More parking needed in downtown Davidson due to economic expansion

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Downtown Davidson has experienced growth over the years with the development of shops and restaurants.

Mayor John Woods says there’s a waiting list of merchants wanting to set up shop.

“Booming would be a good word to describe downtown,” Woods said. “We have a long list of merchants who would like to be in downtown Davidson and we simply just don’t have spaces for them. One of the challenges is literally providing facilities,” Woods said.

Another challenge is providing customer parking for the development.

The town has free parking; something Woods says attracts people to downtown.

Davidson doesn’t plan to start charging for parking in downtown, but does enforce a 2 hour parking rule at many spaces.

Woods says the town has decided against building a parking deck.

““Parking decks are expensive, likely to be out of date in a few years. And so we’ve opted for the more organic approach,” Woods said.

That new approach is partnering with local organizations to offer parking to residents.

Woods is reaching out to churches so drivers can use their lots. Davidson Presbyterian Church is the first to agree to the arrangement.

The town has also launched a free weekend trolley service to downtown on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings, during their peak hours in the downtown area. Woods says they are experimenting with pickup locations on the East and West sides of town, to test the turnout. If successful, they could rollout a permanent shuttle system.

The town is also working with Davidson College to provide locations on campus for people to park on the weekends.

Woods says a parking spot right directly in front of a business may not be readily available for customers, but the town is working on it.

“If you speak with anyone they’ll say, oh, we have a parking challenge in downtown Davidson,” Woods said. “There’s really adequate parking here if you’re willing to walk a block or two to the places you want to go.”

 

 

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