3 steps to prevent any new bar ordinances in Charleston, SC:
I have stayed out of the conversation about the proposed midnight bar ordinance Charleston has been considering recently. I thought there was no way they would seriously close the bars and restaurants at midnight. However after a few months of this idea being kicked around I dislike the new idea of a 3 year ban on new alcohol serving establishments even more. Here is a 3 step alternative approach:
#1) Build a few new parking garages for God’s sake. The days of parking on the empty streets surrounding upper King Street are gone. Tons of new businesses, workers, apartments, hotels, and customers have overwhelmed the area and if there were new parking structures near all the action everyone would be happy except for a few people who like to bitch about parking lots. Build one over in Avondale while you are at it Mayor Riley. All of this new life on upper King Street is exactly what everyone was hoping would happen and has invested in for the past 10 years. It is bringing tons of new tax revenue… let’s support it with a few new job creating and revenue making parking structures.
#2) Let Uber help! The taxi offerings in Charleston suck. It takes about an hour to get a cab in town most of the time and forget about getting one between 11PM -2AM. Uber is the perfect solution. Let a legion of Uber drivers come to life at 10PM and work for 4 hours to help transport people safely home. Instead of colluding with the insufficient current taxi industry, help revolutionize it. We could foster the creation of new income for the drivers and solve several of our cities problems at the same time.
#3) Change our police officers’ work schedules. The empty beer bottles on your sidewalk came from someone’s house party, not a bar or restaurant. Closing the bars at midnight or not opening new ones is going to cause more local residents and students to choose house parties over bars. Announce plans to enforce already on the books laws against drinking on the street, DUI, underage drinking, and noise ordinances. Seriously….for three nights a week for about 5 hours each have a few more cops patrolling the very small area that is downtown and enforce current laws. You don’t have to hire new people. It’s called a work schedule….juggle the schedule. It’s not that hard.