South Grand Commercial District
Parking Study

In late March of 2002, the Planning & Urban Design Agency and a consultant team headed by Art & Architecture, Inc. reached agreement on a $16,000 contract for the South Grand Parking Study. The parking study defines parking issues and collects and reviews data before generating parking alternatives for the 16-city block study area that includes the South Grand Commercial District. The consultant team will work closely with a Parking Study Steering Committee throughout the study.

Phase I

On Thursday April 11, the kick-off meeting was held between the consulting team and the Steering Committee. Art & Architecture Inc. head the consulting team in association with The Williams Group Inc. and Strategic Impact Inc. The Steering Committee includes business and property owners in the South Grand Business District, residents of the adjacent residential neighborhoods (Tower Grove East & Tower Grove South) and Alderpeople Jennifer Florida and Steve Conway.

During April and May of 2002, the consulting team made significant progress in collecting data, which is the focus of the first phase. The consulting team held two Focus Group sessions with residents of Tower Grove East and Tower Grove Heights on Thursday May 2nd and on Wednesday May 15th. The consulting team held Focus Group sessions with owners of property in the Commercial District on Thursday May 16th.and with owners of businesses in the Commercial District on Thursday May 23rd. The first phase concludes with a "Parking Study Program Document", which was featured on this Web Site in early July of 2002.

Phase II

While the focus groups are a good method to get qualitative information from residents and business or property owners, questionnaires are better for reaching customers and also to get quantitative information from the general public. In June the consultant team, with guidance from the Steering Committee, drafted three survey questionnaires based on the findings of the Parking Study Program Document.

Surveys can address a wide range of issues that affect business groups, property owners, customers and residents. Topics included how far people will walk, peak parking demand, current conflicts, future business expansion plans, aesthetics of surface lots, demolition issues, security and lighting issues. The survey questions were refined and tested during early July, prior to conducting the surveys during late July and early August 2002.

The consulting team reviewed completed questionnaires and other parking data and maps with the Steering Committee in early September. The second phase pinpointed parking uses, demands and deficiencies in the area, before facilitating a discussion of issues between business and resident groups to creating priority lists. The second phase concludes with the "Results for Business Owner, Resident and Customer Questionnaires" and a related appendix of survey questionnaires, which were posted in September of 2002.

Phase III

On September 17th the consultant team produced a draft "Ideas of Possible Solutions - For Discussion" by the Parking Study Steering Committee. Several Committee members discussed the list of possible solutions with business and resident groups during the last week of September and the first week of October. At their October 14th meeting the Steering Committee discussed and reached consensus on a draft list of possible solutions. On October 23rd the Steering Committee's written comments were given to the consulting team. The consultants prepared detailed parking alternatives during the month of November. Planning and Urban Design supplied Parking Demand Calculations to the consultant team during the third week of November.

The Phase III Parking Solution Alternatives generated by the consultant team was distributed to the Steering Committee on December 3rd, 2002. The Phase III report continues the format of the draft list of possible solutions, followed by the comments of the committee and of individuals, and the consultant's handling of ideas in the plan. The report calculates on a city block basis 1) parking demand and 2) deficiencies in parking spaces. If a city block has a significant parking deficiency and a scarcity of parking solutions, the report proposes alterntives or reworks past ideas to address criticism.

The short-term plan graphically shows all of its possible parking solutions, while recommending demolition of one vacant commercial building and several garages. The long-term plan addresses development ideas and related parking for existing intensive development near the Dickman Building, as well as, underdeveloped sites along South Grand (Commerce site, identified gaps in the district). Drawings of solutions and photographs of proposed sites illustrate the Phase III report.

The Parking Solution Alternatives were reviewed by the Steering Committee at its December 5, 2002 meeting. Written comments from the committee were submitted by December 19, 2002. The Phase III Report "Parking Alternatives" and it's "Short-Term Parking Solutions Map" and "Long-Term Parking Solutions Map" were edited in January of 2003 to reflect committee comments before being posted on the City's web site during the first week of February.

Phase IV

In writing the Final Parking Alternatives Booklet during February and March of 2003, the consulting team is addressing Steering Committee comments including the suggestion to have three phases: Short, Intermediate and Long Range Parking Solutions. The Plan includes a detailed table of contents with references to material produced during the study. Each solution is described in a straightforward manner presenting the concept and necessary details. Most solutions include general information about implementation. The goal is to where possible relate development of parking facilities to particular development or renovation projects. During March of 2003, coordination meetings were held between Alderpersons, consultants and PDA.

The Phase IV document "South Grand Commercial District Parking Study" including an executive summary, general design details and planning principles, spreadsheet statistics, and enhanced short-term, medium-term and long-term "Parking Solutions" was delivered by Art & Architecture Inc. to PDA on March 25th. PDA copied the booklet, which was distributed on Marth 27th to the Steering Committee, Alderpersons, business groups, neighborhood groups, city staff and others. The Phase IV Plan will be posted on the City's Web Site in early April. A presentation of the Final Plan by the consultants will be made to the Steering Committee on Wednesday April 9th, 2003 at the Carpenter Branch Library. At this meeting the consultants will share their findings and recommendation in the form of the study's parking solution alternatives with the broader community.

Contacts

Mark O'Bryan (314-436-0871) is the contact person for the consulting team, Dick Zerega (314-622-3400 ext. 240) is the contact person for the City, and Emily Andrews (314-533-9104 ext.205) is the contact person for the Steering Committee. For South Grand Parking Study Steering Committee Minutes click here.






For more information please contact:
Dick Zerega dzerega@stlouis.missouri.org
City of St. Louis - Planning & Urban Design Agency
phone (314) 622-3400 or fax (314) 622-2341

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