In late 2018, The City of Spokane commissioned a Parking Study to evaluate the existing parking system. Results of the study were released in March of 2019.
What are some of the findings?
- There are 37,000 parking spaces in downtown Spokane. 85% are off street, 15% are on street.
- Even during the busiest time of day (weekdays at 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.), parking occupancy across the study area peaks at 56%. At peak, thousands of parking spaces are underutilized.
- The most convenient spaces are underpriced, incentivizing circling for parking. In the Downtown Core, off-street parking costs 2.2 times as much as on-street parking.
- The City of Spokane manages less than 1% of off-street parking. Off-street management is dispersed, presenting challenges for rate-setting, communication, branding, and technology.
- The fragmented parking system means only 51% of parking is available to general public at all times.
- Wayfinding, pricing, and payment systems are confusing and uncoordinated.
What are some of the Recommendations
- Adopt Downtown Parking Goals. This strategy proposes six goals which guide the evaluation of strategies in this plan, and should also guide future planning efforts.
- Maximize Use of Existing Supply. Management of existing parking can be improved with the implementation of a Performance Based Parking Management Program, as well as adjustments to on-street regulation, and prioritization of shared parking programs.
- Optimize Management and Policy Programs. There are many competing users for both on and off street parking spaces – this group of strategies proposes the modernization of existing permit programs and event management policy.
- Make Parking Simple to Find and Use. Many have trouble finding the available downtown parking spaces. A formal Downtown parking “brand” and a wayfinding program are proposed, in addition to a more general marketing and communications plan. Downtown payment systems are also recommended for improvement.
- Reduce Parking Demand. Strengthening the availability and encouraging the use of travel options in Downtown Spokane can further extend the efficiency of the existing parking system, while also achieving broader goals regarding sustainability, livability, and equity.