Parking and Transportation
Asheville Downtown Association members and other downtown business owners consistently rank parking as their top challenge for downtown. Both residents and downtown visitors frequently remark that it’s difficult to find a parking spot in the central business district.
The Asheville Downtown Association is advocating for both additional parking in the downtown area and improved transportation infrastructure to help ease the pressure on the parking system. Turnover of parking is essential to sustainable business in our downtown and tax revenues for our community.
Important strides have recently been made with regards to parking - the Buncombe County Coxe Avenue deck opened and offers 24-hour public and monthly parking options; the City has installed smart meters allowing customers to pay via credit card; the Downtown Commission's parking crawl yielded new on-street spaces, and the City acquired a surface lot on Coxe Avenue and is offering low-cost parking options for downtown workers. Despite these positive steps, businesses still indicate that their customers struggle to find parking.
The ADA has also identified transit and transportation alternatives as closely related to the challenge of parking. Recently increased funding allowed for additional service on current routes, new busses and additional Sunday service - important steps but inadequate in addressing the identified needs of surveyed businesses.
As the City continues implementing the Transit Master Plan, we encourage staff to consider a transit option, workforce parking agreement, or park and ride service that serves downtown workers.
Downtown hosts thousands of workers every day and the viability and sustainability of businesses depends on their ability to retain workers. If our parking shortage and transit shortfalls continue to cause issues for these workers, we are concerned about the impact on downtown businesses.
Homelessness, housing shortages and housing affordability are issues increasingly faced by municipalities nationwide. ADA will continue to work with resource providers, government staff, elected officials and community leaders to identify solutions that will increase the availability of housing for workforce and homeless members of our community.
The Homeless Initiative Advisory Committee responsible for implementing the Five Year Strategic Plan on Homelessness in Buncombe County. The conduct research, formulate and make recommendations on funding and policy, and act as a clearinghouse for information on local homeless issues. Homeless Resource Providers
• Homeward Bound of Western North Carolina
• Western Carolina Rescue Ministries
• Beloved Asheville