Downtown Hood River is an active commercial district experiencing pressure on its parking supply. In 2019, the City of Hood River sought specialized assistance from Rick Williams Consulting (RWC) and Fehr & Peers to examine parking management solutions for on- and off-street systems in the area. The work included the analysis of background conditions, development of guiding principles of the parking strategy, plus current and forecasted parking demand. The year-long study concluded recently, with a comprehensive strategy to enhance the functionality and operation of the downtown parking system. Effective parking management increases supply, which supports housing and mixed-use development to keep our downtown vibrant and active. The phased parking system projects address congestion in the immediate, short-term, mid-term and long-term.
A guide to implementation
The Downtown Parking Study outlines 31 recommended strategies intended to enhance the system to support downtown. Each strategy detailed in the study follows a logical order of phased implementation, from Immediate (0 – 12 months), Short (12 – 24 months), Mid (24 – 36 months), and Long-Term (36+ months), with estimated costs where applicable. A number of near-term approaches shall be employed as soon as possible to serve as a foundation for decision-making and future policy development.
- Adopting the Guiding Principles established for the Plan and embracing the 85% Occupancy Rule as the standard for upcoming decision-making.
- Resolving the City’s role in parking, future funding sources for new parking and/or adding new capacity and revising the City’s development code to reflect this role.
- Initiating revisions recommended for the existing supply to create new efficiencies and improve customer convenience. This will allow adequate time for the City to better address how future demand will be accommodated.
Overall, the implementation schedule is flexible, and the order of projects may be changed as opportunities and resources are identified. The biggest, and in some cases most ambitious or complicated strategies include fee-in-lieu reconfiguration, identifying supply adjacent or remote from the downtown area, funding and developing new supply. Finally, the information and recommendations in the final report are intended to complement broader transportation and economic development efforts. More details are included in the City’s Winter 2020 E-News article.