Saturday, December 6, 2014

Fairhope Municipal Parking Deck Has Issues

Fairhope, Alabama

Fairhope parking deck

The mayor and some council members have been discussing ways to get more use out of the city's municipal parking deck -- which sits half-empty at times -- to relieve the chronic parking shortage on streets in the downtown area.

After Mayor Kant mentioned about 3 weeks ago that he had heard complaints about it "being too dark in there" Electric Superintendent Sligh began installing new fixtures and improved bulbs; and lowering the fixtures themselves that had originally been installed up in the recesses between the concrete beams. (Several of the old bulbs had been burned out for some time, apparently)

The lenses of the new ones have been removed too, to increase intensity.

The main problem seems to be in daylight hours -- when the glare from outside makes it appear dimmer inside to the human eye.

Sligh: "We have gotten complaints since day one ... especially on lowest level and in daytime.  We replaced them with LEDs ...  energy savings around 70% ... lighting level now is good ... a 10 year warranty ... life expectancy 60,000 hours. "

old fixtures

new fixtures


The Times has heard complaints from citizens as well about lack of room for turning inside: and the individual spaces (10ft wide) themselves may be too small for larger vehicles.

About half of the spaces there are reserved for use by Hampton Inn guests only.

parking spaces too small?


The long-standing problem of some shop owners and their employees parking in front of their stores all day long is still a major issue too: one councilman has proposed returning to the 2hr limit that existed back in the 1990s.

Faulkner College student parking is another chronic issue.

The last city council debated those issues about 4 years ago; but decided to let the merchants "self regulate" the problem.

Parking meters were tried back in the 1980s according to the mayor; but the public did not accept them -- so they were removed.


Councilman Burrell suggested they may want to try a shuttle from the parking deck to various places around the downtown to increase usage by the elderly or handicapped who may have difficulty walking far -- by using a golf cart-type vehicle similar to ones currently used at Thomas Hospital.


Anonymous said...

It is to much like a cave, Scary in there.

Anonymous said...

Very claustrophobic: ceilings too low, too dark (sides should have been left open), parking slots too narrow.

Anonymous said...

The only time I wanted to use it, I needed to get into the back of the (then) Courier building, but there is no easy way out of the deck (even on the ground floor) except at the east and west ends. In the rain, it was a long dash. If there were easier access to the courtyards next to the old Courier building and the bank building so people could cut through to Fairhope Avenue, it would be more usable.

Anonymous said...

The answer is so simple. Fairhope is an artist community.Make the parking garage a must see destination by having local artists paint murals in and around the outside of it. There is a great example of this in Sarasota. Here is a link with some photos of the Palm Ave garage.

kwill said...

I've lived here most of my life and I forgot it was even there. Maybe more signs??

Anonymous said...

Living in a town where we think Daphne is far away it is no wonder people don't want to park there. It is so far away from the shops. If store owners and employees utilized it there would be a tremendous amount of parking down there. We use any time there is an event downtown because people either do not know about, forget about it, or think it is too far away to walk. There is always spots in there especially during arts and crafts weekend. You can't please all the people all the time...Bob Marley

Anonymous said...

The problem is Fairhope people needing to complain about something. They complained about parking problem, city built garage. People will ride around until a space is open and waste gas. "Spoiled"
I have used the parking garage and drive a four door 4 wheel drive truck and never have had any problems getting in or out.

Fairhope Supply Co. said...

Great, positive and helpful reply!

Anonymous said...

Which parking spaces are reserved for Hampton's Inn?

Anonymous said...

We have a beautiful 'flower clock' now , so why not make a 'flower garage' out of it. It would be another tourist attraction. Public Works needs something else to do.

Anonymous said...

uselsess compaining and bickering has always been the fairhope way. espcially among th old families... who think they own the place.

Anonymous said...

I use the parking garage everytime I go downtown because finding somewhere to park is impossible esepically during lunch hours. It is a shame that the Hampton takes up the majority of parking spaces however I never have a problem finding somewhere in there to park. If you are shopping downtown then you want to walk anyway. We have become a society so used to drive thru windows, parking right out front so you don't have to walk anywhere, convenience convenience convenience. If people like complaining so much let's go back to the two hour parking limit and begin issuing parking fines for those who go over that two hour limit.

Publisher said...

Of 250 total spaces, the 96 reserved for the hotel are marked with signs.

Anonymous said...

The garage as well as the Hampton Inn are eyesores and not in keeping with the downtown "image".
I agree. Paint or plant some flowers on it and people will be flocking to park in there. LOL.