SC

The Government Parking Business: Not Booming

About a year ago the City of Columbia, S.C. – which is all about building parking garages in support of “economic development” – announced the opening of a new 532-car garage at the corner of Taylor and Sumter streets downtown. We “welcomed” this news in our own particular … (idiom,…

About a year ago the City of Columbia, S.C. – which is all about building parking garages in support of “economic development” – announced the opening of a new 532-car garage at the corner of Taylor and Sumter streets downtown.

We “welcomed” this news in our own particular … (idiom, sir?) … idiom. That’s right.

In fact we raged thusly …

Every so often we’re compelled to rage against Columbia … like when it wastes millions of dollars building new parking garages even though it can’t fill the parking garages it already has.

(And why is government at any level involved in the parking garage business in the first place? That’s a good question …)

Come on, Columbia … are the empty taxpayer-owned parking facilities over at the spectacularly-failed command economic boondoggle known as “Innovista” not a clue that this market might be just a little bit over-saturated?

Were we correct in our assessment? Or was Columbia, S.C. mayor Steve Benjamin correct when he  claimed there was all sorts of “pent-up demand” for parking garages in Columbia?

Well, here’s a picture taken last week at the new “City Center garage” during the middle of the afternoon on a Thursday …

(Click to enlarge)

city center garage

Yeah … that’s one car (actually its a truck – and a government-owned truck, at that).

“Looks that way every day,” said a source familiar with the garage’s virtually non-existent capacity.

Taxpayers spent $11 million on this facility and are shelling out an undetermined amount of cash to keep open each year. How in the hell does this make sense? The short answer is obvious: It doesn’t.

Despite the fact that its existing network of garages was half-empty, Benjamin and his brain dead lackeys on the Columbia, S.C. city council decided to go ahead and open a new garage anyway.

We said it last year and we’ll say it again this year … “you just gotta love command economic planning.”

***

Related posts

SC

South Carolina’s Blue Crab Bill On Hold

Dylan Nolan
SC

Residents: Forgotten Gullah Cemetery Desecrated During ‘Clean-up’

Callie Lyons
SC

Southern Charm Saga: Kathryn Dennis Arrested For DUI

FITSNews

49 comments

jch9596 May 14, 2013 at 2:04 pm

That parking deck is so empty, I thought it was the one between Washington and Lady Streets. Well, that one does have more county cars most times I park there.

Reply
jch9596 May 14, 2013 at 2:04 pm

That parking deck is so empty, I thought it was the one between Washington and Lady Streets. Well, that one does have more county cars most times I park there.

Reply
Shitfor Brains May 14, 2013 at 2:05 pm

I thinks some of my relations be on city council

Reply
Shitfor Brains May 14, 2013 at 2:05 pm

I thinks some of my relations be on city council

Reply
Jay Ellington May 14, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Imagine that, T-Bone and city council making poor choices in the name of “economic development”. Gotta have some place to park cars when we open the skating rink later this year, right? Yeah, right.

Reply
Jay Ellington May 14, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Imagine that, T-Bone and city council making poor choices in the name of “economic development”. Gotta have some place to park cars when we open the skating rink later this year, right? Yeah, right.

Reply
Smirks May 14, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Ten years from now: Hey, let’s build ANOTHER parking garage!

Reply
Smirks May 14, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Ten years from now: Hey, let’s build ANOTHER parking garage!

Reply
Sarge May 14, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Whose family members all got kickbacks on the purchasing and building of this monstrosity? Follow the $$$$.

Reply
Sarge May 14, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Whose family members all got kickbacks on the purchasing and building of this monstrosity? Follow the $$$$.

Reply
Twinkle Toes May 14, 2013 at 2:43 pm

I’ve got a warehouse just off Two-Notch where more anonymous sexual episodes have taken place than any other spot in South Carolina. I can’t give the damn thing away. It’s in EW’s old district. Can I pay off some people, get it declared an historical spot and get the city to buy it for three times what it’s worth? Shiould I hire the McNair Law Firm, Haynesworth or Nelson Mullins so Toal will certainly approve the sale if it goes to a lawsuit?

Reply
? May 14, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Market it to them as a historic bordello and let them know they’ll get a commission on the sale and you’re in business.

Reply
Twinkle Toes May 14, 2013 at 2:43 pm

I’ve got a warehouse just off Two-Notch where more anonymous sexual episodes have taken place than any other spot in South Carolina. I can’t give the damn thing away. It’s in EW’s old district. Can I pay off some people, get it declared an historical spot and get the city to buy it for three times what it’s worth? Shiould I hire the McNair Law Firm, Haynesworth or Nelson Mullins so Toal will certainly approve the sale if it goes to a lawsuit?

