Survey says…where’s my parking?

Beginning last Wednesday, April 18, motorists crossing the Downtown Mall at 2nd and 4th streets were approached by clipboard-carrying men in yellow safety vests asking questions. No, it wasn't the FBI. They were employees of RK & K Consulting who were conducting a three-day Mall crossing survey.

With the one-year anniversary of the trial 4th street crossing coming up, the City is collecting data to determine how the crossings are used and if the 4th street crossing should be permanent (actually, 5th street east would be the permanent home of the 4th street crossing), a decision that is expected this summer, says development watchdog Charlottesville Tomorrow. As detailed in numerous Hook stories, the Mall crossings have been a contentious issue over the years.

According to RK & K's Brian Revels, this is the fourth survey the company has done, including one last August. He says they will survey between 300 to 400 drivers this time around and report the results to the City in about a month.

The quick survey– conducted in 15 seconds, according to Revels– asked motorists if they were coming or going to the Mall. If they were coming, questioners asked where they were coming from. If going, both ends of the trip were noted. Motorists were also asked if they had any general comments about driving and parking on the Mall.

So what did drivers have to say?

"The overwhelming comment has been about parking," says Revels, "about the problem of finding short-term parking. People are saying it's tough to pop in for a short time on the Mall."


There is one other solution for a lucky few. Move. That is what I'm doing at the end of May and it is none to soon. This city sucks. The police are unprofessional, city government consists of weak and failing leadership (county too), and the schools have a major security problem (anybody can walk through the front door). To add to all of that, people have to put up with a University comprised of people that think way to highly of themselves and way to highly of the school itself.

Tough to pop in for a short time? Try popping in for work. There is NO parking to be had anywhere near the SNL building. The waiting lists for the outdoor lot and the Market Street lots are something like 5 years. I have called business owners all over the place looking for a spot and none exist. Water Street is the closest place to park - no matter what you are willing to pay.

You gotta be kidding me - did the City really commission ANOTHER FREAKING STUDY that will tell them that parking downtown sucks? Jeeze, I'm in the wrong line of work. I need to get me some business cards to let everybody know I'm now a consultant.

Where is my million dollar one block road? If it ever goes in it will really match up well with the million dollar musical marshmallow bathrooms.

All the people that complain about parking should try to walk or ride public transit. We don't have a parking problem, we have a walking problem. People are to lazy to wal a few extra steps. Do the environment a favor and leave the car at home. Ride public transit or use your feet!

Hey - there's a thought. Why didn't I think of that? I'll leave my car at home and walk the 12 miles to Downtown (or just the 5 or so miles to hop on a bus). Yeah - that's the ticket! I would do it, but I guess I'm just too lazy.

The City will do something about parking only in the event the county business development starts to siphon money from Downtown. Or when SNL outgrows its building and builds something new elsewhere. When that happens, parking will magically become important!

Thank you "Quit Complaining" for your simple solution. I can't believe I hadn't thought about giving up the car and using public transportation (which doesn't exist in my neighborhood) or walking. After getting my children to school by 7:55 a.m., I will walk nine miles down Rte 29 to my office in Charlottesville. After working all day long (a required 8 hours of billable time), I will quickly jog up Rte 29 to pick them up from the After School program by 6:00 pm. Then I will pass out and let them burn the house (and us) down while they make dinner for themselves.
Whoever you are - take some time to figure out what most of us call "reality".

The real solution to the parking problem is for charlottesvile to realize that IT WILL CONTINUE TO GROW and more parking GENERATES MORE BUSINESS which GENERATES MORE TAXES which the county council can WASTE on lots of other things that they don't need.