The city of Asheville says “immediate priority repairs and accessibility improvements” are underway at three of its parking garages, including the Wall Street deck. // Watchdog photo by Starr Sariego

Today’s round of questions, my smart-aleck replies and the real answers:

Question: Why are all the empty parking spaces at the Wall Street parking deck blocked off? They remain empty or blocked from dawn until dusk, and possibly all night.

My answer: Let’s just be grateful these parking decks haven’t fallen down yet.

Real answer: The city of Asheville is in the midst of a major parking deck rehabilitation project, and the Wall Street deck is part of that.

City of Asheville spokesperson Kim Miller said via email that the Wall Street garage, which has an entrance off Otis Street, is undergoing repairs and improvements.

A temporary detour and limited parking on the second level started Oct. 17. On Oct. 30, seven spaces on the first level were sectioned off “as shoring went up for the start of construction.” Additionally, 14 spaces on level three were closed for a separate traffic diversion.

“Repairs are expected to be complete in the first weeks of December, and the parking spaces returned to service,” Miller said.

The city owns and operates four parking decks, and it has stated that “immediate priority repairs and accessibility improvements” are underway. Right now this impacts the Wall Street deck, along with the Rankin Avenue and Harrah’s Cherokee Center garages.

The Wall Street parking deck is in need of repairs for stairwells, elevator landings, and deck improvements, the city of Asheville says. For compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the city will be resizing ADA spaces in the decks, adding new striping, improving signage and cane detection assets, and relocating select ADA parking spaces. Some spaces will be closed during the work, but the deck remains open. // Watchdog photo by Starr Sariego

The city’s website states repairs are needed for stairwells, elevator landings, and deck improvements. For compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the city will be resizing ADA spaces in the decks, adding new striping, improving signage and cane detection assets, and relocating select ADA parking spaces.

These improvements started this fall and should be completed in the winter of 2024, the website states.

Miller said the immediate repairs work at the Wall Street Garage includes:

  • Concrete corbel and elevator framing supports: $58,444
  • Temporary shoring and new steel connectors: $68,877 (This is the work that is impacting the parking spaces currently.)
  • Total Immediate Repairs for Wall Street: $127,321

Also, to be clear, the Wall Street garage remains open while the work is going on.

Question: Can you find out why the electrical vehicle chargers on Charlotte Street were removed this week?

My answer: I guess you could say the electricity on Charlotte Street is no longer palpable.

Real answer: These stations are indeed kaput, at least for general public use.

“The charging stations that were removed were no longer operational,” Miller said. “They were part of a public/private partnership, and the private partner was unable to keep them in service.”

The city has shut down an electric vehicle charging station that had public access, but the city will still use the site to charge its own electric vehicles. // Credit: City of Asheville

Miller also provided a November 2021 city staff report to City Council that offered background on the charging station and why it closed. Initially, in 2014 the city leased the property to Riding Partners, Inc., but that company was acquired by Brightfield Transportation Solutions, Inc., a local Electric Vehicle charging station company. Brightfield installed a solar canopy EV station off of South Charlotte Street in the Public Works parking lot, and a standard EV station in the Aloft Hotel parking deck.

In 2020, both Brightfield charging stations began to malfunction, “and the city received complaints from the public and visitors about its unreliability,” the report states. A committee of stakeholders assessed the situation, and after conversations with Brightfield, “ it was determined that the equipment in its current condition was not functioning and would need to be replaced.”

The city asked Brightfield to remove and replace the non-operational EV equipment and the lease was terminated, the report notes. “But due to their lack of assets to remove and replace the equipment, (Brightfield) offered to donate the equipment located at the public works Charlotte Street parking lot and the Aloft garage on Biltmore Avenue.”

The station will still be utilized.

“The charging equipment at the South Charlotte street lot will be removed and replaced, to provide service to the city’s fleet of vehicles supporting council’s goals of utilizing renewable energy in city operations,” the report stated.

Miller said, “A vendor is installing charging stations at that site as well as five other locations for city fleet vehicles, which is necessary to support our Sustainable Fleet Policy.”

