Easy Parking in Downtown Milwaukee?
City unveils sign system to guide drivers to garages with available parking spots.
The city unveiled new parking signs this week that direct drivers to available stalls in garages. Eleven electronic signs have been installed around the core of Downtown that give up-to-the minute counts of available stalls in nearby parking garages.
Dubbed the “Advanced Parking Guidance System,” the system is in the first phase of a broader roll-out plan. The signs match existing way-finding signs placed around downtown.
The project has a number of goals according to a city release.
- Guide summer festival attendees and downtown visitors/workers to available parking
- Build on the “Park Once” concept and the Downtown Master Plan – Drivers find one parking spot and then walk or use public transit to move around Downtown and the lakefront
- Relieve traffic congestion near the Maier Festival Grounds and enhance pedestrian safety by reducing vehicles “circling” while looking for a parking spot
- Less congestion = Better air quality
- Increase occupancy rates for downtown parking operations
The first phase of the program was paid for with a $1.1 million grant. While it’s tempting to think what else could have been bought with a million dollars, if visitors and downtown workers feel that it’s easier to park there will be many more millions to go around.
On the flip side, are Milwaukeeans content to just circle the block looking for free parking?
Worst case scenario, there will finally be visible data to refute the oft-uttered phrase “it’s hard to find parking Downtown.”