Reply
? May 14, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Market it to them as a historic bordello and let them know they’ll get a commission on the sale and you’re in business.

Reply
GrandTango May 14, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Wow: Funny what the liberals would RATHER post about and Talk about, today…
I ain’t interested in this boring Bull-$#!*..To INFLUENCE AN ELECTION: Obama’s IRS was giving leftwing media groups personal info. on Conservatives….WOW!!!!!!…That’s BLOCKBUSTER NEWS…but Liberals ain’t gone like it…so FITS may get to it in a couple days, after he’s had a chance to scrub it, to protect his GUILTY libs…
WOW!!!..And FITS wants to talk about a parking deal????…Hummmm…

Reply
Jay Ellington May 14, 2013 at 4:06 pm

I think I speak for many around here when I say exposing Columbia politics for the steaming pile of chimpanzee diarrhea that it is, is important work. Some people don’t get their news exclusively from Fits.

Reply
GrandTango May 14, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Jay, you actually think EXPOSING (bringing to light) Corruption in Richalnd County will make ANY difference….???
Benjamin’s wreck, nothing happened. Look at Jean Toal’s incident w/ the law. And the Lillian McBride and Randy Scott episodes show that Richland is corrupt, and nothing can be, or ever will be, done about it…
As long as you meet certain criteria, you have a seperate set of laws (or you are above it) than the rest of us…

Reply
Jay Ellington May 14, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Because I know NOTHING is going to change until he leaves his office in handcuffs, I prefer to take it out directly on Mayor Benjamin via Twitter. He’s asked me to get involved instead of bitching about things, but with he and the other umpteen morons all up the mix I know my common sense approach would make little or no difference.

Reply
GrandTango May 14, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Sadly: I’m afraid ‘getting involved’ in Columbia could result in jail time, unless you’re in the “Protected” class…

Smirks May 14, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Psst! The world keeps turning even if your delusions don’t.

Reply
jimlewisowb May 14, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Upon closer examination of the picture it is my opinion that something is afoot in the bed of the truck

Something or someone(s) is causing a notable sagging of the rear of the truck

Could it be that Raunchy Randy Runt, aka Beam (as in Jim Beam) me up Scotty, is engaging in some extra curricular Nooner activity in his former happy hunting ground

Or perhaps it could be old T-Bone exercising his My-Bone in the Y-Bone of a political supporter

Reply
jimlewisowb May 14, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Upon closer examination of the picture it is my opinion that something is afoot in the bed of the truck

Something or someone(s) is causing a notable sagging of the rear of the truck

Could it be that Raunchy Randy Runt, aka Beam (as in Jim Beam) me up Scotty, is engaging in some extra curricular Nooner activity in his former happy hunting ground

Or perhaps it could be old T-Bone exercising his My-Bone in the Y-Bone of a political supporter

Reply
hatqueen May 14, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Gee. Looks just like the parking garage in downtown Anderson, SC. Same poor choices, and same results.

Reply
hatqueen May 14, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Gee. Looks just like the parking garage in downtown Anderson, SC. Same poor choices, and same results.

Reply
Peter Oute May 14, 2013 at 4:42 pm

This is pretty damning against the city when you consider it’s directly across the street from a privately-owned garage which is certainly not empty.

Reply
Peter Oute May 14, 2013 at 4:42 pm

This is pretty damning against the city when you consider it’s directly across the street from a privately-owned garage which is certainly not empty.

Reply
edr May 14, 2013 at 7:03 pm

The city purchased the damons Rib restaurant for 3.8 million
in 2008 and sold it for 1 million in 2012 to USC Alumni assoc.
They are financial wizards

Reply
edr May 14, 2013 at 7:03 pm

The city purchased the damons Rib restaurant for 3.8 million
in 2008 and sold it for 1 million in 2012 to USC Alumni assoc.
They are financial wizards

Reply
Joni Loring May 14, 2013 at 11:50 pm

The trouble with a weak mayor system like we have is responsibility gets passed around until no one claims it.

Reply
vicupstate May 15, 2013 at 5:38 am

Lame excuse that Columbia officials use. Doesn’t hold water though. Most cities including Greenville, Charlotte and many others operate the same way.

