Study Says Add More Parking

Brent Finnegan -- January 27th, 2010

The engineering firm hired to study parking in downtown Harrisonburg recommended that the city add more spaces. TV3 reports the firm’s recommendations include “adding as many as 500 parking spaces in downtown, increasing the overtime parking fee to $20 and getting tough on repeat parking offenders.”

A report says on average, as much as 75 percent of public parking is occupied at any given time [or during peak hours, rather. See Drew’s comment below]. Engineers discussed ways to add spots to existing lots or on the streets and possibly adding a level to the Wolfe Street parking garage.

Tags: , ,

25 Responses to “Study Says Add More Parking”

  1. Dan says:

    Will we be able to read the report or are we stuck with the one sentence summary? Until we have more details, I’ll remain skeptical of this report. Downtown H’burg lacks many things but one of them is not easy-to-find parking. That’s just the impression I get from working downtown. Did the study take private lots into consideration? There are several dull surface lots that are never full and only make downtown less walkable.

  2. Dave Briggman says:

    They needed a study?

  3. Jon says:

    The 75 percent “on average” figure is probably daytime working hours (8-5). I have noticed an abundance of parking spots when I go downtown in the evening or on weekends. I don’t think we need 500 more parking spaces, unless a new, large employer were to move downtown. If 75 percent are full, that still leaves 25 which I think is acceptable.

  4. Drew says:

    I watched the presentation last night and have to make a significant correction to the reporting above. The figures they used were the PEAK hour of parking – 10 to 11 am – for all of their projections. They showed a graph of parking utilization and it was clear that the greatest utilization was from 10 to noon, with a significant drop-off after that. I present data for a living and thought this was a bit misleading, at best.

  5. Renee says:

    I have to say I cringed when I read “on average, as much as” – is it an average? a maximum? a maximum average? need more info to know how to feel about this.

  6. Jamie Smith says:

    Watching the presentation on tv last night made me wonder where the city got this company. Not a very impressive twosome!
    Father and son I gathered.

  7. Thanks for that correction, Drew. I made an adjustment to the post above.

  8. MF says:

    There is plenty of parking downtown! We don’t need anymore barren parking lots. I swear if they tear down one more commercially viable building downtown to put up another parking lot I am gonna go crazy.

  9. I would have to agree…I don’t see the need for more parking downtown. Sure, you may have to walk a few blocks on a busy night, but honestly…what’s a few blocks?

  10. Renee says:

    Drew, I must not have refreshed the tab before replying – thanks for the extra info.

    Also, why isn’t a survey of people that frequent downtown part of this kind of study?

  11. David Miller says:

    Just to everyone convinced that parking isn’t a problem, wait till you see the study (which you could have seen via powerpoint if you had attended Council). The numbers speak for themselves, lets defer discussion until we have the pdf, that way we get somewhere

  12. David Miller says:

    Oh yeah and “They” who tore down the building to put up a parking lot (nice diddy ehhh), was a private individual, not the city.

  13. Emmy says:

    Parking isn’t a problem downtown if there is nothing happening in the courthouse. If there is, then good luck.

  14. Jamie Smith says:

    David Miller, if you were impressed by that powerpoint and the two goobers who gave it, I have a parking deck in Elkton I’d like to sell you. Kai had to ask the same question three times to get an answer at one point. That was a presentation that had been given many times. Only the pictures and names were changed to fool the innocent!

  15. David Miller says:

    Jamie, I appreciate your assumption that I was impressed by anything. Try again, you’re funny.

    Point being, numbers are handy, especially when compared to simply deciding that “A study was not need.” and my favorite “Downtown H’burg lacks many things but one of them is not easy-to-find parking.”

    I disagree with both findings and I do so using data not opinion. We’ll see how well this study adds to our understanding of the downtown parking issues, but only after it is complete.

  16. David Miller says:

    btw, my favorite number is the 97% occupancy of the Water Street Garage, that is when Court is out of session.

  17. Jamie Smith says:

    Might the Water Street situation have something to do with our “City Fathers” giving Rosetta Stone 175 spaces?

  18. I’ve gone to downtown H-Burg on many, many occasions for many different reasons…I can’t say I’ve ever had a problem finding parking within a reasonable distance from my destination (if not right in front of it).

  19. Flanna says:

    Who commissioned a study? How much was the “expert” paid? Who chose this “expert”? Even if downtown may need additional parking spaces, will increasing parking costs and fines encourage people to come to Harrisonburg’s historic center? Nope: it will only drive people up the road to Walmart. Great job, Harrisonburg!

  20. MB Green says:

    OR people could get off their lazy fat butts AND WALK or *gasp* ride a bike. You can fit probably a dozen bikes into the space of ONE car parking spot.

  21. Agreed, MB. I work downtown, and live within walking distance. I walk when I can. Often I have midday meetings across town I have to drive to, so I drive in the mornings.

    The only excuses I have for driving on days when I don’t have meetings across town are weather-related.

  22. I think the issue here is more of a reference here to people who commute to the Burg for work or play, MB Green…not so much the people who already live in downtown.

    Still, as someone who lives outside the Burg and comes into town quite often for various reasons (except work), I don’t see where more public parking is needed. I could be wrong, but I just haven’t seen it myself.

  23. Shawn says:

    We need more 10-hour parking downtown! I live in Elkton & have to drive everyday. With all of the new restaurants opening it is making my 9-5 mon-fri a parking nightmare! WAY too many 2-hour spots, and the parking lady is one of the rudest humans that I have EVER met in my LIFE! The parking garage is a joke, it is never watched… people have things stolen from their vehicles all the time.. windows busted out, key scratches..etc. I only park in the garage when and spots behind my work are taken (which seems to be all the time now). Since the opening of Pennybacker’s & Cuchi Guidos our lot has been hell. I could not even imagine how it would be if all of the empty shops downtown were filled with businesses. I have gotten multiple parking tickets in the last 2 years, about 30% of them were my fault for forgetting to move my car. But I can HONESTLY say that 70% of them I have disputed because I moved my car within the 2-hour time frame. I just think the parking nazi has it out for the company I work for. On average our company receives 3-4 tickets a week. Absolute insanity! H-burg wants downtown to boom but wants to charge its working employees with parking fines. What am I suppose to say to customers.. “Hold on 5-15 mins, I have to move my car and drive around and find a free spot… then I can help you”. Bogus!

  24. MB Green says:

    I’m also very curious about where they propose to put the additional 500 parking spaces. Rebuild the parking decks?

  25. Lowell Fulk says:

    Click here to vote your opinion on the need to add parking capacity in Downtown Harrisonburg.

Reader Tweets

Latest Flickr photos in the hburgnews Flickr pool
Announcements & Press Releases
  • Friendly City Grand Opening Set for July 9

    Friendly City Food Co-Op, Harrisonburg’s consumer-owned grocery, invites the community to come see its new destination for natural, organic and locally-produced products at the store’s grand opening 11 a.m.-5 p.m. July 9 at 150 East Wolfe Street.

  • Friendly City Becomes Member of National Cooperative Grocers Association

    HARRISONBURG, VA — Friendly City Food Co-op, slated to open this month in Harrisonburg, Va., has become the newest member of the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA), a business services cooperative serving 120 consumer-owned food co-ops nationwide.

  • Harrisonburg Recognized as a Bike Friendly Community

    May 2: Harrisonburg was honored when the League of American Bicyclists announced the latest round of Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) designations over the weekend to kick off May as National Bike Month.