Mayoral Candidate F&B Preliminary Questionnaire: Parking

Candidate's answers are listed in alphabetical order. If we have not published answers from a candidate, that is because we have not received a response from that candidate to our questionnaire. These pages will be updated in due course as we receive any additional responses.

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1. Parking

It goes without saying that parking is a scarce resource in downtown Charleston. Generally speaking, residential parking restrictions and enforcement are meant to achieve the laudable interests of convenience and quiet enjoyment of residential property. On the other hand, there are thousands of F&B employees who work downtown and, of course, need a safe, convenient, affordable place to park. Recently, there has been increasing demand in neighborhoods for stricter residential parking enforcement and expanded restrictions.

Question 1:

Considering all of the interests involved, what would you do to ensure that parking restrictions in residential areas are not enforced at the expense of F&B workers, and that in any case, F&B workers have adequate access to safe, convenient, affordable parking?


In May, I put forth a comprehensive transportation plan to alleviate Charleston’s traffic woes. In September, I took it a step further with a parking plan. The high demand for parking spaces—both on the street and in garages—is a natural consequence of growth in a dynamic city that is unique and attractive to reside, visit, and work in. It needs to be addressed. Several sections of my plan specifically address the needs of food and beverage workers. 

Park and rides, with fast, modern buses, can help alleviate the parking problems of food and beverage workers. We should consider piloting a late night shuttle for food and beverage workers, since the late night schedules of food and beverage workers make it difficult to use most public transit and driving downtown means steep parking fees.


I’m aware of discussions to improve this problem and they include possible parking options near the Port and other park-and-ride alternatives that could be used for offsite hospitality parking at a free or reduced daily rate. The lots would be guarded, well lit, and open 24/7. 24-hour transportation to and from the lots would have to be a part of these discussions. This would cut down on the parking problem for residents as well as F&B workers. I support this idea and would do whatever I could to move it forward as mayor. In addition, the city needs to work with developers and the private sector in general to continue to find solutions to Charleston’s parking challenges. 


The basic problem  here is supply  and demand, and the only way we’re going to solve it is by easing pressure  on both sides of the equation.  First, to increase the supply  of available parking,  we must create new parking  outside  the Historic District, as part of a robust  “park and ride” system to get people from those new spaces to their final destination. On the demand side, I support the development of a reliable regional  public transit  system that people will want to use, based on the kind of hub­and­spokes rapid bus system that’s working well in other areas of the country. In addition, specifically with regard to the food and beverage industry, we should  ensure that discounted City parking garage passes are made available to F&B establishments that would like to secure them on behalf of their employees.

To learn more about my transportation plan, which includes public  transit  and a new parking  policy  for the City, please see the Transportation section  of my comprehensive plan for Charleston: