Consulting firm makes recommendations to improve York City parking after study

YORK, Pa. -- After about a year-long study, the results are in.

Officials with the City of York General Authority said they wanted to address issues people had about parking in York, mainly that there are not enough spaces downtown.

Pamela Zerba, with the General Authority, said, "We didn't think that was accurate, but we couldn't prove it. And we thought well even if we can or can't, how are we going to fix it?"

So the General Authority hired DESMAN Design Management to create a parking system strategic plan.

Gregory Shumate, a senior associate with DESMAN, said, "I think the city needs to just recalibrate the system, and the policies, and the rates to redistribute demand."

Right now, it cost $1 per hour to park at a metered spot and $2.50 for one hour at a parking garage.

Some people think that's a bit too expensive for parking for this area.

Jeffrey Tate, from York, said, "It seems the price of it is twice as expensive as I experience when I go to Philadelphia."

Some of the recommendations made by DESMAN include lowering the rates for parking garages for the first three hours.

Zerba said, "If we don't want everybody frantically driving around, and around, and around, looking for a place on the street, we have to make parking in the garages more attractive."

Another idea was to eliminate parking time limit restrictions in low-demand areas. So a driver could park at meters in some locations all day at a lower rate.

Specialists also suggest the need for technology updates, like multi-space meters.

Shumate said, "There's some customer service issues that we are suggesting that you consider going to pay-by-phone so there are more pay options."

Officials with the General Authority said they want community input before making any decisions.

Zerba said, "For example they're suggesting that we remove meters from places on the far outskirts of where we have them. So that affects neighborhoods, so what do neighbors think?"

The General Authority is in charge of parking garage rates, but city council is in charge of meter rates. So these recommendations will have to be made to city council before any changes are made.