The city has spent $18,500 for a parking study so the experts can tell us what we already suspected that there is no parking problem only a parking management problem.
Managing the parking with signage was suggested to show tourists where they can park and whether they have to pay for their parking spaces. The county garage is in need of signage and a bit of housekeeping. I don’t understand why the county permits the employees to park in prime spaces at the county garage instead of parking on the top floor making it easier for visitors to access the parking. The same applies to employees and residents parking in front of the businesses taking up the spaces for customers.
The downtown residents are asking for their own reserved parking spaces due to the living quarters on the second floor of the shops. Residential parking becomes a big problem for the residents especially during the summertime. If the mixture of residential and retail is allowed to exist, the city needs to make sure there are parking spaces available for residential living. Because of the residential parking problems, I think residential living should stand alone and away from the businesses. The lack of better planning for parking can destroy downtown development.
Most of the parking study can be placed on the back shelf until money becomes available and more businesses locate to downtown. Some of the suggestions are easy fixes and cost hardly anything to implement while other suggestions will be very costly to the city.
If City Hall should move back downtown, it would create a whole new set of parking problems. The move will cause a parking nightmare for anyone trying to come to downtown to do any kind of business. City Hall moved away from downtown because of the congestion and parking problems, so it doesn’t make any sense to move it back into the downtown area. The city should learn from its development mistakes and not repeat them.
When the city becomes the developer, it places the expenses squarely on the shoulders of the taxpayers.