Sunday, May 10, 2009

PERFECT STORM (almost)


This past year or so there has been great concern about downtown's parking capabilites. Our city fathers and senior city staff, along with the Vehicle Parking Commission, Planning department,Redevelopment agency, and the Downtown Pomona Owner's Association have grappled with the "what ifs" of adequate parking in the downtown. The city hired an outside consultant for well over $100K to tell them what they could have been given for free by asking downtown merchants and property owners.

The study is finally complete (18 months) and was just presented to the City Council. What the study essentially says is that at some point the downtown will run out of parking if steps aren't taken to address the problem now. With new development projects coming to the downtown there will be a shortage of parking, no doubt about it. Not to bore you with the details of the study or the reccommended solutions to the "potential" problems of the future it should be noted that the worst or best case scenario (depending on how you look at it) would be what all are calling a "Perfect Storm" in the downtown.

A perfect storm (parking) is described as all of the below listed events occuring at the same time:

1) A sell out crowd at the Glass House
2) A sell out crowd at the Fox
3) A huge downtown event such as Second Saturday
4) An unusal turnout for evening diners and shoppers

For the first time in at least 40 years last night the downtown experienced a "Perfect Storm", at least on the west side of Garey Ave. Visitors to downtown had to park several blocks away and walk to their venue of choice. Is this a sign that downtown Pomona is coming back? You bet it is! While parking may have been an inconvience to some, few complained. The electricity in the air was contagious. People strolled the sidewalks to take in all that they could. The galleries were busting at the seams as were every restaurant and watering hole.

There of course was plenty of parking on the east side of Garey Ave., but most people were not aware of it. Perhaps signage directing drivers to the east will be necessary for future perfect storms. But in the meantime one night in forty years is not cause to start constructing parking garages. It is however a very nice problem for Metro Pomona businesses to have. At least once in a while.

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10 Comments:

Blogger Ren said...

Need to find a way to bus people around town to the art galleries and back to where they had parked or get Antique Row to be open also.Then people would park on the east side OR just put up more free parking signs around town.

May 11, 2009 at 3:27 AM  
Blogger Skrip said...

It might be a bit early or maybe not, but a nice parking structure like the one at Claremont's Packing House would be cool. Of course, we don't have the kind of old money that Claremont does, but just an idea.

May 11, 2009 at 9:00 PM  
Anonymous metropomona said...

Actually there are up to four parking structures on the drawing board for the downtown. It's just a matter of time and money. The City and the Vehicle Parking District have agreed that when downtown parking reaches a consistent 75% occupancy..it's time to build.

May 11, 2009 at 9:07 PM  
Anonymous Juan said...

Yeah it would be cool if we had some kind of trolley on 2nd Saturday to take people around the colony. What does "consistent 75%" mean? Who will be monitoring this?

May 14, 2009 at 2:01 AM  
Anonymous Metropomona said...

Juan,

"Consistent" means 24/7. Who will be monitoring? City staff, and the DPOA.

May 14, 2009 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger Anduhrew said...

I think the parking structure plan proposed to the planning committee is a GREAT one. I wish I could get my hands on a digital copy of the proposal so I could break it down from a landscape Architecture perspective. I think the city deserves it and Parking structures are MUCH better than bigger parking lots. plus one could always make the top of the structure a green roof or filled with solar panels that would shade top level cars.

May 14, 2009 at 9:01 PM  
Blogger Skrip said...

Oh, that would be really cool & hip Anduhrew!

I'm glad I'm doing my part by spending $$$ every ArtWalk and some odd Fridays & Sundays in the Colony area Businesses. To think I was dumping $100s every weekend in other cities... now Pomona gets a big share of my beer, wine & food money!

I still frequent other towns, but before this year, I didn't spend much in Pomona due to me thinking that there was nothing here.

Go D.P.O.A.! Keep up the great work!

May 16, 2009 at 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Metro Pomona said...

Andrew,
I've looked for a digital copy of the parking plan, but alas, no go. I have a hard copy however and you are welcome to come by and view it. We could make copies of pertinent pages if you like, but I don't think it would do you much good. It would be cool to see a "what if" version of a parking structure from you, the proposed structure will probably be a three or four story structure, actually very similar to the structure Westrn U is building now. If you provide it I will make sure it gets to the decision makers, Vehicle Parking District, Redevelopment Agency, Planning Department, City Council.

May 16, 2009 at 12:36 PM  
Blogger Anduhrew said...

I would love to come see it and make a couple copies of the main pages. I'm on the last few weeks of school so i probably won't be able to leave the house for a few weeks. Thanks for the offer, I'll definitely do that soon!

May 17, 2009 at 6:38 PM  
Anonymous Metro Pomona said...

Just let us know when. Contact info is on the Metro Pomona web site.

May 17, 2009 at 6:53 PM  

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