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City of Clemson proposes downtown parking changes

Ashleigh Snyder
Even if the proposed changes go through, parking in downtown Clemson will remain free on nights and weekends.

The city of Clemson is looking to make big changes to parking downtown, including moving towards metering all on-street parking during the day, a proposal that was announced at the Oct. 16 city council meeting.

The proposed plan starts with a new ticketing system for downtown Clemson parking, which uses license plates and produces digitally printed tickets, which can be paid online. This plan also includes collections to make sure people pay for their tickets. The system is in the process of being implemented and should be online this December, according to Lindsey Newton, city of Clemson community and economic development coordinator.

The city of Clemson will also start enforcing the no overnight parking in the downtown district, which will run along College Avenue from TD’s all the way to Strode Circle, including all of the sidestreets such as Sloan and Earle Street. Under this rule, cars parked on the street from 4 a.m.-7 a.m. will be subject to towing, according to Newton’s presentation to the council.

The city also plans to meter all on-street parking in the downtown area and is expecting to start this in February. The planned rates are $2 per hour for on-street parking, with a maximum of two hours during the business day, from 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Friday.

“The metering of on-street parking was a council directive, but it is also understood that on street parking spaces are the prime/best parking spaces and it makes sense to place a value on those spaces,” Newton said.

This plan is still in development, and Clemson City Council will still have to make the final decision to implement these changes before they occur.

The proposal was devised by looking at similar municipalities, such as Auburn, Athens, Hendersonville and Spartanburg, according to Newton.

Parking rates in the city garages will also change in the new plan. The new rates are planned to be $1 per hour for hours one through three, $3 per hour for hours four and five, and $5 an hour for hours six through nine. This change will remove the three-hour parking limit in the garages.

Parking will remain free on nights and weekends, both on-street and in the garages. There are no plans for any free workday parking, according to the presentation.

These new on-street parking rates will be enforced by a text-to-pay system, with new meters for both the streets and the garage. The new meters will take cards and coins, and there was a debate on how many to have and whether any should accept bills. There was also a discussion of using an app, such as Flow Bird, at the meeting.

There are also plans to convert Sloan Street north of Edgewood Avenue to employee-only parking. The current plan calls for converting it to a one-way street, which will create 21 new spaces. Downtown businesses will be able to purchase permits for their employees to park there, according to the presentation.

There will also be a new special event rate under the new scheme. The plan is to sell all parking on a first-come, first-served basis for a special event rate for all major events, including home football games, bringing the game day parking garage space lease program to an end after this season.


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Corey Glenn
Corey Glenn, Asst. News Editor
Ashleigh Snyder
Ashleigh Snyder, Photo Editor
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