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Many State Employees Will Lose Downtown Raleigh Parking Spaces

Posted February 14, 2007
Updated February 15, 2007

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— Some state workers might not be able to park in downtown Raleigh anymore. Instead, they may have to drive in and then take a bus to their offices.

Currently, there are about 7,000 spots for more than 20,000 state employees who work downtown.

“One moment I come in my car, another moment I'm in the building,” one state worker told WRAL.

Now, though,  the Blount Street redevelopment and Green Square projects will eliminate more than 1,600 state-worker parking spaces downtown. The state will also lose visitor and bus parking.

“We are losing in the neighborhood of 20 percent of our spaces downtown. It is significant. It's very significant," said Secretary of Administration Britt Cobb.

Designs are under way for a parking deck at a lot on Jones Street. But one new deck won't be nearly enough, and state leaders are now looking at other options.

Consultants said oversubscribing lots is an option, knowing people call in sick and take vacation. Leaders could encourage van pooling or start a park-and-ride system from parking areas outside town.

One state worker who didn’t like the proposed changes was state worker Sandy Narron. She believes simple errands or appointments would take much longer to accomplish with a park-and-ride system.

“I like the ability to be able to have my own car here and go when I want to,” Narron said.

Cobb said it may be time to evaluate whether some services should be moved outside the downtown core to help ease the state parking crunch. In the meantime, he said workers must accept things will change.

“Those of us who have a long career in state government have come to accept there is a parking place close by, reasonably priced,” Cobb said. “It’s not a benefit of the job; it’s one of those things we’ve always had. We are just going to have to look at it in a different way.”

Some of the state parking spots should start disappearing by this spring as the projects get underway. Cobb estimated a majority of the spaces will be gone by late this year or early next year. He hopes to have a final parking plan in place within 90 days
38 Comments

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  • houdie1031 Feb 15, 2007

    My suggestion: Buy one of the new dwellings coming to the Blount Street Project or one of the many condominiums being built downtown. You will get free parking, a great place to live, and a wonderful walk to work. Plus as far as the labor pool in the area, there are plenty of people who live East of Oakwood who would love to have a job. People who have been walking and living on low wages for many years.

  • auklet8718 Feb 15, 2007

    I'm saddened by this but not surprised. I never go downtown Raleigh and I don't miss it one bit. I used to work down town a near Chargrill. Parking was a nightmare. Raleigh has a lot of catching up to do. I doubt our short sighted government will ever do it though.

  • seeingthru Feb 15, 2007

    As an underpaid ex-state worker I had to pay for the privilege of parking 6 blocks from work and hiking in all weathers, had to dry my clothes of with a hair dryer sometimes. The people planning to lose more parking spaces are out of their minds!!Low pay hardly any parking-- this place is a joke, by all means redo downtown-- and who will visit?? Still a jumped-up one horse town, backwards to the future!

  • lovetheheels Feb 15, 2007

    uhhhm...RB -
    My comparison was not of Raleigh and Atlanta, but a comparison between a private sector employer that did not provide parking to employees in a place where it was scarce, expensive, etc. and the companies that do that Pearl referenced in her post. Further, if Raleigh doesn't plan now to deal with transportation issues besides gnashing their teeth over how to provide more parking for private vehicles and NOT pursue better mass transit, it doesn't have a chance to thrive like Atlanta...don't you agree?

  • pulstar40 Feb 15, 2007

    There is not enough parking in downtown Raleigh -- and it's not just the state employees who have a legitimate concern (and have to deal with it everyday) - ask any juror! Sure, they tell you to report at 9 am, (or later if you're already on a case) but everyone knows you have to be there by 8:20 or you're hiking to get to the courthouse. You can get there in the morning, only to be told you can "leave" at 10:30, but need to be back at 2:30! Who is going to lose their space only to try and find one again later on! I don't know how any of the businesses downtown survive.

  • mugofstout Feb 15, 2007

    About time the State employees have to work around the same problems as the rest of us. Usually they are rude as all get out, even though we pay their salaries. Let them walk in the cold or wet for a bit, maybe they will see why we are always in a hurry to get in and out.

  • alanrmnc Feb 15, 2007

    If the State has problems with parking downtown, why don't they move some of those employees out to the Dorothea Dix property when the hospital closes. I believe that Mr. Cobb made the comment, that it might be time to move some offices out of the downtown area. Why not use what they already own.

  • Screen name Feb 15, 2007

    “One moment I come in my car, another moment I'm in the building,”

    Can someone explain this to me?

  • packandcanesfan Feb 15, 2007

    Parking for State Employees is already a huge hassle. Long waiting lists and "some" on-street parking. For most State Employees that I know, buses are not an option. I am lucky now because I have a covered spot (after 23 years) and I remember parking in lots that weren't and after risking your neck in snow and ice to get to work, you couldn't even park because the lots were not even cleared. Taking away all the Blount Street parking is a huge mistake. Does anyone know what is being built there? The entire state is all about growth, growth, growth and absolutely no plans on how to deal with it.

  • spiritwarriorwoman Feb 15, 2007

    Let's not begrudge the city/state workers, often working in terrible offices and buildings, and often, from what I understand, not getting paid for months on end while awaiting a budget approval. They also have less than adequate health and life insurance programs and are often called upon to put their jobs ahead of their children...or else.
    The only thing good about downtown now is Finch's. ;o) Yum!!!
    God bless.
    Rev. RB

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