Final Day for Public Comment on Downtown Parking

If you couldn’t make it to the meeting on downtown parking, you can submit comments by mail to Public Works Director Susie Johnson, City of Bloomington, P.O. Box 100, Bloomington, IN 47401 or by e-mail to  Today is the last day for comments! Note that parking defined at the meeting extends to non-automobile parking including bicycles!
A recap of the meeting from the Herald-Times:

Downtown parking forum brings out dozens of speakers
Public input still being taken as part of city-commissioned study

By Bethany Nolan
331-4373 |
January 26, 2007

Dozens of people spoke Thursday night at a public forum about parking in downtown Bloomington.

The forum was conducted by Walker Parking Consultants as part of a $55,000 study commissioned by city officials. The study is expected to be completed in February.

Jeff Colvin, a consultant with Walker, said Thursday his firm will complete five tasks with the study: Offer a needs assessment, do a parking policy and system review, offer an analysis of alternatives, give preliminary financial figures and host Thursday’s public forum.

“We’re very early in the process, in the information-gathering phase,” he said. “Public input is vital.”

During the forum, residents called for a park-and-ride system to make it easier to get downtown without a car, and for additional bicycle parking.

Others asked that free spots around the square be evaluated and perhaps turned into metered spaces.

Buff Brown, of Bloomington Transportation Options for People, offered the results of a study the local group did that showed three of the city’s downtown parking garages are underutilized and usually only half-full.

The city is subsidizing parking in those garages to the tune of nearly a half-million dollars annually, he said.

City council member Steve Volan said he’d gotten similar numbers from city officials, saying, “No matter how you slice it, you’ll find we’re subsidizing (parking).”

Others gave personal examples of downtown parking problems.Cass Owens, associate director at the Monroe County Public Library, said about 3,000 people a day visit the downtown facility.

She referred to parking as the “p-word,” and said a lack of spaces was the No. 1 customer complaint. People often come with small children and heavy bags of books, prompting a need for parking close to the facility, she said.

Uptown Cafe owner Michael Cassady said, “Parking’s been a big issue. It’s a constant.”

Colvin said comments received at the forum and those received at the city’s Public Works Department prior to Feb. 5 will be taken into consideration as part of the study.

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