Local News

Visitors question construction trucks parking downtown

Posted March 12, 2009 5:21 p.m. EDT
Updated March 12, 2009 7:17 p.m. EDT

— Visitors to downtown Raleigh are complaining that construction crews tie up too many parking spaces for hours at a time.

Nikki Council said she and her aunt had to park off Wilmington Street and hopped on a bicycle rickshaw to get where they needed to go Thursday.

"We're riding because it's so packed. We had to park way over by McDonald's," Council said, adding that city parking decks downtown were full.

Meanwhile, construction trucks occupied several parking spaces on Fayetteville Street.

"I don't really think it's fair. Other people need to park there," Council said.

Terry Phinizy, a transportation operations analyst with Raleigh's Public Works Department, said his department issues permits to construction companies to park in front of buildings where crews are working so they can bring in equipment or haul off debris.

The city's Inspections Department also issues parking permits to construction companies so trucks can be parked nearby while crews are working, Phinizy said. For a parking spot to be used, there must be no other access to the building from another entrance, he said.

Contractors said they need trucks close by so workers can ferry supplies in and out. They said the city limits the number of permits, noting that, for every truck parked in front of a building, at least one is parked several blocks away.

Phinizy estimated that 15 to 20 permits were in use Thursday.

James Ghaus said he doesn't have much sympathy for the construction crews because he always has a tough time finding parking downtown while running errands.

"It makes it difficult for us as taxpayers to come and utilize the parking," Ghaus said. "If they say they want us to be able to park, it's too expensive for three to five minutes to pay and go to a parking deck."