Consulting / Studies
Downtown Parking Analysis
The primary purpose of the parking analysis was to evaluate the current downtown parking system and make recommendations, based on current best practices and technologies, to better allocate, manage and operate parking in downtown Steamboat Springs. Parking was free throughout the City of Steamboat Springs and City officials and City Council were interested in receiving an analysis of parking options that would primarily ensure the most convenient and desirable on-street spaces are available to downtown customers and visitors. The city’s involvement in parking management is currently limited to maintenance of publicly-owned parking lots, street maintenance, and snow removal by the Public Works Department and parking enforcement of time-limited spaces by the Police Department.
The first phase of the study documented existing parking conditions, including parking supply, utilization and the turnover of spaces within the study area. Current parking policies and practices were also reviewed and evaluated in the initial phase of the study. There were as well several hundred responses to a parking opinion survey that was posted on the city’s website. The second phase of the study consisted of developing a strategic parking plan for the city, including an overview of current best parking practices, reviews of parking operations and technologies in five peer resort towns and cities, measures to better use existing parking resources, recommendations for new and revised parking policies, technologies, operations and procedures; and provides revenue and expense projections anticipated to result from the recommended parking program changes.
Although there was a need for a modest amount of additional parking on a very busy Saturday in the summer, there was generally sufficient parking in downtown Steamboat Springs. The turnover survey suggested that approximately 10% of the most convenient on-street parking spaces were being occupied by downtown employees and technologies were evaluated and recommended to discourage the long-term use of short-term spaces. Implementing paid parking and/or increasing enforcement efforts will require additional personnel and possibly the hiring of a parking manager in newly created and a vertically integrated parking division within the Public Works Department.