By Rob Way | September 24, 2020 at 2:18 PM EDT - Updated September 24 at 6:24 PM
ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCSC) - Isle of Palms is reversing its permanent parking ban after the South Carolina Department of Transportation sent a letter stating they didn’t have the right to proceed with it.
“I’m not going to fight SCDOT,” Mayor Jimmy Carroll said Thursday. “Right now, we just need to catch our breath. That letter was a wake up call, and I can’t say I agree with it.”
On Tuesday, city council voted to get rid of all landside parking on Palm Boulevard between 22nd and 40th avenues. The decision removed between 100 and 150 parking spots.
In response, State Transportation Secretary Christy Hall sent a letter Wednesday stating that since Palm Boulevard is public and state-owned, the city cannot take action to remove those parking spots.
Carroll said it’s a safety issue and summer traffic backups on Palm Boulevard can delay public safety personnel in emergencies.
“If this does go forward and cars can park on both sides of the road, and there is an accident and somebody is hurt or worse, I want everyone who pushed for this to realize they had a cause and effect in this,” Carroll said.
He also argued that under the law the city is only required to provide 48 parking spots per mile of beach, an amount Carroll said it exceeds by more than 500 percent.
The public safety committee will be meeting to discuss the parking ban and adding more pedestrian crosswalks on Palm Boulevard.
“We’re going to try and work with everybody," he said. “It’s not like we’re trying to block the beaches. We’re just trying to make it safer.”
The temporary parking ban, which is still in place, is allowed to continue 60 days after the city’s emergency ordinance expires. That will be on Oct. 13.
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