As part of this process, the charging equipment in the Aloft Garage off Biltmore Avenue was removed and the spaces returned to general public use, the report states. 

Miller noted that the city does have public EV charging stations in two city parking garages — the Wall Street and Rankin Avenue garages each have two charging stations.

“All four stations are free to the public for use, but you do have to pay normal garage rates for entry and duration of stay,” Miller said.

Asheville Watchdog is a nonprofit news team producing stories that matter to Asheville and Buncombe County. Got a question? Send it to John Boyle at or 828-337-0941. To show your support for this vital public service go to

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  1. Do I read this correctly: The city has a total of FOUR charging stations, carefully hidden in pay-to-enter parking garages? Is there a way to determine if a charging station is available before you pay to enter? How long does a full charge take, and what would be that garage fee? Doesn’t exactly make me want to rush out to buy an EV.

    1. There are a LOT more charging stations in Asheville, but until Sheetz stores are here, we don’t have many high-speed chargers available to the public. There are currently only a couple of them.

  2. Tourists, take note, visit AVL in your gas guzzlers! B/c there’s not so much support for charging if you aren’t doing it at home…

    1. There will be soon, with the Sheetz stores coming. They offer great high-speed EV chargers as part of the Electrify America program.

      1. Plus, there are already quite a few fast chargers for Teslas (over 60 percent of the EVs on the road) nearby: at the Asheville Outlets on Brevard Road at I-26, Biltmore Park at Long Shoals and I-26, Tunnel Road just off I-240, and Old Fort on I-40. In the relatively near future (exactly when is anybody’s guess), they’ll be usable by other manufacturers’ EVs, as well.

        Ingles has submitted a grant proposal with the Land of Sky Regional Council to install fast chargers at their stores along the corridor from Asheville to Murphy to Chattanooga. Thanks, Ingles, for your long time support for EVs!

  3. As much as EVs are a popular thing, they will never move forward without infrastructure which will never happen for the masses. Hybrid technology is one hundred percent the way to go.

    1. Actually, there’s plenty of charging infrastructure already in place, with more being added every day. You can find it using and other apps.

      In the summer of 2022, my wife and I drove an EV to San Diego and back, mostly on interstates, but with a fair amount of backroad touring in Arizona, California, Mississippi, and Alabama. Charging was readily available, and far cheaper than running on gasoline, even though the fast chargers we used cost triple what home charging costs. And they’re **really** fast. I’m rarely able to finish a McDonald’s hamburger before the car is finished charging.

      At about the same time we were taking our trip, a friend drove a Chevy Bolt (a very affordable car) he bought in San Jose, CA to Vancouver, BC, then home to Asheville. There were plenty of fast chargers for his trip, too: he used PlugShare to scout several different routes home before committing to buy the car, and they all worked.

      People who are interested in learning about the realities of daily life with an EV (as opposed to the ignorant spin that permeates so much media coverage) should contact the Blue Ridge EV Club. You can find us online.

  4. We are now an all-EV couple, with home chargers here and at our cottage in Canada. Privileged, of course, but EV’s are the way to go.

    Currently the only high-speed chargers in Asheville are at Sam’s Club and out at the Whole Foods parking lot (I think). Lots of slow chargers are around, but they’re not helpful unless your car will be parked for some hours.

    The City of Asheville would be well-served by upgrading charger speeds available to the public, for sure.

    Hopefully, Ingles, Harris Teeter, and Walmart will join in their counterparts elsewhere in North America by adding high-speed charging stations in their parking lots. That’s what I’ve experienced on my travels up and down the Eastern US this last summer and returning home to Asheville in October.

  5. Here’s a thought – how about putting solar canopies on the top levels of the garages with high speed EV charging available with the power produced by the sun. The canopies would give shade to the cars that park under them while also powering EVs and until EVs become more common, the city could trade excess power to Duke, assuming Duke doesn’t convince the GA to do away with net metering. Win-win. There must be EV chargers that cost a few cents to charge from and such an idea could even pay for adding the solar canopies, maybe even help pay for the needed repairs as EVs become more popular.

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