The City of Fredericksburg has hired Walker Parking Consultants (Walker) to help create an action plan for current and future parking needs.
“Since the last comprehensive parking study, completed in 2006, the supply and use of parking has increased steadily, and there has been discussion that adjustments to the management of the city’s on-street and off-street parking assets are needed,” said City Manager Tim Baroody.
Baroody said he’d been directed by City Council to build a new parking deck in downtown Fredericksburg by 2018. “I think there clearly is a parking issue downtown, but it’s not clear to me that it’s so urgent we need to spend $10 million by 2018,” he said.
Baroody said a second parking deck would cost that much, when you figured in land construction costs. “Before we make plans, I want to know our parking inventory, current demand, and estimated future demand. I want an update of the January 2006 analysis.”
The city manager asked the Fredericksburg Economic Development Authority (EDA) to partner with the city to fund the analysis. They voted unanimously in September to provide up to $15,000 in matching funds.
The 2006 study was completed by Desman Associates for about $50,000, in advance of construction of the parking deck at Wolfe and Sophia Streets.
Walker’s work is being led by a City Council sanctioned Parking Task Force, comprised of Vice Mayor Billy Withers, Councilor Tim Duffy, EDA Board Members Joe Wilson and Bill Beck, Fredericksburg Main Street representative D.D. Lecky, and UMW representative Rick Pearce.
“This group represents varied interests, from neighborhoods, to businesses, and visitors alike, and we are hopeful that with this collaborative work we can bring achievable parking solutions to the table quickly for City Council consideration,” said Vice Mayor Withers. “We know demand is growing for parking, and we must continue to find real solutions that balance expense, usability, convenience, and impact on neighborhoods.”
Walker will assess current parking operations, management, maintenance, and enforcement procedures, and develop a comprehensive parking action plan to guide near- and long-term parking-related decisions.
While the action plan will not be limited by geographic boundaries, field surveys of parking activity will be focused on downtown, and the College Terrace and College Heights residential neighborhoods, Baroody said.
Key questions for developing the action plan include:
1. How has the supply and utilization of public and private parking changed since the 2006 parking study?
2. How is the usage of the Sophia Street parking deck changing, and how might it be repositioned to meet downtown parking needs?
3. What is the inventory of curbside spaces, their posted duration, and how might these spaces be managed to improve parking downtown?
4. What is the appropriate mix of loading zone, twenty-minute, two-hour, and long-term parking durations?
5. What is the future demand for parking? Where are those “hot spots” of need and how might existing parking facilities meet those needs?
6. Regarding fee-based parking management, what are some best management practices that Fredericksburg should consider?
7. Is additional surface or structured parking required and, if so, where should a new facility/facilities be located?
Walker will be meeting with city stakeholders through formal interviews and scheduled public work sessions.
An online survey for citizen input will be posted to the city’s website in early January 2017.
Walker’s work is scheduled for completion in late February 2017. A plan of action will be drafted for the city’s review and approval.
Newly appointed Transportation Administrator Erik Nelson is the primary staff contact for this project. He can be reached at [email protected]
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