City looking for public input on improving parking in downtown

City looking for public input on improving parking in downtown

The City of Spokane wants to know how you think downtown parking should be improved.

Spokane will be conducting a survey as part of a larger study on parking Downtown and in the University District.

Parking is an issue nearly everyone who lives in Spokane faces on a regular basis. Whether you’re going to work, going shopping, or eating at your favorite restaurant, thousands of people park in downtown every day. The City wants to better understand the needs of those downtown visitors.

“We’d like to know who those parkers are. Are they employees/employers? Are they students coming into our community? Are they visitors?” said Heather Trautman, Director of Neighborhood Services & Code Enforcement.

The City will be asking people in Spokane to participate in a survey at the end of the month to get that information.

“We only have about 3600 on-street parking spaces, so when we’re looking at how to manage that curb space the best way possible, what would be recommendations that our community would share with us to be successful, vibrant,” Trautman said.

And with an issue affecting so many people, a lot of them already have opinions about how parking could be improved.

“A great start would be using some garages that seem to be underutilized, like the Parkade, and making them incredibly affordable,” said Mike Burns, who parks downtown for work. “Then there’s an incentive for people to park there, right?”

“It’s 2018, they should start updating from meters, just coin operated, to actually being more efficient, more electronic,” said Jake Helle, who works at Red Robin and also parks downtown for his job.

The City says improving our parking technology is a big component of this study.

“The parking study will be looking at elements like driverless vehicles. That’s a reality that a lot of communities are looking at,” Trautman said.

And it’s not just downtown. The city is also looking to improve one of the fastest growing areas of Spokane, the University District.

“The question is how do we look at provide parking that, again, is going to support the development that is occurring and that university feel and population that is already there,” Trautman said.

The City says it’s currently working on a new webpage for the parking study. That webpage will be where you can find a link to the survey.