[Vision2020] City official downplays Third Street parking reduction

Moscow Cares moscowcares at moscow.com
Wed Apr 25 09:19:01 PDT 2018

Courtesy of today’s (April 25, 2018) Moscow-Pullman Daily News.


City official downplays Third Street parking reduction
Emphasis placed on bicycle use as spots are lost due to traffic-calming measures
Although 120 parking spaces on Third Street will be lost when traffic-calming measures are installed this year, Moscow Public Works Director Les MacDonald said he does not anticipate the changes causing any significant issues along the street.

The calming measures are expected to address safety and operation concerns brought on by potentially increased traffic on Third Street after a $580,000 bridge for vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians, budgeted for construction this year, is built over Paradise Creek near Mountain View Road.

The Moscow City Council unanimously approved a traffic calming plan in February with a price tag of $271,839, or about $200,000 less than two other plans considered. The plan calls for the removal of more Third Street parking than the other two proposals, MacDonald said.

As part of the project, parking will be removed from Polk to Blaine streets and on the north side of Third Street from mid-block east of Blaine Street to Mountain View Road, MacDonald said.

MacDonald said some residents submitted comments during the public input process regarding parking concerns.

"There's always concern anytime you lose parking or change parking," MacDonald said.

Generally speaking, MacDonald said street parking between Polk and Blaine streets is not heavily used, with the exception of the two blocks between Hayes and Blaine streets where apartments are located. MacDonald said that two-block area is where he could see the most lost parking. He said city staff will soon meet with management from the large apartment complex in the area to discuss parking issues.

Whether there will be enough parking in the area for those who reside nearby, MacDonald said it depends on what the parking demands are and how close people feel they need to be or want to be to their residence.

MacDonald said some of the private parking is underutilized in that area, but he anticipates people will use those spaces more once the traffic calming measures are installed. He added he anticipates more people will use the available parking spots on side streets along Third Street once the traffic calming measures are put in place.

MacDonald said the city also discussed and received public input regarding concerns for the influx of parking on Third Street when large events are held at East City Park throughout the year. He said the parking immediately around the park facility is not adequate to serve all the parking needs, so drivers park on neighboring side streets a few blocks from Third Street.

MacDonald said perhaps drivers will need to park slightly farther away than they have to adjust for the parking removed from Third Street.

Although some might look at the reduced parking spaces as a negative, there are some benefits, MacDonald said. He said sometimes parked vehicles can cause sight constraints for pedestrians looking to cross Third Street and for drivers on a side street looking to turn onto Third. Snow removal can also be more convenient with no parked cars on the street, MacDonald said.

The plan puts a greater emphasis on bicycle use in the corridor, according to the concept outlined on the city of Moscow website. Its main component is a two-way separated bike lane on the north side of Third Street from either Washington or Jefferson streets to Mountain View Road.

MacDonald said the traffic calming and bridge plans are in the design phase, so it is too early to tell when construction will start. He said traffic calming and bridge construction are still scheduled for this year and are planned to be installed concurrently.

MacDonald said the city has asked residents in the vicinity of the proposed bridge if they would be willing to grant the city temporary construction easements on their property to ease the process of construction and potentially lower the cost. He said those discussions are ongoing.


Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .

"Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

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