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Results are in: Houghton to host presentation on parking study

Baglini

HOUGHTON — Houghton will host a presentation on a recently completed study of parking in the downtown on Aug. 5. 

The study was conducted by Walker Consultants, a firm that conducted site visits, conducted an online survey and held forums with local residents and business owners in May. Houghton commissioned the study with the Veridea Group of Marquette, with which the city is conducting negotiations on the potential purchase of the large parking deck area between Huron and Quincy streets. The survey area extended from Franklin Square to the Kestner Waterfront Park. 

A copy of the study is available on the city’s website, cityofhoughton.com. 

The meeting, which starts at 5:30 p.m., Aug. 5, will be held over Zoom. It can be accessed at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81944595527.

“It would be nice to do it just like we’re doing this right now, but given the level of interest this might generate, do we have a venue big enough to do that?” City Manager Eric Waara said during the most recent Houghton City Council, held in person. “And the acoustics down on the ice surface at the Dee are just not fit for a public meeting.”

People who cannot watch the virtual meeting can email questions and comments beforehand to general@cityofhoughton.com.

The report found a surplus of parking in the downtown, with parking peaking at around 10 a.m. with 44% of total spots filled, based on the February numbers. A development on the parking deck site would generate an estimated 124 to 219 parked vehicles per day, the study found. When factoring in parking built for the new development, downtown parking will be sufficient to meet future needs, the study said. 

Walker also made several recommendations, including formalizing agreements with private parking owners to accommodate public parking during off-peak times, creating uniform parking times for on-street parking, and adding spaces for loading zones and oversized vehicle parking. 

Project manager Andrew Baglini will lead the meeting. The format will be similar to the public forums conducted in May, but with a finished study, Waara said. 

“There’s a lot of data and having someone there to explain things will certainly be good for everyone,” Waara said.

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