The Town of Blowing Rock is a vacation/resort town located in the mountains of western North Carolina. During the summer months (peak tourist season), the Town receives an influx of vacationers. Due to increasing tourism, a lack of parking in the central core of town had become an issue during the summer season. The city council was divided on a proposal to construct two new parking decks. The Town hired DAVENPORT to conduct a comprehensive parking study to determine if the parking decks were needed. DAVENPORT was tasked with identifying the parking needs, analyzing the existing parking utilization, and determining where parking demands were greatest as well as where extra capacity existed.
DAVENPORT conducted a comprehensive parking management study to answer numerous questions about the likely effects of the two new parking facilities and provide the town with recommendations to effectively manage parking both on a regular basis, and during special events including the busy July 4th holiday. DAVENPORT also reviewed a previous parking study that had been done in conjunction with a building project in town in order to verify the accuracy and integrate the findings into the overall town parking plan.
Based upon the results of DAVENPORT’s investigation, it was determined the construction of at least one of the parking decks was warranted to fully meet current and future parking demands in the town, and that the greatest demand for parking was in the vicinity of the locations of the proposed parking facilities. DAVENPORT also identified several areas where existing parking was available but was not being fully utilized. DAVENPORT provided the Town of Blowing Rock with specific recommendations to address this lack of utilization including installing seasonal public parking signs to direct visitors and adding improvements to allow for better pedestrian access to and from the existing parking areas. Other suggestions included requiring the parking decks to be equipped with gates to count to maximum occupancy and signage to indicate when at they reached full capacity.