City hires firm to look into parking issues in residential neighborhoods near CMU
Mount Pleasant city commissioners approved a contract with Walker Parking Consultants to complete a residential neighborhood parking study at Monday’s meeting.
The city will pay the firm no more than $25,000 to conduct a neighborhood parking analysis in the neighborhoods near Central Michigan University’s campus.
Students parking along side streets near campus has been an issue for residents for years, but the process of looking into solutions was put on hold with staffing changes within the city in the last few years.
Director of Building Safety and Code Enforcement Brian Kench said the city has been collecting data since 2010, dealing with meters and parking problems.
“(What) we’re looking at now is just bringing somebody in to put this all together and give us recommendations on traffic control and recommendations on where our parking should be,” Kench said.
Kench said early into collecting data it was noted that people were parking outside of the designated areas and the impacting residential neighborhoods.
In the past, the city has placed ‘no parking’ signs on streets that experienced problems with streets becoming crowded and lined with cars, but Mayor Bruce Kilmer said he noticed the issue just moves to a different nearby neighborhood.
However, these signs are not the only factor to consider in the equation. The problem is also too broad for the City of Mount Pleasant to handle, Kilmer, who sat on a committee dealing with the problem, said.
“It was beyond what we could fathom or have time to do or expertise to do because it involved all these other issues,” Kilmer said. “That’s why we brought back this recommendation to the whole commission to do a more comprehensive study because it was more than just the neighborhood ‘no parking’ signs.”
Walker Parking Consultants will be paid with $20,000 carried from the 2011 operating budget allocation, and the additional funding up to $5,000 will come from the general unassigned fund balance.
The final results and report from the study is due back to the commission by Aug. 15, 2013.
The commission also approved a resolution that summarizes the first budget amendment for 2012.
Several changes in the resolution will increase the surplus savings account to more than $700,000 by the end of the year, City Manager Kathie Grinzinger said.
Many changes were recognized in the amendment, including an increase in the constitutional side of state shared revenue, changes in tribal allocations in May and a revised calculation of fire and police overtime based primarily on the five big Central Michigan University weekends.
Two new Mount Pleasant Police officers were sworn in at the beginning of the meeting.
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