Ketchum is making progress on a plan to improve parking conditions in the city center and to streamline parking enforcement and management.
A hired consultant updated the City Council on Monday on efforts to gather data and public feedback on parking in and around downtown to determine what actions the city should take in implementing a new “Parking Action Plan.”
Julie Dixon, of California-based Dixon Resources Unlimited, told city leaders that she has reviewed the city’s parking enforcement systems and technology, and has completed a survey of Ketchum business owners, employees, residents and visitors. In addition, she said, she and her staff—with city employees—are compiling data on what the city’s parking needs are, based largely on an analysis of where people park and for how long.
In the public survey conducted in February, both business owners and employees were essentially split on whether there is enough parking for customers on a typical day. Meanwhile, the majority of both residents and visitors indicated that they visit downtown either every day or multiple times per week.
When asked what they think the city should do to improve parking conditions, about 20% of residents said the city should build a parking garage, about 17% said it should promote alternative modes of transportation, and about 13% said the city should require new developments to build parking. About 12% said the city should do nothing, while other options garnered less support.
One short-term action the city can take is to change the time allowances for parking in various areas in the city center, Dixon said. City Administrator Jade Riley said the city could change some areas of two-hour parking spaces—which are the predominant type—to a mix of 30-minute, one-hour and two-hour spaces. By shortening the duration for some spaces, circulation of vehicles would increase, while people could still have parking options to do various errands while in town, the officials said.
Riley said the city might test the varied time allowances in the area around Giacobbi Square and Atkinsons’ Market later this year, before early July.
Councilwoman Amanda Breen asked if the city has a parking problem around its two public parking lots on Washington Avenue and Leadville Avenue, which are generally far from capacity.
Council President Michael David said he believes part of the issue with the public lots is poor connectivity of downtown sidewalks, some of which have gaps and end abruptly.
“Walkability is an important factor,” Dixon said.
Dixon said the target for the city should be 75% to 80% occupancy of parking spaces, a “sweet spot” that provides one or two open spaces per block face. One issue, she said, will be addressing the needs of people—particularly workers—who need to park in or near downtown for entire days.
David noted that parking shortages in the city center tend to occur only during specific periods, such as some holidays, when town is very crowded.
“Outside of the very busy times, it would be very courageous to say we have a parking problem,” he said.
Dixon said the city could employ high-season and low-season parking policies, though the low seasons in Western mountain resorts have diminished some in recent years.
Dixon has also recommended that the city employ a new, higher-tech system for issuing citations and collecting payments that would save the city time and money. The city has also moved toward having community-service officers use modern license-plate-recognition technology to monitor parked cars in town.
Strategies for the long term could include adding additional off-street parking, developing a permit parking system for workers, improving public transit and park-and-ride facilities, and promoting alternative modes of transportation.
Dixon said she plans to develop a draft parking plan for the city by July and to present the plan to the City Council in August.
Mayor Neil Bradshaw said the city’s plan will be driven by data, not broad impressions.
“Developing the data,” he said, “will be the first step.” ￼
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Gotta agree I don't see the parking issue except maybe around Atkinson's during peak season/hours.
Seems like making that area be 30-60 minutes is a good idea if actually enforced.
A traditional parking garage is $31,500-41,000/spot. Terrible use of money when the lots are never full.
And yes, I've worked downtown for business with various hours.
I've lived in Ketchum for decades. I shop at both grocery stores, Thunderpaws, Nourish Me, & use as many of the local stores as possible. I can always find close by parking unless it's the Christmas holiday.
I can't imagine using a multi million underground parking garage. i didn't move to ketchum to live like that. Can you imagine how cold & dirty a underground garage would be. All the ice & snow, sslt falling off vechiles, people peeing at night. Gross.
The problem with growth is that it changes places usually for the worse. Certainly the city is trying to reduce vechiles & encourage walking. Getting angry at one another doesn't help.
