BLUFFTON, Sc. (WSAV) – Monday morning, two houses stood at the corner of Boundary and Lawrence streets in Old Town Bluffton, and by evening, there were only a few piles of debris left in their place. The Town of Bluffton bought the land to create more green space and parking in the downtown area and this is just the beginning of the projects budgeted this year to do so.
“Parking, when I come to this park now, has become a nightmare on certain days, there’s just no parking,” said 11-year-resident Jane Jonson, “People are trying to find a place to park and you have to park far away to go to something you want to enjoy in Old Town.”
Michael Hahn owns a building right next door, “Thursday afternoons, when Old Town is happening, we have the big farmers market which is a big draw, brings a lot of people,” Hahn said, “But, the open space, people are really gonna enjoy this.”
But this spot across the street from DuBois Park, residents and employees also say is too far from the real problem: The Old Town Promenade.
“When we first opened here, there was only four businesses,” Captain Woody’s General Manager Lauren Jordan said, “Then as the promenade and Downtown Bluffton grew, the parking became less and less.”
Town Councilman Dan Wood said it’s all part of their plan based on Bluffton’s foundation as a “walkable community,” starting with more open space and parking on Boundary and Lawrence streets.
“We have Lawrence Street which is how many blocks away?” said Jordan, “I know they love to say that this is a walking community, but there’s also an age, where people aren’t capable of walking.”
As Jordan said that, Jeri Cavanaugh and her friends from Sun City were meeting in front of Woody’s for lunch.
“A lot of people have issues with walking ability, including myself, I can walk but I can’t walk very far, I certainly can’t walk two or three blocks,” Cavanaugh said.
The town does have closer promenade parking in the works. In the beginning of October, a million dollar project will add sidewalks and parking on Dr. Mallichamp Drive, adjacent to the promenade. The expect that project to take about five months.