Friday, April 28, 2006

Need for Parking Downtown

Traverse City, MI (population 14,532) is one of my five favorite downtowns. They have done a wonderful job of creating a special “sense of place” in their dynamic downtown with a mix of retail, restaurants, arts, entertainment and housing. It is the kind of downtown that attracts people to it and is a big regional draw.

I spoke of it earlier this week, when I was doing a talk in Montpelier, VT, a wonderful town in Central Vermont. I got several questions about parking in their downtown, which they will need to look at in the future. The traffic and parking were some of the more congested that I’ve seen in a town its size.

Virtually all vibrant downtowns suffer from a lack of parking, the real Achilles Heel of the redevelopment of Main Street. Traverse City has solved their parking problems by building a couple of parking decks and is in the process of building a third one for 410 cars. The first two parking decks of 540 and 530-spaces were paid for through TIF financing.

What are you doing to solve your parking problems?

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