Thursday, July 18, the Salida Business Alliance (SBA) held their regular meeting, featuring a discussion about future downtown parking options. It was presented by Community Development Director Glen Van Nimwegen and Walker Consultants Mallory Baker, Christina Jones and Salida native Jodie Snyder.
Van Nimwegen stated Walker Consultants was chosen by the city in June, out of six companies that bid during the analysis process for determining future possibilities to enhance downtown parking. Walker was one bidder which had experience in mountain communities with similarities to Salida.
Mallory Baker, project manager from Walker Consultants, introduced herself to business owners in the meeting. She explained how she would be working closely with the community, as she and her team hold focus groups, open houses and other community outreach avenues. This will include a community survey. Future media releases will inform the community of when these gatherings will take place.
“We are trying to go as hard as possible, generating as much outreach as we can and trying to reach the people who say they may not want to come downtown for an open house. Which is why we will have an online survey and many opportunities [to participate],” Baker said.
Kickoff for the project starts immediately, with a review of materials gathered already by the city and meetings with business owners. Among comments from the SBA members were a desire for drop-off zones, curb paint consistency, better signage and improved traffic flow.
The next phase (planned for August) will begin by taking measurements of the parking habits already occurring. “We will be getting a sense of who needs long-term parking and what the demand for long-term parking downtown is…Or in long-term parking lots where [visitors] can stay longer,” said Baker. “This data will effectively capture the typical parking behaviors and length of stay.”
The timeline proposed by Walker Consultants shows the final presentations and completion of the study wrapping up in October.