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April 10, 2017

Study: Old Town parking far greater than perceived

Photo/Cassandra Brown
The town and county jointly own this 97-space parking lot off West Lee Street. Public parking lots in Old Town have a total of 611 spaces.
Overall, our observations suggest that adequate parking is available in the study area, but it may not be perceived as convenient for some users given the required walking distances from some parked locations.
— Michael Conner, Walker Parking senior consultant
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Old Town Warrenton has ample parking, according to a new study.

Walker Parking Consultants of Haymarket found a total of 561 public, on-street spaces in Old Town. A total of 611 public, off-street parking spaces exist.

Conducted on a Thursday in October, Walker’s survey found 75 percent of parking lot spaces and 55 percent of on-street spaces occupied.

“Overall, our observations suggest that adequate parking is available in the study area, but it may not be perceived as convenient for some users given the required walking distances from some parked locations,” Walker Senior Consultant Michael Conner wrote in the 33-page report (embedded below).

The consultants also recommended:

• Hiring a part-time parking enforcement employee. The number of parking tickets has declined since 2011, according to the survey.

• Increasing parking violation fees to $10 for the first offense, $25 for the second and $50 thereafter.

• Purchasing handheld parking citation enforcement system.

• Changing all curbside one-hour parking spaces to two hours.

• Reducing long-term spaces in core public lots.

• Expanding long-term spaces in peripheral parking lots.

• Restriping and resurfacing three parking lots.

The town also conducted parking studies that drew similar conclusions in 2000 and 1986.

The town council will discuss the $28,000 parking study during a work session at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 11.

Town officials received the report last week.

Town of Warrenton 2017 Parking Study 040717 by Fauquier Now on Scribd

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graybeard · April 11, 2017 at 12:54 pm
Silii....this is exactly the reason I do not shop in town. I use a wheelchair, and trying to gimp around the hilly downtown is useless for me. If I cannot park near my destination, then I jus don't have "umph" to push uphill. So, I go to stores where I can get in and out reasonably, or jus order on the internet. Stinks, but adapting to what I can do without blowing up my shoulders is part of the wheelchair life.
citizen observer · April 11, 2017 at 7:13 am
Seems people have gotten too spoiled. They want a dedicated space right in front of the establishment they are going to. I wonder if they've been to, let's say Tyson Mall. See how far you have to walk from your parking space to the store. Probably not much of a distance variance.

I also have read safety complaints. Do we have a crime problem with our Town lots that is not being reported?

A new parking enforcement officer will help with those that can't correctly park nor read the time signs.
Silii · April 11, 2017 at 6:57 am
Why no mention of increasing parking spots for disabled drivers? Currently, I am aware of only one space near the post office. Not everyone can ambulate easily from the peripheral lots, especially going uphill self-ambulating or in a wheelchair. Attention needs to be paid to increasing handicapped parking spaces which could be on side streets as well as Main St. if the side street is fairly level and the handicapped spaces are closest to Main St.
Tell It Like It Is · April 10, 2017 at 11:03 am
Only 3 problems with parking uptown:

1. Peeps can't drive. At any one part of any one day between John Marshall Street and 5th street, and between E.Lee st. and Horner St., a 3rd grader could likely count 15-25 vehicle's that are "not parked in the box" on Old Town.

2. Some privileged folks think they can park however they please or don’t pay attention or simply don’t care. Main street employees and business owners need to park off main street if they want parking for their customer base. Most recent poor parking “out of box” example I saw was late last week. I noticed a lady with a silver SUV, pull up in front of the post office, and get out after parking nearly smack in the middle of two parking spaces. (I believe she may have been an atty in town that used to be with the commonwealth atty's office, but I won't mention any names)

3. No enforcement from the Town PD for people that can't park within the required space.

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