Traverse City presents results of transportation study

Traverse City presents results of transportation study

GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- However you get from point A to point B, residents and visitors of Traverse City can all agree parking could be easier.

“I really dislike driving, it is so much more convenient and it's a reasonable price if you take the bus or it's good exercise to walk,” said Suzanne Sorkin, Traverse City Resident. “I just find it the best option for me.”

“This time of year from mid-October through April it's not a problem, not an issue. Summertime you really have to plan ahead,” said Don Sweet and Bill Fagan, Traverse City residents.

To help resolve those transportation issues Traverse City parking services presented their findings of a year-long study to the Traverse City planning commission on Wednesday.

“Downtown has been going through you know, definitely the development,” said Nicole Van Ness, Traverse City parking services. “I know we focused a lot on our parking, but really what are our options outside of parking?”

According to Van Ness the study included getting feedback from people who are frequently downtown and thinking of new recommendations to solve the problem.

“The recommendations they don't just talk about parking, the other options are additional bike racks, so how can we make those bike options more appealing,” said Van Ness. “But also how can we potentially partner with BATA and shift from having a parking need to bringing more people downtown.”

Some other recommendations they are considering: More employee parking, create residential parking and shift from annual parking permits to monthly parking permits.

Van Ness says license plate recognition technology, which the city approved at Tuesday night’s city commission meeting, will allow the city to improve enforcement while also generating more parking data in the future.

“Really it's about the demand of the spaces, the utilization of the spaces and so any shift where we are not 100% on occupancy that is a big change,” said Van Ness. “So you know small changes I think are the key here. So how do we make those small changes and tweaks and that's how we essentially provide more spaces.”

Traverse City parking is proposing those recommendations for the city's next fiscal year budget.

Parking services say we could start to see some of those changes by this summer.

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