We're hiring a parking consultant!
First, why are we doing this? To give our city leaders the tools they need to make changes, not only to stop making the parking worse but to improve it.
Our search for a firm to do our parking study went pretty much as it did 2 years ago. Firms refused to do our parking study out of concern that the City wouldn't hire them for future jobs. This happened even if the City gave their blessing for them to do our study.
The second issue was that there are actually parking planners out there who believe that if a city lowers the amount of parking provided in an area, then there will be less of a need for parking.
This is based on the theory that only people who don't need cars will move into the area. According to what property managers tell us, that is wishful thinking and doesn't reflect the reality that they see. It also doesn't consider the harm that taking away parking will do to the existing property owners and residents.
One of the referrals that our attorney Jamie Hall gave us lead to another referral for MK Planners. Speaking to Michael Kodoma (MK Planners) was like a breath of fresh air!
He believes in basing any plan on lots of data from the area. We have no idea what that data will tell him but this is exactly what we wanted. He's dealt with many different types of parking issues across the country and is creative (see qualifications). We will hire him to do a walking in-field preliminary study and to review whatever data already exists. After that, we will know more about the extent of the study and plan that we need. At that point, we may need the public's help answering some questions.