Truckee moves forward with downtown parking study
Truckee is working to make parking a smoother experience for those who visit downtown.
In June, the town contracted Dixon Resources Unlimited to analyze downtown parking and how it could be improved.
“The objective of the project is to try to make parking easy, accessible and convenient,” said Julie Dixon, principal consultant for the firm, at Tuesday night’s council meeting. “Parking is the first and last experience that most of our visitors and residents will have for their impression of Truckee.”
The company will be developing a parking road map with an action plan to improve the town’s parking plan. So far they’ve held meetings with the police department, Truckee Chamber of Commerce and town staff. In August, the firm surveyed employees from over 37 businesses. The results showed that 67% of employees drove to work, but only 37% have an employee parking permit.
“That’s a really low number,” said Dixon, who heard from employees that they felt there was not enough parking for customers. “That’s a bit of an imbalance where we have to identify where they’re parking.”
PRIVATE PARKING ‘UNDERUTILIZED’
According to initial studies, the downtown parking areas experienced peak occupancy during lunch and dinner hours with most cars parking in the public lots.
Dixon said that a lot of privately owned parking locations are underutilized.
She suggested having shared parking agreements with owners of private parking lots such as the Post Office or Parks and Recreation to maximize parking that’s already there.
“This is something that’s been very effective for communities across the country,” she said.
Dixon suggested the town could make it easier to find parking by naming the downtown parking lots or using technology that tells drivers where they can find a parking space.
“There is so much technology out there. You’ve made very strategic investments in your on- and off-street parking assets that allow for you to introduce some of those innovations,” Dixon said to the Truckee Town Council.
“Being able to invest incrementally is very important because parking technology is moving at a pace like our mobile phones,” she said.
Allowing customers to purchase parking permits online would also make their downtown parking experience more convenient, Dixon said.
“Those services that we can make customer friendly and accessible are important,” she said.
At the beginning of October the town launched an online survey to gather more information about the downtown parking experience. Dixon Resources will continue to collect data and will come back to the council with a final action plan.
Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or firstname.lastname@example.org.