PRESS-REPUBLICAN: CITY TO STUDY DOWNTOWN PARKING
That process begins in earnest Wednesday night with a public listening session about downtown parking.
“There are 360 parking spots in the Durkee Street parking lot that will be affected by the development,” Mayor Colin Read said. “And to accommodate more growth downtown, we need to find more parking spots.”
The city was awarded a $10 million grant from the state last year as part of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative.
The plan is to kick-start development in the Durkee Street corridor and down towards the shores of Lake Champlain, a few blocks away.
The city has contracted with consulting group Carl Walker Inc. to conduct a parking needs assessment and study in preparation for the redevelopment.
Team members from Carl Walker Inc. will be in Plattsburgh to kick off the project and discuss parking with residents, business owners, and other stakeholders.
The city will hold a public meeting from 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20, at Plattsburgh Public Library.
It will be a “listening session,” the mayor said, so the consultants can get an idea of concerns as they start to gather information.
“This will be more about the process and how it will go,” Read said.
“We will also eventually get ideas from the company about what other communities are doing with parking.”
NOW AND FUTURE
Carl Walker Inc. has done parking studies for hundreds of communities across the nation, including Minneapolis.
“They have some high-tech ideas for parking that we can look at where people may be able to use apps on their phones for parking time and things like that,” Read said.
The project aims for a comprehensive look at the city’s current and future parking needs, with a review of data, gathering of public input and examining parking demand.
The consultants will provide a final report that will incorporate all elements of the analysis, along with a recommended implementation plan, including costs, benefits, and risks for each option.
The possibility of paid parking will also be looked at.
“If we grow like we hope we will, I don’t see how we can avoid some kind of paid system 10 or 20 years down the road,” Read said.
“The city will have to decide to take that leap, and the residents will have to weigh in on that.”
Read said the study should take only a few months.
“As we grow, we need to know if we are set up with parking as we would like to be,” he said.
“We need to have a strong sense of how it will work out before we decide what to do with Durkee Street.”
Read said community input will be vital for the parking study.
“Parking is a big issue in our city. Each of us has enjoyed the opportunity to find a spot very close to visits to city restaurants, shops and parks.
“I very much look forward to the ideas of experts who have seen solutions from other cities that will allow us the same access to great parking even as we plan to grow our downtown.
“We need to hear the ideas of the public on the DRI and on parking solutions that will allow the DRI to succeed,” the mayor said.
“I hope we will hear many ideas from the public in the next few weeks so we can ensure the best possible and most sustainable parking opportunities downtown.”
Paul DeDominicas, the city’s director of community development, said the parking study should help the city well into the future.
“The parking study is an important step in the revitalization of our downtown,” he said.
“Not only will it identify our current needs, but it will go assist us with developing long-term solutions to parking within the city.”
The study will include several rounds of public engagement, including a survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Plattsparking.
All of the information will be made available to the public via the city’s website: http://www.cityofplattsburgh.com/192/Community-Development.
The $60,000 project is funded through a grant from Empire State Development, with the city pitching in 10 percent.
Email Joe LoTemplio: firstname.lastname@example.org
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