The City of Stevens Point has a wide range of parking facilities and facility types serving the two main study areas, downtown and the UW Stevens Point campus. Both study areas have multiple on-street and off-street parking locations with varying types of usage, regulation, and enforcement. The various parking types include: coin operated parking meters, two-hour parking restrictions, off-street parking lots throughout the university area, free public parking lots in the downtown area, as well as permit parking. Bicycle parking is limited in areas and is provided by the City, individual businesses, and the university. Stevens Point benefited from the study which developed a framework for near, mid and long-term strategies to address parking concerns in the two project areas. This will aid the City in a transition from its current systems while also accommodating growth and needs as resources and demands change. This plan and process will help the City better manage and regulate its parking and governance systems in addition to controlling maintenance costs and programs.
Both of the focus areas have growing and challenging parking pressures. The City’s daytime population surges to over 40,000 people. The downtown is a very active and attractive place to shop, dine, and celebrate. The new Mid-State Technical College has recently added 2,800 more students to the downtown. This combined with the over 10,000 student and faculty/staff at UWSP creates a very dynamic and demanding set of parking-related circumstances for the City to accommodate.
The goal for this parking study was to work with the City and its stakeholders to develop a comprehensive and community-driven plan comprised of parking management and enforcement strategies in the two priority urban environments – the university and downtown areas. The plan identified a list of priorities and key action items that enabled the City to prepare a package for the 2015-2016 budget and future year programs. The study provided short, mid and long-term vehicle and parking strategies that included an evaluation of current and future parking supply, demand, and enforcement characteristics, best management practices, and realistic implementation strategies.
The project study was completed September 2015.
A series of meetings with representatives and stakeholders within the downtown and university study area were held to gather input related to parking. These meetings were held on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 and Wednesday, April 8, 2015.
On Thursday, March 26th, 2015, an open house was held at Mid State Technical College from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. The purpose of this meeting was to obtain public input to aid in the development of a strategic, long-term blue print for parking in the downtown and university areas. The final report was presented to the City Council on September 21, 2015. Meeting minutes are posted below.
Greg Finstad, PE
Director of Community Development / Redevelopment Authority