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Montpelier Committee Ponders Parking

AP/Toby Talbot
Cars parked in a state parking lot in Montpelier.

Downtown Montpelier has a parking problem. That's one of the conclusions the Montpelier Parking Committee reached after tallying the results of a series of recent parking surveys. The committee presented its findings to the City Council on Wednesday.

Separate surveys were given to people who live, work, shop and do business and/or own a business in the capital city. A total of 1,221 surveys were collected, broken down into the following categories:

  • Residents- 444 respondents
  • Employees- 380 respondents
  • Consumers- 345 respondents
  • Employers- 52 respondents

The committee highlighted the following results:

  • The majority of respondents in all four surveys said there is a parking problem downtown.
  • Of those who rent, 87% said that parking is an important factor in choosing their housing.
  • When employers were asked if parking impacted their business, 49% said yes, 42% said no, and 8% were unsure. Of those who responded yes, 87% said the impact was negative.
  • Most employees, 79%, drive to work most days, while 15% drive sometimes and 6% never drive.
  • Parking does influence whether 65% of consumers patronize downtown.

The first issue raised in the survey that the committee chose to tackle is the City's winter parking ban. According to the committee's report, 63% of the survey respondents thought that the winter parking ban should be modified in good weather. The committee said it is working Department of Public Works to evaluate alternatives.