The City Council passed a resolution in November 2013 that formally launched the Downtown Parking Improvement Initiative. The reason for initiating this project was two-fold:
- The City and local business assistance providers have received feedback from business owners, tourists, and residents alike that the parking system is not working well. Many people have expressed the opinion that it is difficult to find parking in the heart of downtown, signage to direct people to parking resources is inadequate, technology is outdated, and parking garages need enhanced security.
- In order to maintain the City’s parking assets and make the improvements that people would like to see, our parking system needs to be managed in a more sustainable way.
For the past year, a team of staff from the Burlington Business Association, the Community & Economic Development Office, and the Department of Public Works have been working in collaboration with many partners to examine potential solutions to the City’s parking challenges. Other important partners include the Burlington Police Department and the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission.
In the fall of 2013, a Parking Summit and Convening brought together national experts on parking and stakeholders in Burlington to talk about best practices and solutions to parking challenges. Since then, the parking team has met with residents, business owners, arts and cultural organizations, faith groups, bike and pedestrian advocates, and various City commissions and groups to get input on parking in downtown Burlington.
There are currently three studies underway to collect data and make recommendations that will inform the City’s future parking work. A Parking Garage Assessment has already been completed. The studies include:
- Downtown Parking, DESMAN Associates
- Transportation Demand Management Action Plan, RSG
- Burlington Residential Parking Management Plan, RSG
The changes that happened on November 1st were the first of a series of changes you are likely to see as a result of the recommendations from the studies and feedback from the public and businesses.