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For the first time in 20 years, the City of Williamsburg will launch a study into parking lot congestion in the downtown area.
City staff has drafted a request for proposals from consultants who can conduct the study. City Council members reaffirmed their commitment to a study on downtown parking, which has not been done since 1995, at the Aug. 28 retreat and will hear a full presentation on the request at today’s work session.
The draft has also been released to organizations that would be most affected by the study – College of William & Mary, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance – who will have a few weeks to offer comment before the request is officially released in early October.
Click here to see a map of the area being considered for the downtown parking study.
The push for a study stems from City Council’s winter retreat, during which members encouraged policies that improved the city’s walkability but identified drivers’ inability to find parking downtown before they begin walking from place to place as a hindrance.
The proposals request asks for a consultant who can review the current downtown parking availability and regulations, offer parking strategies and develop an overall master plan for on- and off-street parking.
Currently, on-street parking is free for one- and two-hour timeframes on Richmond Road, Prince George Street, North Boundary Street and Scotland Street. Colonial Williamsburg also offers free one- and two-hour lots in the Merchants Square area.
The Parking Terrace, city-owned and adjacent to the Williamsburg Community Building on North Boundary Street, offers 153 spaces.
Parking is available for $1 per hour at the city-operated Prince George Street Parking Garage and the Colonial Williamsburg-operated Francis Street lot.
The city expects to choose a consultant and award the bid in December. The study should be initiated within the first quarter of 2016.