Local News

Many State Employees Will Lose Downtown Raleigh Parking Spaces

Posted February 14, 2007 4:11 p.m. EST
Updated February 15, 2007 12:26 a.m. EST

— 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