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Thursday, July 7, 2016

New Fairhope Parking Lot Plan Approved

Fairhope, Alabama



north is up


PARKING WOES WORSENING

The Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved the site plan of a new parking lot on city property behind the library, to be funded by the Fairhope Single Tax Corporation using the yearly rent receipts it charges its lessees: estimated cost is $450K.

The city council already gave its informal approval of the design at its last work session.

The "park-site" design will be environmentally friendly with heavy landscaping and pervious (porous) pavement to limit storm water runoff in compliance with the city's new low impact development law.
parking lot site

Most of the existing trees will be preserved as well, but some of the "centennial trees" along Bancroft Avenue will have to be relocated or replaced.

Access will be from Magnolia Avenue only and a circular. 11' wide one-way asphalt driveway will lead to the fifty-five "90 degree" spaces made of the pervious material, according to a public works official.

A kiosk will be constructed in the center as shelter and a meeting place for the 'Walking School Bus'  program that begins there mornings during the school year.

Weekly farmer's markets held during the summer will continue and new landscaping added behind the library itself as well.

Competition for scarce spaces between library visitors and Faulkner College students has been heating up as city population grows -- as well the number of students attending the college.

The city has a long-standing agreement to provide parking for the college as part of its lease agreement with the college (the college is on city property).


DE LA MARE STREET PARKING AN ISSUE TOO

The mayor, council members and downtown business owners are debating what to do about De La Mare St as well: the street was recently paved and still needs to be striped.
De La Mare Street paved, not striped yet

Proposals range from putting it "back the way it was" to closing the street altogether and making it a pedestrian mall.

Another proposal to make it one-way westbound would add an additional 12 parking spaces -- and generally make it more pedestrian friendly; that would also improve the dangerous Section Street intersection where vision is blocked, according to some city officials.

Some proponents of the pedestrian mall advocate additional parking decks downtown to accommodate the population boom, perhaps on some of the vacant K-1 school property off Church Street. (That property is still owned by the Baldwin School Board.)

One De La Mare business owner told the Times he fears the usual bickering and lack of consensus among downtown merchants may produce nothing at all, as is often the case.


Section/De La Mare dangerous intersection


22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Closing down the street and making it pedestrian friendly would be ideal. You could put seating in the street as well as additional landscaping. This is what they did with Times Square.

Anonymous said...

They tried this once in my home town. Drove out all the businesses, then ended up costing more by having to convert back to old way. Why would they close off any available parking any way when this is Fairhope's biggest problem?

Anonymous said...

Make De La Mare one way traffic. Put angled parking on both sides of street.

Anonymous said...

Not interested in what they did in New York. Prefer to keep our small southern ambiance.

Anonymous said...

Making it one way , would be a benefit for all and safety, along with allowing delivery for the merchants along the street.

Anonymous said...

The one way street is a great idea! Pedestrian only would be my very last choice.

Anonymous said...

Make it one way. No angle parking. Angle parking on Fairhope Avenue and Bancroft has been a disaster. One cannot see to safely backout and oversize vehicles, including extended bed trucks stick out into the actual traffic lane. Keep the parallel parking.

Anonymous said...

it ought to be two or three decks tall and the useless wolfe house needs to be torn down.

Anonymous said...

All of this makes sense to me. Making Dela Mar a one way is a really good idea.

Anonymous said...

Pedestrian mall, just like around Jackson Square in NOLA or Seaside. It would add something different and useful for the downtown events. For as great as the downtown is, it doesn't have a public square. Somewhere to sit and hang out. Just about every great down town that I can think of has a public place like that. For a random musician, artist, guy waiting for his wife to finish shopping, or place to play dominoes. It would be the gathering center of downtown.

Anonymous said...

Making Del La Mar the first pedestrian street would be beneficial for downtown. It would allow the businesses to use the street as part of their store front. Del La Mar would become the heart of downtown, I envy the building owners on that street. The city leaders would be promoting a much healthier downtown by making it pedestrian friendly, the biggest complainers are truely the unhealthiest in out town. Parking will always be an issue as the older generation continues to believe that driving busses is a God given right. As the younger generation takes over we will see smaller vehicles and less of a problem. Basically no need to plan for the ignorance of today, plan for the more intelligent of tomorrow.

And as usual, please remember.

KANT AFFORD 4 MORE

Anonymous said...

Downtown merchants can not agrree on the time of day. Let alone a important decision like this.

Anonymous said...

Please make Del la mar a one way street!

Anonymous said...

So all those young soccer mom's driving hundreds of large suv,s downtown are old?

Mark said...

The problem is too many people. Be careful what you wish for. Amazing that they denied Thomas hospital the right to build a parking lot.

Anonymous said...

Knock down that ugly old house and u get a dozen more spaces....

Anonymous said...

"Prefer to keep our small southern ambiance"

Because nothing screams "small southern ambiance" like a parking garage.

Anonymous said...

Not to pick on a specific post, because it's a common theme when talking about Fairhope's future, but I'm curious what "small southern ambiance" is. Is there another town we're trying to emulate? Does this really exist in 2016? Is there an example we can point to for common reference? I'm hard pressed to think of another southern town with our relatively small population and prosperous city center. On the other hand, I have visited many New England towns that have dealt and have overcome our same issues. I think we'd be wise to look at their lessons learned and apply them to our benefit.

Anonymous said...

think pedestrian use for the street would really bring value to downtown. All the cities I visit that have the street closed with tables, chairs, bikracks and comradery

Anonymous said...

I agree. it's a short street so it isn't going to hurt businesses

Anonymous said...

How would said pedestrians get to this pedestrian mall? I have not shopped at local shops so many times because I can't find parking. I'm handicapped and there are a few of those spaces scattered about, always full. What happened to the suggested idea that owners and employees be required to park in one of the garages our public lots? They take up the best spots.

NA said...

Employees,business owners and students should be required to park in the current garage that is under utilized. A car decal would be issued with business license, employment and school enrollment & anyone with the decal would be issued ticked violations if cars are on street parking. I have been a business owner in Fairhope for 30 years and and no one has yet to agree on the only easy solution. We simply are not a small town anymore and the growth, although wonderful needs to be addressed. If we as business owners want customers to be able to walk, drive, park then we must first get off the street and make the limited spaces available to customers.