On July 1 the Warsaw Common Council will hear proposed resolutions to downtown parking problems that have plagued the city for years. Today, the Warsaw Traffic Safety Commission approved a proposal that would establish fewer 2-hour parking spaces and establish designated parking spaces for downtown residents. (See larger map)
“After many months of deliberations, data gathering, (meetings of) on street, off street and finance and policy committees … we sat down and got a proposal I’d like the traffic commission to take a look at today,” said Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer in introducing the plan.
Currently, most of the downtown area is all 2-hour limited parking, which accounts for 439 spaces. In the proposal, the number of 2-hour spaces would be reduced to 337 spaces and additional spaces would be opened up for a total of 184 spaces that would be defined as “unlimited” parking from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Thallemer noted, “By unlimited we’re not talking about weeks at a time, we’re talking about during the daytime hours. After hours will not change.”
On the diagram, areas marked in purple would be converted to free unlimited parking. Those areas in blue would be newly created spaces that would include approximately 9 spaces in the 2-hour zone and about 29 spaces in the free unlimited zone.
Further, the commission is looking to add 16 spaces for downtown residential use. Currently, there are no designated spaces for those who reside downtown.
Traffic commission member and common councilman Mike Klondaris said he served on the off street committee where it was recommended that the city look at 3-hour parking in the city owned lots. Thallemer and city planner Jeremy Skinner said, after some research, it was determined 3-hour parking limits are, “from a policy standpoint,” not enforceable with current personnel.
The city is trying to address parking concerns because downtown merchants have, for years, said employees utilize too many parking spaces making it too difficult for patrons to shop or otherwise do business downtown.
“I’m sure there may need to be some tweaks to this,” Thallemer said of the proposed plan. “… I say we send it to the city council and try it for a year.”
The traffic commission voted unanimously to have the city review the plan. A public hearing on the parking proposal will be held during the common council’s first meeting next month, which will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, July 1, in the city hall.