Downtown parking assessment

I forked over $17.50 to the Parking Authority for a copy of the 45-page final downtown parking assessment by Blue Bell, Pa.-based Tim Haahs and Associates, commissioned last year. I finally got to reviewing it and will present it in two posts: parking needs followed by recommendations tomorrow.

The report suggests a future parking shortage of about 343 spaces, or 508 spaces if the city accommodates all future transit users, over the next 10 years. The estimate, however, does not include building a deck on the site of the 65-space Lot B (located between Main and East Cherry streets), taking into account future or planned developments. The question remains when, or if, those future developments will come.

Parking inventory
There were 275 on-street parking spaces and 834 off-street spaces within the study area, not including private residences or businesses, for a total 1,109 parking spaces. The study area included St. Mary’s lot, YMCA, Lot F (adjacent to RSI bank), Lot H (corner of West Milton Avenue and Broad Street), Lot B, Lewis Street deck, Lewis Street lot behind River Place. The Lewis Street parking deck accounts for 63 percent of off-street inventory.
Peak hour parking demand was 1 to 3 p.m., with 699 vehicles occupying the 1,109 spaces (63 percent). On-street parking was 55 percent occupied (152 spaces) and off-street parking was 66 percent (547 spaces) occupied. There’s a surplus of about 355 spaces (245 off-street spaces, 71 on-street). During peak, two locations had occupancy of 80+ percent: YMCA lot (100%) and Lot F (82%). Eight on-street locations had 80+ percent occupancy with half at a full 100 percent occupied.
The report takes into account 455 future/planned residential units, with 252 parking spaces:
  • The Savoy, 36 units, 22 spaces
  • Station Place, 116/125
  • The Westbury, 112/0
  • Park Square, 159/205

The report also includes planned retail/office/restaurant space as follows:
– 20,700 office space at Westbury
– 19,200 retail/restaurant at Westbury
– 6,000 retail at The Savoy
– 6,320 retail at Park Square
31,520 total

Based on ratios for retail/restaurant and office space, and residential units, the report estimates an increase in demand of 114 spaces (800 space demand minus 686 planned spaces).