Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island Considering Paid Parking for Visitors

si-lighthouse.jpgIn a recent town hall meeting the Sullivan’s Island town council decided unanimously on a managed parking plan for the island.  This comes in light of a recent article in the Post and Courier about the Isle of Palms doing the same.

The Isle of Palms is considering a plan that would require a parking pass per car that would set a cap on the number of visitors to the island each day.  Passes could be purchased online,  for anywhere from a day, to week, or longer.  At the time this is just a proposal, but if put in to place, it will force the town of Sullivan’s Island to do the same, to avoid many of those who would likely visit the Isle of Palms to go to Sullivan’s Island instead, therefore overcrowding the island.

An article today’s Island Eye News goes on to say although Sullivan’s Island voted unanimously for a managed parking plan, it will likely be a wait and see approach.  Going forward with such a plan could be a year away but has the support of the town so will be able to be implemented quickly if need be.  There plan is similar but not identical to that of the Isle of Palms, in that you will go on-line to register, but not physically receive a ticket. Handheld scanners will be able to scan each license plate to determined each visitor has paid and registered to park.

IOP Breech InletWhat is my opinion?  While I am not sure this is the answer, or best way to go about it, something does need to be done.  There is no debating the islands are congested in the summer months and traffic at times is enough to make anyone want to pull their hair out. I have worked on the Isle of Palms for 14 years and have personally seen an increase of traffic onto the island each summer.  I have waited for an hour or longer to get onto the beach from Mt. Pleasant, while sitting in slow, congested traffic.  Lanes were recently added to the Isle of Palms connector on the Mt. Pleasant side, but this seems to have not done much.  But what is the answer?   Should Mt. Pleasant residents have to pay to enjoy a public beach?  After all,  Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island residents most likely spend time eating, shopping, etc. in Mt. Pleasant every day.  To me, the thought of having to go on-line and pay to enjoy the beach, seems a little much.  But maybe it’s worth it, maybe I will see it differently when I zoom to the beach at noon on Saturday.

I would like to know your opinion?

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