Got downtown parking on your mind?

In the Spring of 2016, the Cheyenne MPO (MPO) engaged Kimley-Horn and Associates to develop a Strategic Parking Management Plan for Downtown Cheyenne. Unique from a more traditional supply/demand assessment, a parking strategic plan is a higher-level planning and visioning document designed to guide the City and other stakeholders as they work to improve parking access for all who live in, visit and enjoy Downtown Cheyenne.

This blog post is meant to serve as a “Reader’s Digest” summary of the Downtown Strategic Parking Management Plan’s key highlights.

For those who want a bit more detail, the Executive Summary, full Draft Report and Technical Appendices are also currently available.

For ease of reference, this blog post is organized into four sections:

  1. What the Strategic Parking Management Plan process includes;
  2. How well downtown parking is currently utilized, on- and off-street;
  3. Feedback from community members who participated in outreach efforts; and
  4. Recommended key action items for parking management in Downtown Cheyenne

What the Strategic Parking Management Plan process included:

  • Review of existing community planning and visioning document
  • Data collection to understand how well utilized on- and off-street parking is currently
  • Several rounds of in-person and online public outreach
  • Identification of key issues specific to Cheyenne (i.e., parking garage safety, access during snow events, parking for downtown residents)
  • Development of specific recommendations on public parking program governance, technology, enforcement and facility management

. . .And what the Strategic Parking Management Plan did not include:

  • Specific operation, management and pricing plans
  • Parking supply/demand analysis for individual downtown properties
  • Recommendations for private property or development sites

How well downtown parking is currently utilized, on- and off-street:

  • Data was collected morning, afternoon and early evening during the week, on the weekend and during a downtown event
  • In its entirety, Downtown Cheyenne has adequate parking to meet current demands.
  • In general, peak parking demand overall never exceeded 50% in the study area on the days surveyed.
  • However, as documented in the parking occupancy “heat maps”, there are certain lots/blocks that exceed 85% at certain times of the day that could benefit from more supply
  • Northeast corner of study area is well-utilized on both weekday and weekend
  • Garages have plenty of available capacity, even during events

  • *Additional maps for each collection period is available in the Draft Strategic Parking Plan

Feedback from community members who participated in outreach efforts:

The following key themes emerged from conversations with community members through the Study. Feedback was sought online via survey, project website, two community open houses and through smaller focus group meetings.

  • Perception that there is no parking and that the current parking program is primarily enforcement-focused
  • Lots of underutilized private parking lots in downtown
  • Perception that parking garages and walkways/access to garages are unsafe
  • Consensus that Cheyenne is not ready for paid parking
  • Time restrictions can be unfair to downtown residents
  • Improving the pedestrian experience is important
  • No convenient way to legally park for more than two hours, on- or off-street
  • Balancing downtown resident, employee and visitor parking needs and experiences is important
  • Special attention needs to be given to ADA parking options and downtown accessibility in general
  • Public education, including enhanced communication about all parking and transportation options is very important

Recommended key action items for parking management in Downtown Cheyenne:

  1. Adopt New Program Vision, Mission and Guiding Principles
    1. Utilize a Private Parking Management firm to implement and manage the provided Parking Best Practices
  2. Evaluate investment in New On-Street and Off-Street Parking Technology
  3. Develop a Comprehensive Parking Planning Function that leverages Parking as a Community and Economic Development Strategy
  4. Develop a Proactive Facility Maintenance Program Including Regular Facility Condition Appraisals, Prioritized Facility Rehabilitation Plans and the Creation of Parking Facility Maintenance Reserves
  5. Develop a New Parking Program Brand and Marketing Program including significant on-going community outreach strategies.
  6. Invest in Training and Staff Development with a Goal of Mastering the Fundamentals of Parking System Management and Operations
  7. Expand the Scope of the Parking Program over Time to be More Supportive of Alternative Modes of Transportation and Embrace More of an “Access Management Philosophy”
  8. Assess the Current Parking Enforcement Program Using the Tools Provided
    1. Invest in Mobile License Plate Recognition Technology
  9. Address Abuse of Accessible Parking Placards to Improve Parking Availability for Those Who Are Truly Disabled
  10. Establish the parking program as a separate enterprise fund and combine all parking related revenue streams into this fund

The MPO anticipates that the Downtown Strategic Management Plan will be presented to City Council once all public comments have been received. Please direct your questions and comments about the planning process and/or its recommendations to the MPO Office at 638-4385 or via email to schakraborty@cheyennempo.org by March 17th.