Coatesville begins analysis of current, future parking needs

The Coatesville Redevelopment Authority and the City’s administration has embarked on an in-depth, city-wide analysis to formulate recommendations to address the City’s parking needs in light of current and projected development.

“This parking study has been in the works for five years. The final recommendations will provide a blueprint for parking management, permitting, code enforcement and—most importantly—improvements that will support Coatesville’s growth through the next decade of our rebuilding,” says James Logan, Coatesville City Manager. “Parking is essential for residents, retail and commerce, as well as companies seeking to invest here who want to know that Coatesville has adequate parking to meet their needs.”

After a thorough search, Desman Design Management was selected to execute the plan. The nationally recognized firm, which has also supported consulting and parking design in West Chester, Reading, Bethlehem and Easton, specializes in parking master planning and consultation, financial feasibility, operations, design, alternatives and more. During the first week of the program, a task force was assembled comprising all facets of City stakeholders including members of the RDA, City Council, Public Works, parking enforcement, developers, downtown business owners, nonprofits, churches, and residents. Driving tours and interviews have been underway that will help shape the parking plan and recommendations.

“This initial period of listening and discovery, combined with upcoming field surveys of parking supply and demand, provides a realistic and comprehensive understanding of needs and, ultimately, the best results and actionable solutions,” says Michael Connor, Senior Consultant, Desman Design Management.

The analysis will include an operational assessment to evaluate the City’s current residential parking permit program and parking signage. Parking fees, enforcement, fines and collection procedures will be reviewed and benchmarked with comparable communities. The analysis will conclude with recommendations on how the City can better utilize existing parking assets as well as identify alternative and shared parking opportunities. In addition, the parking plan will examine accessibility, handicap parking spaces, electric charging stations, bike share and shared parking.

Sonia Huntzinger, Executive Director of Coatesville 2nd Century Alliance, says, Anticipating and planning for future parking needs is a critical part of managing the growth that is happening in the City. We want to make sure that everyone—businesses, visitors and residents alike—has a convenient and safe place to keep their vehicles.”

Those vehicles include bicycles and other alternative forms of transportation. Tim Phelps, Executive Director of the Transportation Management Association of Chester County, notes, “The City of Coatesville is one of the few communities in Chester County that has dedicated bike lanes, and we want to be sure bike parking amenities are included to support an active bike option for the community. Alternative modes of transportation help alleviate traffic congestion, improve air quality and reduce the need for vehicular parking.”

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