Wednesday, November 20, 2013

DOWNTOWN PARKING ANALYSIS (November 4, 2013) & Downtown Parking Analysis and Parking Recommendations – Draft, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, WALKER PARKING CONSULTANTS (October 28, 2013)

ABSTRACT: The DOWNTOWN PARKING ANALYSIS (November 4, 2013) & Downtown Parking Analysis and Parking Recommendations – Draft, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, WALKER PARKING CONSULTANTS (October 28, 2013) document is embedded; the Executive Summary of the WALKER PARKING CONSULTANTS Draft Downtown Parking Analysis and Parking Recommendations is reproduced.
Recommendations of the DOWNTOWN PARKING ANALYSIS, November 4, 2013:
·         Implement paid parking for the most impacted on-street parking spaces;
·         Consider increasing or eliminating the time limit in exchange for paid hourly pricing;
·         Use multispace meters and/or pay-by-cell technology to minimize the aesthetic impact on the sidewalk.
·         Decrease the price or eliminate paid parking in the Sunset Lot;
·         Improve signage directing the public to use the Sunset and Vista Lobos parking lots, which are underutilized;
·         Lease additional available off-street parking spaces from private entities for use by the public;
·         Increase the level and/or efficiency of enforcement by updating parking enforcement technology.
·         Tier citation pricing, with higher prices per citation for habitual offenders.
·         Consider an “ambassador” style enforcement policies that emphasize compliance and customer service over citation issuance.
·         Encourage the use of alternative transportation modes by employees. Incentives could include bicycle parking in existing off-street parking facilities, subsidized transit passes, or potentially a shuttle to serve employees who work in the area. These policies do not need to serve all employees to be effective.
Downtown Parking Analysis and Parking Recommendations - Draft, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, WALKER PARKING CONSULTANTS, October 28, 2013
·         On-street parking in Carmel-by-the-Sea‘s commercial district experiences a consistently high demand for on-street parking;

·         A significant number of parking spaces for visitors are being used by long-term parkers;
·         There is a need to redistribute some parked vehicles from high demand to lower demand locations;
·         The lack of available on-street parking is a greater detriment to the district than a modest fee for parking;
·          Given the mix of businesses, a two-hour time limit is arguably arbitrary and visitors would benefit from the ability to spend more time in the district;
·         A longer time limit by itself could result in more long-term parkers utilizing short-term spaces; and
·         Cities comparable in nature to Carmel have turned to paid parking in order to manage parking demand in their commercial districts.
 Based on these conclusions we believe that paid parking would greatly improve parking and (traffic) circulation in the district
Implement paid parking in spaces along the busiest commercial blocks in order to make spaces available for shorter-term (customers) rather than longer-term (business owner and employee) parkers while providing flexibility for the length of stay and eliminating the arbitrary time limit for those customers that wish to stay longer.

OCTOBER 28, 2013


Walker Parking Consultants (Walker) conducted a quantitative analysis of parking demand and supply in the downtown district of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Among our quantitative findings were the following:

·         Peak parking demand was observed on a weekend (Saturday) afternoon during which time the occupancy rate for the combined on- and off-street parking system was 87%.

·         The on-street parking occupancy during the (Saturday afternoon) peak was 90% but approximately two-thirds of the blocks in the area studied exceeded 90% occupancy during the peak, effectively resulting in a lack of available on-street parking along most streets in the commercial core. Peak occupancy conditions during the weekday count were essentially the same for on-street parking though lower for off-street parking.

·         The on-street parking supply of two-hour and unrestricted parking spaces was found to have a deficit of 70± spaces during the peak.

·         During the lunch time peak, 39 of 92 parking spaces surveyed hourly along Ocean Avenue and Dolores Street were occupied by cars staying 3+ hours, this despite time limits ranging from 30 minutes to two hours. 24 of these spaces were occupied by cars staying 4+ hours; we conclude from this data that, despite a diligent enforcement effort, long-term parkers are occupying a significant number of spaces designated for visitors and customers.

·         Even during the periods of the highest parking occupancy rates, parking spaces were found to be available in City-owned off-street parking facilities and on-street parking spaces not in the immediate center of the commercial district.

·         Carmel-by-the-Sea‘s parking challenges are more an issue of an imbalance of parking demand rather than a shortage of spaces; available spaces exist but proper policies are needed to redistribute parking demand and increase the availability of parking spaces in the busiest locations.

The overall, peak occupancy rate of the parking system in Downtown Carmel is among the highest we have observed among the dozens of parking demand studies that Walker has performed in commercial districts throughout California. Recent improvements in parking enforcement technology would provide the City with a greater ability to enforce existing parking restrictions, however paid parking, even if implemented only in those spaces experiencing the highest demand, would result in better management of the parking system overall (and could lower ―ticket anxiety‖ for Carmel-by-the-Sea visitors). All of the comparable California coastal cities Walker surveyed for this assignment have implemented paid parking to better manage their parking systems.

While the aesthetic requirements of the City may make the implementation of paid parking more challenging than in other cities, new technologies could help mitigate the impact of paid parking on the streetscape.

The current parking occupancy conditions suggest that during busy periods, visitors are likely to have difficulty in finding an available parking space when visiting Carmel-by-the-Sea, resulting in a significant amount of traffic generated by visitors not driving to their destination but instead searching for an on-street parking space. Based on our studies and experience, implementation of paid parking would reduce visitor frustration and traffic congestion in the downtown area as well as improve customers‘ access to businesses overall.

Even if the City decides to build an additional off-street parking facility, the recommendations for improved management of on-street spaces contained in this report would likely be necessary to ensure that the parkers used the new facility and that an improvement in on-street parking availability would occur.

The issue of parking availability for visitors is one of customer service. The lack of available parking spaces on most commercial blocks during busy periods diminishes the experience of visitors to Carmel. In addition to customer service, each public parking space and the public parking system as a whole represent a valuable City and community asset with real value. The City should seek to maximize the efficiency of its asset which would also improve customer service for people driving to Carmel. The recommendations contained within this report seek to achieve these two goals. We find the goals and recommendations contained in this report to be consistent with the City‘s Circulation Element.

Downtown Parking Analysis and Parking Recommendations WALKER PARKING CONSULTANTS 11-04-13
DOWNTOWN PARKING ANALYSIS (November 4, 2013) & Downtown Parking Analysis and Parking Recommendations – Draft, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, WALKER PARKING CONSULTANTS (October 28, 2013)

No comments: