Shoppes of Avondale parking study in neutral

Shoppes of Avondale parking study in neutral

RAP wants scope to include larger area in Historic District – 

By Steve DiMattia –
Resident Community News –

The meter is still running on a parking study for the historic districts.
As reported last month, a Scope of Services for Parking Analysis for the Shoppes of Avondale was prepared by Ghyabi & Associates on May 24 and delivered to the Planning and Development Department more than two months ago but still has not been vetted or approved — nor has a timeline yet been established for doing so, said department head Calvin Burney in an email. The full scope would cost $60,000 to implement.
But now there is at least one additional scope on the horizon, according to Jim Love, District 14 Councilman. The scope has yet to be submitted to the planning department, Burney said, but he and Love have “discussed the study concept.”
“Riverside Avondale Preservation and others from the community are putting their heads together to develop a scope that covers a wider area than just the Shoppes of Avondale,” Love said. “We want to get a product that covers more people and neighborhoods. They are ultimately going to look at traffic flow, parking and the degree of mixed-use development.”
RAP’s transportation committee, chaired by Kay Ehas, is preparing the scope. They have had only one meeting, two weeks ago, according to Ehas.
“At this point, we are looking only at Avondale and Park and King streets to get started,” Ehas said. “There’s a long term and a short term approach to addressing the area’s issues. In the initial meeting, we decided to focus on parking, but ultimately we want to look longer term at zoning and mobility. We’d like to begin by looking at parking supply and demand, current and future. Based on that information, we’ll decide where to go from there.”
The committee is composed, in part, of local residents, at least two business owners – Allan DeVault of Black Sheep Restaurant Group and Andy Zarka of European Street – and at least one person with a transportation planning background, Bill Shad. Not all were present at the first meeting, but the group did invite Susan Fraser, a transportation/transit planning consultant and former Clay County planning director, to offer suggestions about how to proceed with a scope and ultimate study.
“The RAP committee has ideas, but they are not professional transportation planners,” said Fraser, a 27-year Avondale resident and RAP member. “My role was to help them establish how to professionally measure a good mixed-use parking environment…The best solutions come from matching your true long and short-term revenue streams with what you want. There’s no one-size-fits-all magic bullet.”
Ehas said that the committee wanted to get the scope to Burney so that he can make a decision within this fiscal year, which ends September 30. She anticipates having at least one more committee meeting before then.
How the Ghyabi Shoppes of Avondale scope and the RAP scope will impact one another is still unclear, but Ehas pointed out that since Ghyabi has an open-ended consulting contract with the city, they would likely conduct any study.
“There are solutions out there, but it’s hard to just implement them without a formal study,” Ehas said.

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