The biggest takeaway from the Downtown Study Steering Committee’s first meeting was parking in the Village is more a problem of perception than of space.
Peter Lemmon, senior transportation engineer with TADI, shared results of a parking count with the committee during its Tuesday morning, Oct. 22, meeting.
“I did the counts block by block, saw how many cars were there and what the turnover was,” he said. “I noticed that some side streets were very under utilized. Once you got off Main Street, the streets weren’t heavily utilized, and there may be different reasons for that.”
According to Lemmon’s data, the peak time during a weekday was at noon when 63-percent of the 807 total parking spaces in downtown were full. Nearly 80-percent of the 402 public spaces are used during that time while only 47 percent of the private spaces were.
“Typically when you get above 85 percent is when you have a problem,” he said. “With how high the public parking is, there may be some inconvenience there at times, but overall, it’s not too bad. The Friendly lot was right around 85 percent capacity, and the lot north of that was right around 100 percent.”
Lemmon said the peak time for Saturday was at 10 a.m. while the farmers’ market was open. More than 60-percent of the public spaces were taken at that time, but only 39 percent of private parking was full.
“Most of the parking was focused on the southern end of Main Street and the lot north of the Friendly,” he said. “It definitely drops off after lunch. If you look at the evening, the 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. hour was very busy. The public lots were about three-quarter full, but once again, the blocks off Main Street were very underutilized. This shows if people are willing to walk a block or two.”