Thirty Year Tradition Ends in Charleston
Liberal arts college abandons environmentally responsible motorcyclists
Struggling college students and employees got a rude awakening Thursday February 15, 2006 as a thirty year tradition came to a sudden end. Management employees of Republic Parking Services informed motorcyclists they could no longer park for free at the Wentworth Parking Garage owned by the city of Charleston. No advance warning or explanation of the change of policy was given at the time of notice.
Ever since the city built the parking garages near the college of Charleston in the 1970s motorcycle have been allowed free parking in the leftover areas cars could not use. Encouraging motorcycle commuting in the city could help reduce traffic congestion and parking problems.
A person at 843-568-8519, the number on the flyer below, stated the College of Charleston decided to change the policy and begin enforcement. He further explained that the college owns the garage but lets the city manage it; the city in turn hires Republic Parking Services to actually manage the garage. Looking at this layout explains why local government is so inefficient and why property taxes continue to rise.
The College of Charleston Parking Services contradicted Republic Parking Services. According to the College only motorcycles parking in regular car spaces are required to pay the full fee just like a car.
Motorcyclists are working with the college in an effort to arrive at the fairest compromise possible. The college currently charges motorcycles and cars park outside $100 per year to employees and $100 per semester to students. Motorcycles occupy less space than cars. Considering the average motorcycle uses a quarter of the space of a car $25 would result in the same charge per square foot used. Motorcycle parking at the college is currently designated to a small area unusable by cars.
The college and city have discussed and begun new policies to reduce the impact of cars with the use of perimeter parking and carta buses. However encouraging commuting by motorcycle could also reduce the number of cars park in the city and help reduce traffic congestion. Sections of the garages are not usable by cars but could accommodate motorcycles out of the weather could be also designated as permit motorcycle parking as the current PP lot cannot provide enough parking for all of the motorcyclists attending the College of Charleston.
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April 29, 2007 Update