EC City Council Accepts Results of Downtown Parking Survey
The Eau Claire City Council voted unanimously on March 10 to accept the results of the parking study carried out by Andy Miller of consulting firm Carl Walker, Inc. While the resolution has not bound the city to carry out all of the study’s proposed changes, city engineer Dave Soldberg said that the city will now begin prioritizing the recommendations from the study and decide which ones are feasible to pursue. The study found that four key areas demand reform: parking enforcement, parking policy, customer service and parking structures. A large number of incremental changes have been suggested, such as the addition of short-term parking spaces to certain streets, a graduated fee structure to forgive first time offenders, a more user-friendly website and explanation of policies and dedicating personnel to parking enforcement. The suggestions getting the most attention are those centered on the construction of a new three-level parking ramp, extensive repairs of existing ramps and an overhaul of the Municipal Ramp. The report also suggests many ways to encourage mass transit and biking as ways to address parking problems, such as a downtown shuttle, increasing bus frequency to downtown and adding more bike racks.