Experts say York City has adequate parking

Parking Meter Costs are Rising in the City of Harrisburg

YORK,PA- After phase one of a parking study the results are in.

“The common local perception that downtown York has an inadequate supply of public parking is completely unfounded.” So says a Technical Memorandum the York City General Authority received from DESMAN Design Management, the first in a series of reports that will result in a Parking System Strategic Plan for the City.

The City of York’s Parking System is comprised of three high-rise parking garages in the Downtown Business District, 16 surface lots throughout the City and over two hundred parking meters in the Business District and surrounding commercial and neighborhood districts.

DESMAN was retained by the City of York General Authority and the City of York to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the City’s Parking System and formulate a Parking System Strategic Plan for optimizing the operation for the benefit of the region.

The DESMAN project team began their work in March 2016, conducting interviews with key City officials and more than 20 community stakeholders in order to gain knowledge of how various community groups view the present parking accommodations and operating circumstances of the parking system.

The first phase of this study, the Parking Supply/Demand and Demographic Study, included a survey of the prevailing utilization of selected on-street parking spaces and off-street facilities within and abutting the Central Business District. Multiple site visits and surveys were conducted in the month of April, including weekdays, weeknights and special events.

The following are the highlights of the parking survey:

  1. The overall on-street space occupancy in the Central Business District never exceeded 56%.
  2. The overall off-street parking supply situated in the Lots and Garage never exceeded 45%.
  3. On- and off-street parking occupancy generally peaked between the hours of noon and 2pm.
  4. The highest and most consistent utilization of on-street parking spaces was observed in the following areas:
    1. Market Street between Beaver and Duke
    2. George Street between Gas and King
    3. Philadelphia Street between Pershing and George

These findings led DESMAN to conclude that “the common local perception that downtown York has an inadequate supply of public parking is completely unfounded.” They did go on to note that this misperception is largely due to the fact the most convenient on-street parking spaces in highest activity areas of downtown are quickly consumed and access wayfinding signage to the three garages is inadequate and confusing, particularly to unfamiliar downtown visitors. DESMAN additionally noted that parking for two hours on-street is currently less costly than parking two hours in any of the three garages.

“While we understand the results of this study show we currently have more than ample parking, we are aware of the growth and development our City is currently experiencing,” says Michael Doweary, Business Administrator for the City of York. “To that end, we have worked with local developers and economic development organizations to provide information on all development projects in the pipeline to DESMAN so that we can also prepare for future parking needs.”

“The General Authority knows we have work to do in making our parking options easier to find,” says Pam Zerba, General Authority Chair. “With City Council’s input, we’ll need to rethink the relationship in how our meters and garages are priced as well.  We’re looking forward to hearing the rest of DESMAN’s recommendations.”

DESMAN’s next Technical Memorandum will focus on the Evaluation of Current Assets and Programs, followed by the Evaluation of Current Technology within the Parking System. The Draft Report of the Parking Master Plan is expected in mid-October