Washington parking study receives award

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, September 28, 2022

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From ECU Community and Regional Planning Program

The Washington Parking Study for the City of Washington, North Carolina, received the American Planning Association North Carolina Chapter’s Marvin Collins Student Project Award. The award recognizes high-quality student work that increases the understanding of the value of planning. Three students attended the APA-NC Conference in Winston-Salem on September 14, 2022, and received the award on behalf of the class.

Partnered with Keith Hudson, the Director of the Pamlico Business Resource Center, the project was completed in the Spring semester of 2022 by students in Transportation Planning class (Instructor: Misun Hur). The Community and Regional Planning program actively engages student-centered, project-based learning in its curriculum. Most upper-level undergraduate coursework offer hands-on projects for students like this project.

The city’s most recent parking study was in 2007, which does not reflect the recent parking demand due to increased tourism. At the project’s initiation, the community client was asked to gauge the parking demand and search for alternative parking solutions instead of adding pricy infrastructure. The study investigated 1) the existing public parking capac­ity in the study area, 2) the current parking demands, 3) the trip and parking behavior of downtown residents, merchants, government officers, and visitors, and 4) the parking solu­tions.
The study sug­gested 16 recommendation items for the city to implement individually or combined for efficiency and tremendous success. Recommendations include (no order):

•Signage on parking lots
•Maintenance of surface parking lot
•More public parking lots from the underutilized parcels the study identified
•Designated parking for employees
•Road diet and complete street design on 2nd Street
•Street parking upgrade
•Wayfinding signage system across the downtown
•Implementing real-time mobile parking technology
•Alternative transportation connecting hotels
•Sidewalk upgrades outside Main Street
•Quality street lighting
•Improving walkability through urban design and citizen education
•Adding bicycle facilities
•Flexible paid parking
•Parking enforcement
•Adverse to a parking deck

Students involved in this project were (alphabetic order by last name): Star Brantley, Ty Clark, Shannon Clough, Leila Coe, Ricky Cypher, Kendall Daniels, Ethan Hageman, Tanner Hayslette, Ian Jethro, Madeline Lipscomb, Brenden Lucas, Chris Medina, Christopher Normile, Love Ott, Millicent Ott, Blake Privette, Jackson Van Ness, and Terry Worley.

Graduate students in Transportation Planning Policy contributed to the case studies as an assignment. Students were (alphabetic order by last name): Blair Carrington, Gilbert Combs, Margaret Peth, Gianna Venero, and Brandon Wrenn.