Parking in Scottsdale Threatened by Developments

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Parking in Scottsdale Threatened by Developments

According to the 2015 Scottsdale Downtown Parking Study, 86% of parking downtown is off-street parking.

 

The study was conducted in order to examine supply-demand needs for parking as well as an analysis of what parking could be like in the coming years. In order to study parking effectively, the consulting agency hired by the city, Walker Consultants, divided the downtown area into nine different zones and studied the areas individually.

 

Parking in Downtown Scottsdale has become a point of contention in recent years due to rising developments in the area. The main issue that is continuously brought up is the insufficient amount of parking available to visitors. Of the roughly 17,000 parking spots available downtown, 59% of them are private leaving only 41% of parking open to the public. 

Jeremiah Simpson, a senior manager from Walker Consultants, worked on this study for the city. 

 

“In the downtown, I think there are some definite challenges,” Simpson said.

 

Simpson worked closely with the city in producing the analysis. Walker Consultants came to the conclusion that there should be a 5-15% parking spot supply cushion in all the parking systems in order to maintain efficiency.

 

However, the study, now nearly five years old, does not account for the new developments in Downtown that seem to threaten the parking available. According to Simpson, he recommends that a downtown should reassess their parking supply and demand every four to five years.

 “An update might want to look more broadly at parking usage, specifically over in the 5th Ave shops and maybe the part of the downtown where they’re contemplating the new Museum Square project,” Simpson said. Museum Square is a multi-purpose development located on Goldwater Blvd near N Marshall Way. The plan involves a hotel with a below-ground parking garage that would provide not only hotel parking but parking for the public as well. 

Swaback Architects, the firm working on Museum Square, have worked with the city and concerned citizens to eliminate any problems concerning parking. Jeff Denzak is the Partner-in-Charge of the Museum Square project and has worked directly with the city on parking issues related to the project. 

 “A lot of the citizens didn’t think that the city’s requirements for parking were high enough and that scared them,” Denzak said. 

With rising concerns over parking with the new development, the city employees and architects at Swaback decided to fix the problem by adding more parking than required by city zoning laws to address it. The additional public parking will be added to the hotel garage in order to fill the demand from citizens.

While there is a belief that Museum Square will serve as a detriment to the parking problem, Denzak believes that a parking problem does not actually exist and that Museum Square has done its due diligence in providing adequate parking. 

 “People want more parking but these reports are saying there’s not a need for more parking,” Denzak said. 

 The 2015 parking study did not account for the Museum Square project but Walker Consultants have analyzed the project’s parking situation previously. 

 “Our review indicated that it would be appropriate for that project to build what they were proposing,” Simpson said.

 

Museum Square was unanimously approved by City Council in October with no opposition to the project present. This decision was monumental not just because of the added parking but also for the city as a whole.

 

“It’s important that the city evolves,” Denzak said.

As for an update to the parking study, the City of Scottsdale has not announced any plans to conduct another one in the future. According to Simpson, he is unaware of any current plans the city has to reassess the parking in Downtown. The city’s Transportation Department could not be reached for comment.

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