The Arcata City Council on Wednesday will hear an update on the city's parking situation as it determines whether to pay for an in-depth parking study.
Arcata police Chief Tom Chapman will update the council on the police department's progress on researching options for a comprehensive study, which would be conducted to determine the parking needs of residents, businesses and visitors, according to a staff report. It also would analyze revenue generated by parking enforcement, and explore ways to encourage alternative forms of transportation.
"People in Arcata feel like, or businesses feel like there is not enough parking," Councilman Michael Winkler said. "The staff of police looked at parking. The conclusion the police came to is that the issues involved were beyond their levels of expertise, and that if the city makes significant changes in its parking policy, it would need to hire an outside expert to do an in depth parking analysis for the city."
One issue is the impact to neighborhoods near Humboldt State University, Winkler said. The city has tried to address the problem by designating portions of the city as preferential parking zones, but as parking the prices change on campus, people begin parking in other neighborhoods that don't have a special designation.
Another factor is employees of downtown businesses parking in spaces with a time limit and then moving their cars every couple of hours.
"I think it's an issue for those people that have to park all day in the downtown ... and they have to move their car every few hours unless they can figure out where to park all day," Councilwoman Alex Stillman said.
The study is projected to cost more than $100,000 based on an estimate from a local consulting firm, the report said.
"Long term, I think that we need it although our budgets are very tight right now," Winkler said. "I would like to do the long term, but I'm not sure we can afford to spend the money this year."
In other business, the council will provide staff direction on the Bayview neighborhood conservation area survey. Staff have completed a preliminary review, and have a list of 74 properties that contribute to the "historic fabric of the city," or have architectural significance, and could benefit from review by the Historic and Design Review Commission, according to a staff report.
Staff recommend the list be presented to the commission in February, and preparations be made for a March community meeting to educate Bayview residents on the process and benefits of being designated a historic resource.
The council also will vote on adjusting the Public Works Department budget by $560,000 after the department received a letter from the California Department of Transportation allocating the money for a Foster Avenue extension project.
If you go:
What: Arcata City Council meeting
Where: City Council chamber, 736 F St.
When: 6 p.m., Wednesday
Lorna Rodriguez can be reached at 441-0506 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @LornaARodriguez.