I wonder how many rented vechiles we could reduce if public transportation had excellent service to the airport. Many steps in the right direction can help. Let's all try to be positive & get along. Tom Pomeroy Ketchum
So, finally parking has become an issue. After the Limelight has been built and Bluebird defined. Probably also the Marriott and the many construction projects underway today. Why wasn't parking a key issue to be resolved before building permits were issued?
The reason the parking lot isn't used is because the city charges for parking there.
I'm not sure of the inclusiveness of the survey, but it sure doesn't sound to be definititive. Ketchum is the cornerstone for the area so many who need parking do not live in the city.
Been coming here since 1994 and am now a full time resident. In all these years I've had to to walk more than a block probably twice, and that was only to a performance somewhere. THIS IS A NON-ISSUE PEOPLE!!!!
you only go to the bars at night. you don't do the grocery shopping.
Neither do you. I'm sure you have some assistant do it -- or whatever a rich private equity type guy like you does. Perry - please stop pretending to be some longtime "aw shucks" local of the valley. It's so transparent.
This seems like a bit of a moot point. There have been two parking lots that no one wants to use.
There's another story for downtown core residents. Requiring new builds, especially mixed use with residential components need to have on-site parking available. Underground is definitely expensive but worth it. Ketch, Bluebird, 1st & 6th building, etc all start to cannibalize the day to day parking opportunities. Putting the onus on developers should be the priority, especially if you can't park overnight at your own place in the winter.
There are only so many spots in the retail core. They are getting whittled away.
Parking may not be an issue today, but the plan at City Hall is to increase density in the retail core while taking away parking spots. What will the parking situation be when everything is built out? KURA is going to build a four-story apartment building on its Wash lot. It may or may not have retail. They say they will have parking--that would be a first for an apartment complex in the retail core. I spoke to a Ketch resident today (works at the hospital). She pays $1600/mo (+ utilities + internet) for a 340sf apt with no parking. The out-of-state landlord is raising her rent by $200 in June. She got a parking ticket this winter $250. The parking rules for parking around Ketch are alternate side by day, So if you park your car overnight on a Tues, you get at 1am. But then, the current City Hall administration said everyone in Ketch would walk to work and wouldn't have a car, so maybe that is what was intended? The premise of Bluebird is that only 1/2 the residents will have a car and they will all walk to work (I guess that will be true if they work for the Marriott--who else in Ketchum pays so little that their workers would quality for Bluebird's income cap?). The norm is 1.4 cars per unit in Ketchum. I think Bluebird will eat up 25-40 parking spots in the retail core. Some (not all) local developers are more responsible on parking than the WA and UT developers. Bariteau has parking for 1st/4th. There will be parking for the Perry's development. That being said, the local developer at Formula Sports will be eliminating that parking lot and taking away a spot on the street and will have four apartments with zero parking. He probably takes away 10 spots from the retail zone. Never came up at P&Z. The Master Transportation Plan calls for 4th Street to become a pedestrian mall--all those parking spots from the library down to the post office will go away (that's why there is the strange HAWK light at 4th/Main). The City Administrator is doing the best he can on parking, but the elected and appointed officials don't believe there is a parking issue (they have said so multiple times) and have no long-term parking analysis. The guiding principle seems to be that Ketchum should be a carless community. VSV is doing a survey and how people get around is one of their questions. Why Ketchum doesn't ask people before big plans like a pedestrian mall splitting the retail core in two is an interesting question.
Perry is right on this one.
As someone who works in the downtown core, parking for full day workers is an issue. There have been issues for years as large construction projects suck up those free full day parking spaces with the construction workers. This year will be tough on east side of town: both Bluebird and the building which is replacing Maude’s will be going up at the same time. If you have to drop kids off at daycare, you can’t take the bus. Get a clue, Ketchum. You are doing your part to kill the ability of businesses to find employees with your choice to remove all parking requirements for new builds downtown. Add in a few thousand tourists and no one will get a spot to eat at the restaurants, shop your businesses or work your jobs.
Welcome to the discussion.