Reply
Jay Ellington May 15, 2013 at 9:08 am

At least Knox has quelled personal property tax increases for going on 15 years and pretty much transformed Greenville’s downtown. I’ve lived in Columbia for 15 years and have actually watched it stagnate and here over the last 5 years we seem to be in a regression phase. I don’t think I’ve ever lived in a city (I’ve lived in IL, NC, FL, VA, NE, NH) where the city government is so incredibly out of touch with how to develop it’s main street. If the Vista were the jewel that the CVB thought it was, there would be enough overflow of pedestrian traffic on the weekends to support a robust main street scene. The fact of the matter is that there really is nothing in downtown Columbia to keep people around for any more than a few hours and as difficult as it is to do business in Columbia I don’t see the face of Columbia’s main street corridor changing, ever or until more forward thinking is adopted by city government, whichever comes first.

Reply
Sarge May 15, 2013 at 7:14 am

Bob Coble used to babble crap like that all the time. The truth was that Coble would not hold anyone accountable even when he knew the corruption was taking place.

Reply
Joni Loring May 14, 2013 at 11:50 pm

The trouble with a weak mayor system like we have is responsibility gets passed around until no one claims it.

Reply
vicupstate May 15, 2013 at 5:38 am

Lame excuse that Columbia officials use. Doesn’t hold water though. Most cities including Greenville, Charlotte and many others operate the same way.

Reply
Jay Ellington May 15, 2013 at 9:08 am

At least Knox has quelled personal property tax increases for going on 15 years and pretty much transformed Greenville’s downtown. I’ve lived in Columbia for 15 years and have actually watched it stagnate and here over the last 5 years we seem to be in a regression phase. I don’t think I’ve ever lived in a city (I’ve lived in IL, NC, FL, VA, NE, NH) where the city government is so incredibly out of touch with how to develop it’s main street. If the Vista were the jewel that the CVB thought it was, there would be enough overflow of pedestrian traffic on the weekends to support a robust main street scene. The fact of the matter is that there really is nothing in downtown Columbia to keep people around for any more than a few hours and as difficult as it is to do business in Columbia I don’t see the face of Columbia’s main street corridor changing, ever or until more forward thinking is adopted by city government, whichever comes first.

Reply
Sarge May 15, 2013 at 7:14 am

Bob Coble used to babble crap like that all the time. The truth was that Coble would not hold anyone accountable even when he knew the corruption was taking place.

Reply
King-Tut May 15, 2013 at 6:48 am

Hell, I thougt that was a picture of the (empty) garage that sits across from the police department. Same thing you’ll find there…..empty spaces and city owned vehicles.

Reply
King-Tut May 15, 2013 at 6:48 am

Hell, I thougt that was a picture of the (empty) garage that sits across from the police department. Same thing you’ll find there…..empty spaces and city owned vehicles.

Reply
Reub Hawkins May 15, 2013 at 12:49 pm

With all the available excess parking, I better not have to worry about paying to park or getting my car towed ever.

Reply
Reub Hawkins May 15, 2013 at 12:49 pm

With all the available excess parking, I better not have to worry about paying to park or getting my car towed ever.

Reply
Thom Jefferson May 15, 2013 at 1:48 pm

The big problem is that 1) Columbians would rather drive around the block for 20 minutes than park in a garage and 2) the City won’t wise up to the reality that the demand is for easy hourly parking and not expensive monthly-only permit parking. Main Street (like Charleston) needs cheap and easy hourly parking. If it is cheaper and easier than a meter folks will use it. But John Spade is an idiot.

Reply
Thom Jefferson May 15, 2013 at 1:48 pm

The big problem is that 1) Columbians would rather drive around the block for 20 minutes than park in a garage and 2) the City won’t wise up to the reality that the demand is for easy hourly parking and not expensive monthly-only permit parking. Main Street (like Charleston) needs cheap and easy hourly parking. If it is cheaper and easier than a meter folks will use it. But John Spade is an idiot.

Reply
Thom Jefferson May 15, 2013 at 1:51 pm

But that garage you pictured will fill up next year when the City sells the Sumter Street garage to the folks converting the Palmetto Center to a dorm and closes it to everyone by the residents, which will screw the Sheraton and everyone else.

Reply
Thom Jefferson May 15, 2013 at 1:51 pm

But that garage you pictured will fill up next year when the City sells the Sumter Street garage to the folks converting the Palmetto Center to a dorm and closes it to everyone by the residents, which will screw the Sheraton and everyone else.

Reply
Super fly May 15, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Its better than Charleston where Chip Limehouse and his buddies have a moratorium on any new garages and there is no where to park! Funny think is that he owns the garages????????

Reply
Super fly May 15, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Its better than Charleston where Chip Limehouse and his buddies have a moratorium on any new garages and there is no where to park! Funny think is that he owns the garages????????

Reply

Leave a Comment