Downtown parking study to be focus of work session

MARQUETTE – The Marquette Downtown Development Authority will share the results of a recent parking study with the city commission at a Friday morning work session.

The work session is set for 8 a.m. in commission chambers at city hall.

The DDA hired the New York-based firm Nelson/Nygaard Parking Consultants to evaluate the city’s downtown parking resources. Representatives of the firm made two visits to Marquette last year.

“I think it went well. We have about 130-page report, so it’s very … intensive,” DDA Executive Director Mona Lang said. “The consultants have covered a pretty wide range of issues.”

Representatives from the company will be on-hand to discuss the report.

Lang said the firm determined the supply of parking in the city’s downtown district – which covers Washington Street from Lakeshore Boulevard to Seventh Street, Third Street from Baraga Avenue to Fair Avenue and Front Street from Baraga to Ridge Street – to be adequate for its needs.

However, she said there was a focus on future growth and on better use of public parking. That may include strategies for a wider coverage area for parking fees, and Lang said the firm suggested tips on “financial management issues.”

Lang said previously that the DDA’s parking fund has run a deficit, ranging from $12,000 to $102,000 annually, for as long as she can recall.

The goal for the DDA is to craft a fiscally sustainable parking plan for the future, but Lang said the group will likely need assistance from the city commission.

“Some of it will be policy decisions, some of it will be administrative processes,” she said. “It’s not going to be an overnight change. This will be a long-term strategy, and that’s what we were looking for.”

Kyle Whitney can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250.