: Life Without Parking Meters: Savannah
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2008, 10:19:21 PM »
My apoloigies but this article read as though an amazing breakthrough was made on Broughten by just eliminating the parking meters.  No other comments were made concerning previous owenrs possibly restrictiing redevelopment or even the citys zoning.   My point is the article painted the redeveopment as a result of the removal of parking meters.

Sorry about that.  Broughton Street's revitalization has definately not happened overnight and free parking alone will not pull people into a downtown core.  However, for Jacksonville's sake, we are now seeing proof that free parking has more of a positive effect on urban retail than a negative.  Greenville, SC's Main Street and Raleight's Fayetteville Street are also two other good examples that not dealing with meters can be beneficial in creating a vibrant atmosphere.


"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

civil42806

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Re: Life Without Parking Meters: Savannah
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2008, 10:26:05 PM »
Then you need to say that, If you read the headline and the article, you'd think that just because the  parking meters were remove that broughton flourishe, thats unfair to the readers.

thelakelander

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Re: Life Without Parking Meters: Savannah
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2008, 10:37:50 PM »
Quote
Then you need to say that, If you read the headline and the article, you'd think that just because the  parking meters were remove that broughton flourishe, thats unfair to the readers

I think its fine, if the readers read through the entire article.  The story is not so much about Savannah as it is about defeating the idea that not having meters is a negative for downtown businesses.  Savannah's Broughton Street could have easily been replaced with Greenville's Main Street and the point of the article would have still been made.  Any potential misconception about the title and headline is easily eliminated by reading the entire article, especially the letter by our local parking guru stating the reason for meters and then seeing the Broughton Street images showing the exact opposite.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

civil42806

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Re: Life Without Parking Meters: Savannah
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2008, 10:45:04 PM »
Hmmm how shall I say this nicely (I do mean nicely), utter rubbish.  The article that was written and published certainly implied that the reason that Broughton street prospered was because the  parking meters were eliminated.  Maybe I'm wrong wont be the first time, but I'd like to hear others opinions