The committee's key focus has been on examination, evaluation and--where deemed appropriate--implementation of ten recommendations from a stakeholder process developed in 2003 and subsequently presented to the City. Input from City of Tacoma staff has brought to attention several additional items, especially regarding new technology, that augment the purposes stakeholders had in mind when drafting their recommendations.
Four of the ten recommendations have progressed far enough that the committee believes them to have been achieved:
- Recommendation 1: The City of Tacoma should agree to complete the promised expansion of the parking system.
The City is abiding by commitments made in 2001 regarding completion of parking expansion projects and has defined the trigger criteria for development of expansion capacity.
- Recommendation 4: The City of Tacoma should establish a balanced parking oversight committee.
The Parking Advisory Committee is a balanced combination of staff and parking stakeholders as envisioned by stakeholders.
- Recommendation 5: The City of Tacoma should integrate on-street enforcement with off-street operations.
On-street enforcement and revenue collection have been operationally integrated with parking facility operations. Ongoing review and communication between City interests and stakeholder concerns are helping to improve responsiveness and support.
- Recommendation 8: The City of Tacoma should enhance and possibly expand its enforcement officer force.
The City has hired the full complement of authorized enforcement officers and put them on the streets.
Two recommendations are moving ahead with significant results to date, but not yet completed:
- Recommendation 2: The City of Tacoma should proceed immediately with façade improvements and necessary seismic, and structural repairs on Park Plaza North and Park Plaza South Garages.
City staff has recommending a vendor and that Park Plaza South only should be renovated at this time pending identification of a source for a $5 million funding gap.
- Recommendation 9: The City of Tacoma should implement hand-held recorder enforcement technology.
Committee members have been working very closely with the City’s parking enforcement personnel and are seeing a significant increase in access for customers and clients along with a sizable movement of employee parking to off-street facilities. There is still work to be done on the “moving to evade” ordinance, on a permit system, and to meaningfully link employees with commute alternatives such as transit.
The Parking Advisory Committee hosted a well-attended public forum on parking in June to deepen the understanding of and broaden community input on the mechanics of the current system. Input from that forum will be discussed in an upcoming posting here and will be presented to the Tacoma City Council's Economic Development Committee on August 22nd.
Three other recommendations having to do with more technical aspects of financing have yet to undergo intensive scrutiny by the group. These items will be addressed while, at the same time, the committee reviews recommendations for a parking "business plan" from consultants Miriam Sevy and Ross Tilghman of the Leora Group, LLC. City Councilmembers will get a preview of the "business plan" recommendations next Tuesday afternoon.
The final recommendation yet to be addressed has been the most controversial:
- Recommendation 10: The City of Tacoma should postpone metering implementation pending community consensus.
Delay in implementing pay stations was a consensus shared in October 2003 by every group within the stakeholder community. There was across-the-board agreement that the City should delay any decision on implementation of street metering until:
1. Outstanding concerns have been addressed
2. Enforcement compliance is determined
3. Economic performance improves
4. Definition of decision criteria is established
5. Community support is attained.
Committee members have agreed to work with the City in examining the 2003 consensus position in light of changes in procedures and the addition of new tools, including the ongoing, largely successful enforcement action. They have asked in return that the City refrain from decisions regarding pay stations, permits or metering until it has worked with stakeholders to examine the issues carefully and with broad input to see if the community consensus of three years ago is still valid.