No Parking at the Marina

No parking at marina

No parking at marina 2

The above photos were taken on 41st Avenue just across the street from the marina.  The first picture shows an area designated No Parking by legal signs.  Someone has accentuated this with crime scene tape.  (Just further showcasing the beautiful, upscale island we call home!)

The second photo covers the area from when you leave the marina parking lot until you get to the no parking zone.  Someone has put some sticks in the ground and strung a rope between them to keep people from parking there.  And as far as I can tell it is working!

Of course, this is against the law, but again, is a law that is not enforced really a law?

One take away from this is a very simple and cheap solution to the gridlock on Palm Blvd…!

Who’s with me?!

Noise Complaints…or the Death of the Livability Program

What follows are the noise complaints for the past 6 years as reported by the police department.  The first number is the number of complaints, followed by the number of citations written, followed by the percentage of complaints that resulted in a citatation.

2009     196     35     19.9%

2010     241     46     19.1%

2011     221     25     11.3%

2012     194     15      7.7%

2013     193     4      2.1%

2014     170     9      5.3%

I think the numbers speak for themselves!  The livability program started off with good intentions and a bang and is slowly dying.  The numbers show there is still plenty of noise but no citations are being written.  Why is that?  Maybe our city council members need to be asking this question and not some blogger.

Ain’t No Sunshine…with this City Council

Am I the only person frustrated by how difficult it is to see what our city is doing in something approximating real time?

Here is what I mean.  City Council met for its monthly meeting on Tuesday, June 23.  Typically council meetings deal with issues that have come up through the committee system.  There are 6 committees and they meet every month.  The meetings are open to the public and are taped.  So you can go to the meeting or you can go to City Hall and listen to the tape.  Who has time for that?  Seriously.

The most time efficient way to know what happened is to read the minutes of the meeting.  The trouble is, the minutes are not put online for months as the following will demonstrate.  Remember, each committee typically meets every month.  As of June 23 the following minutes were posted on the website:

City Council, March 31

Ways and Means, April 21

Personnel Committee, April 8

Public Safety, April 9

Public Works, April 9

Real Property, April 8

Recreation Committee, April 6

So, most of these committees have met twice since their last minutes were published.  Simply put, this is not acceptable.  City Council could easily fix this problem if they wanted to.  Why wouldn’t they want to fix it?  Maybe we should ask them.

Parking Lots

City Lot

County Lot

Would you rather park in the first lot above or the one below it?  Yeah, me too!

Of course, the first lot is operated by the City of IOP and the second lot is operated by Charleston County Parks and Recreation.

I walked through both lots at 10 am, Sunday, June 14, 2015.  The difference between the 2 lots was like nothing I could have imagined.

I counted 49 pieces of trash in the city lot and 2 pieces of trash in the county lot. 

County Lot worker

The above photo was taken in the county lot.  What do you notice?  A young man nicely dressed.  Look closely at his right hand.  He has a walkie talkie to coordinate parking.  The county lot had 5 employees on duty.

Not quite the same story at the city lot.  I saw one middle aged woman sitting in the box wearing a tank top and sporting a large tatoo on her right arm.  I have decided not to post a photo of this.  Nothing says welcome to an upscale, beautiful beach community quite like this…

So, if you are coming to visit the beach, would you pay to park in the dirty city lot or go down the road several blocks and park for free?  The contract for management of the city lot was renewed several years ago.  I hope to comment on that in a future post.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Today at 5 pm it took 30 minutes to move 8 blocks on Palm Blvd. To get from 34th Avenue to Rifle Range Road took 1 hour.

And it will just keep getting worse as tri-county development races along and IOP is conveniently located at the end of 526.

Of course city council could have done something, anything, to restrict parking, but instead of making some decisions, which, admittedly would make some residents angry, they instead decided to pay a consultant $150,000 to come up with some “solutions.”

You all know how this works.  They implement the consultant’s solutions and then when a resident is pissed off, council tells the resident, “Hey, I agree with you, but this is what the expert consultant recommended.”

The trouble here is the consultant, Stantec, recommended a paid parking system that would be so complicated to implement and enforce that it would take the geniuses at Google to get it up and running.  So council canned the idea and went back to more talking and planning.  And so again this summer we have gridlock on Palm Blvd.

Gridlock caused by daytrippers who contribute not one penny to fund the infrastructure that must be put in place to accommodate them.  So how does the city get them to pay for the extra services they generate?

How about limiting the free parking so they must park in the city lot that is virtually never at capacity except for a few very busy days?  How about doing it now?  Why wait?

This simple solution addresses 2 problems: The daytrippers start paying their way and there is much less congestion on the streets in the residential areas.

Yeah, it is that simple. But as Tina Turner sang, “You see we never do nothing nice, easy.”  That’s our city council for ya.

Blanche DuBois Strategy

Here is an inside tip for IOP residents trying to leave the island late afternoon on a Sat or Sun.  Head down Cameron or Hartnett to 23rd or 24th Ave and then cut into the line on Palm Blvd that is in gridlock out past 34th Ave.  You can also try Waterway, but I have found that 21st Ave can get pretty backed up.  It seems a lot of people who use the marina know about Waterway, at least that is my guess.

Works everytime.

You’re welcome!

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign…155 Signs

Signs on Palm Blvd

Look closely at the above photo.  In a space of 10 yards on Palm Blvd there are 10 regulatory signs!  It got me thinking, just how many signs are there between my house and the connector?

From 34th Avenue to the connector is about 1.25 miles.  Here is the breakdown of signs on each side of Palm Blvd: (this does not include street signs)

From 34th Ave to the connector:  Regulatory signs      42

Information signs     22

Total                         64

From the connector to 34th Ave:  Regulatory signs      45

Information signs     21

Total                         66

Total Number of Signs: 130

1.25 miles is 6600 feet. Yep, there is a sign every 51 feet. A speed of 35 mph translates to 51 feet/sec. So as you drive down Palm Blvd there is a sign every second. Hopefully one only looks at the signs on his side of the road, so that would reduce this in half to a sign every 2 seconds!

And worst of all, the signs are the cheap metal crap probably stamped out in a prison workshop.  We live on the one of the most beautiful areas of South Carolina and we litter it up with all these cheap signs.

Finally, I did not include signs at beach access points.   Here there are another 25 signs, 18 of which are, of course, regulatory.