Stillwater News Press

July 27, 2013

Study looks at parking issues in Stillwater

By Nick Woodruff
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — Parking is an issue in Stillwater, but a study conducted for the city examined options to solving those parking problems.

The study was to determine short-term and long-term recommendations to improve Stillwater’s parking challenges. One area in particular was the Westwood Elementary School neighborhood, said John McClenny, Stillwater’s director of External Services.

The city contacted Carl Walker Inc., which did a comprehensive study of the parking in Stillwater. The first thing Carl Walker Inc., wanted the city to do was create a parking steering committee.

A steering committee was created and was comprised of city employees, merchants, people living in the Greek neighborhood, the Westwood area and downtown, McClenny said.

Carl Walker Inc., gave the city numerous short-term and long-term recommendations to improve parking. The first area the city decided to tackle was the Westwood area, McClenny said.

McClenny said the city has added more signage, painted more areas and tried to improve public awareness. Letting people know what is right and wrong is as important as handing out citations, he said.

“When Westwood Elementary starts school in a few weeks we are going to hand out brochures to the parents to help them understand where to park,” McClenny said. “Public awareness is a huge step we are trying to take.”

McClenny said people from the neighborhood have taken action, too, painting sidewalks and curbs to let people know where to park and where the parking zones end, he said.

When school resumes, the city is hoping for good results regarding parking in the Westwood area, McClenny said. He said the city won’t know until then, but he feels it will be improved.

The steering committee also is focusing on fraternity and sorority parking. He said there are many Greek students and simply not enough parking spots.

He said the committee is going to weigh options and look for a solution.

McClenny said the city wants to resolve the parking problems of the entire city, and that getting these areas resolved will make future improvements easier.

“When we started, we knew Westwood and the Greek area was what we wanted to tackle first,” McClenny said. “Between these two areas, there is almost every kind of parking problem. We figured if we can figure out these areas we would be able to figure out other areas easier.”