Today, Mayor Lloyd Winnecke instructed the City Engineer and Evansville Metropolitan Planning Organization to proceed with development of a parking management and active transportation plan for West Franklin Street.
Following a recent working group meeting of business and homeowners organized by the Area Plan Commission, Mayor Winnecke and his staff discussed plans to proceed with key stakeholders including 6th Ward Councilman Jim Brinkmeyer.
“With first-hand information and feedback, it is clear that a better balance between commercial, retail and residential interests, as well as maximizing parking spaces through a long-term plan, is needed for this thriving area of Evansville,” said Mayor Lloyd Winnecke.
Work will begin immediately with the scope of services divided into five tasks: Current State Analysis, Public Engagement, Analysis and Case Studies, Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Strategies, and Recommendations and Implementation.
Current State Analysis will involve the review of previous documents related to parking and mobility along the West Franklin Street study area. A team, facilitated by Alta Planning and Design Inc., will evaluate previous discussions and information to determine the viability of options already identified. The team will also review zoning codes, the Evansville Bicycle and Pedestrian Connectivity Master Plan and the Parks Master Plan to assess plans for future activities in the study area. The next steps involve evaluating existing parking inventory, reviewing existing historic parking issues, determining existing demand and compiling the collected data into a report that will be used to guide recommendations.
Public Engagement will involve interviews with key stakeholders to understand specific needs. Stakeholders may include business owners, park users, residents, developers, visitors and organizations. During the process the study team will hold a kick-off meeting to get a better understanding of the study area, conduct interviews and perform surveys. The next meeting will be to present findings of existing parking conditions and gather additional feedback, followed by a third and final meeting to present recommendations.
Analysis and Case Studies will involve identifying “peer cities” based on the West Franklin Street area population, demographics, land use patterns, parking systems and overall character. The study team will review parking rates, financial operations and other key policies of the “peer cities” and review parking ordinances and policies from two other Midwest cities to offer ideas for bike parking policies in Evansville. All of the data and information gathered will be used to develop a high-level parking plan for the West Franklin Street study area.
Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Strategies will involve developing a menu of strategies to support the long-term economic vitality of the West Franklin Street district. Strategies may include rebalancing parking allocations between customers, visitors, employees and residents; parking requirements and zoning changes; bike share expansion and bikeway improvements; event and overflow parking; intersection design; and pedestrian enhancements and financial policies to encourage the use of alternative modes of travel.
Recommendations and Implementation will involve composing a series of short-term, mid-term and long-term parking options that will supplement and enhance the city’s existing Bicycle and Pedestrian Connectivity Master Plan. An implementation matrix will identify approximate costs, duration for each recommended item and will serve as a guide for the city to manage parking demand generated by different user groups.
The process is expected to last two-to-three months and all of the information will be compiled into a final report that will serve as a comprehensive parking management plan for West Franklin Street.
The City of Evansville will expand its current contract with Alta that focused on implementation of recommendations from the bike and pedestrian master plan. The cost of the additional work will be funded through Surface Transportation Planning Block Grant funds administered through the Evansville Metropolitan Planning Organization.
“Relaxed parking restrictions is not the only solution to the parking debate on West Franklin Street,” said Mayor Winnecke. “We need a comprehensive analysis to determine exactly where we are today and what improvements are needed to preserve Franklin Street as one of the key corridors of our city.”