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Downtown parking study almost complete

David Bunker, Sierra Sun

The Town of Truckee is almost finished with a downtown parking study that examines paid and time-restricted parking as management options to alleviate the parking crunch that downtown businesses experience.

Town Engineer Dan Wilkins presented the Truckee Planning Commission with updates on the study, and Commissioner Paul Leyton decided to join the committee that is guiding the study.

“When you put it all together, management of downtown parking is not as efficient as it should be,” Wilkins said. “The meat of this study is really about looking at management.”

The study that began about six months ago will also project future demand and see if improved management of parking spaces alone will solve the problem. The study may uncover the need to create additional parking in the area.

Downtown business owners make the case that overcrowded parking during peak times results in the loss of revenue from local consumers. But Wilkins said that the town must look at the cost versus the benefit of building new parking.

“Do you design the church parking lot for Easter Sunday,” said Wilkins, suggesting that designing parking for a few peak weekends during the year may be inefficient.

What hopefully will come out of this study is the “more efficient utilization of the space,” Wilkins said.

An improved management plan, tying together parking managers – which may include people from the town, the Downtown Merchants Association, and local businesses – could benefit from revenue generated by paid parking.

The committee is also looking at in-lieu parking fees charged for new development. If all of these efforts do not alleviate the downtown parking problem, the town will then look at sites for new parking spaces.

“We would have to look at opportunities separate from this study,” Wilkins said.

The parking study should be completed and presented to the town council within the next couple months.


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