FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCSC) - The city of Folly Beach is asking for public comment on its new proposed parking plan.
The proposed plan is looking to bring both paid and free parking to the area. They are submitting the plan to the South Carolina Department of Transportation Saturday and are encouraging residents to share their opinions beforehand.
According to the city, the new proposal adds 131 paid parking spaces along the front beach, bringing the new total of paid parking spaces to 33% of all front beach spaces.
They plan to add paid parking spaces along Artic Avenue and up numbered streets. They are also planning to add free parking along Ashley Avenue, on top of the free parking that already exists on the street.
The city said the plan was developed with the goal of giving residents and visitors equal opportunity to prime parking. For each paid parking space proposed, two additional free spots were created, according to the city.
However, it appears not everyone is on board with the proposal.
The Charleston Beach Foundation released a response to the plan objecting to the increase in paid parking.
They also challenged the claim that only 33% of the parking is paid for, claiming that some of the free spaces included in the equation are blocked by debris, ditches, or other encroachments.
“Many spots that they’re claiming you can park, you can’t fit a car there. Not to mention... If you go to the beach here as an older person, or with a family, or whatever, it’s about a mile walk to get to any sort of facilities,” Tim Jump, who provided research to the Beach Foundation, said.
He’s a frequent surfer on Folly and said he believes that the beach, like the rest of nature, should be free to everyone.
In a statement, the city’s mayor said:
“The free and paid parking space counts shown on the plan are based on a physical inventory of spaces within the DOT right of way. The number of free spaces does not include obstructed areas. The scale of the map does not lend itself to a space-by-space demarcation on each block. However, the actual count of spaces within the areas marked as free parking was conducted in person and does not include areas where a vehicle cannot be parked. The count of free parking spaces also does not include spaces located on County property at the County Park and Folly Pier. Alternatively, the beachfront parking lots that are shown on the map are for reference only. They are outside of the DOT right of way and were not included in the tally of paid parking spaces.”
Comments will be accepted until this Saturday. The city said all comments should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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