Stillwater News Press

March 17, 2013

City to review parking plan analysis

By Chris Day
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — City staff recommends Stillwater councilors accept the final draft of Carl Walker Inc.’s parking analysis and keep the 17-member steering committee in place to implement some of the analysis’ findings.

Carl Walker Inc. representatives will present the parking plan analysis to councilors at their 5:30 p.m. Monday meeting at the Stillwater Municipal Building, 723 S. Lewis.

Stillwater City Manager Dan Galloway noted city staff can put many of the study’s recommendations into action.

Councilors will need to act on some components because they involve policy changes or additional money.

Projects requiring additional funding will be included in the yearly budget process, according to Galloway’s report included in the City Council agenda packet.

Public hearings will be scheduled, as needed, to review components of the study before they are carried out, Galloway wrote in his report to the City Council.

The 136-page parking analysis looks at downtown Stillwater, Campus Corner, Washington Street, the Greek neighborhood and Westwood Overlay District.

It examines the amount of parking in those areas and how it is used.

Downtown has a parking surplus of 847 spaces. The surplus is expected to fall to 477 spaces by 2020. Campus Corner and Washington Street have 514 surplus parking spaces, which is predicted to fall to 236 spaces in 2020. Parking in the Greek neighborhood and Westwood Overlay District is fully used. Off-street parking in the area belongs to Oklahoma State University. It is fully utilized, according to the report. OSU student parking overflows into Westwood district.

“Overall, the residential parking facilities in the area were all used and should be considered full,” according to the parking study.

The parking analysis makes 13 recommendations to implement in the next year or two. It makes 15 suggestions to put into action after two years.

The short-term fixes include:

• making one city department responsible for parking management and enforcement.

• improving neighborhood parking by enforcing or adjusting existing ordinances and involving residents in developing a parking permit process.

• using signs to direct motorists to parking and improving marketing of the public parking system.

• encouraging residents to ride buses, bicycles or walk downtown.

• raising parking fines.

Long-term suggestions include:

• adding surface parking lots.

• creating a public trust or authority to manage parking and enforce parking.

• implementing pay parking to pay for construction of surface parking lots and parking structures.