The Oxnard Downtown Mobility and Parking Plan provides a comprehensive strategy for ensuring access to downtown by all modes of transportation, while supporting the City’s economic, environmental, and quality-of-life goals. Patrick Siegman led the project, while a Principal at Nelson\Nygaard Consulting. The work included conducting parking inventory and occupancy counts, assessing current and future demand, completing a peer review of best practices in parking management, and crafting a suite of parking and transportation demand management strategies.
The analysis found that even at peak hours, almost half the downtown parking supply sat vacant. While the most convenient curb parking spaces were full, public parking structures a stone’s throw away were mostly vacant. To fix this, the plan recommends demand-based pricing for the most convenient, front-door spaces, with the resulting revenues dedicated to priority downtown programs.
Actual peak parking demand was just 0.98 spaces occupied per 1000 ft.² of commercial space. Yet the city’s strict minimum parking mandates often required five to 10 times as many spaces, inadvertently hindering the reuse of existing buildings and making many proposed investments financially infeasible. To support downtown revival, the consultant team worked with downtown stakeholders to develop a consensus on reducing minimum parking requirements to a level that reflects actual use: one space per 1000 ft.² of commercial space. An in-lieu of parking fee provides further flexibility. The change makes it possible to realize the visionary downtown plan prepared by Duany Plater-Zyberk and Sargent Town Planning.
The plan also recommends a full transportation demand management program, including a deep-discount transit pass program for downtown employees, a parking cash-out program, and a residential parking benefit district to protect neighborhoods from spillover parking problems. An implementation and monitoring plan provides a clear guide for future work.
Oxnard’s City Council voted unanimously to adopt the plan in December 2009 and implementation is underway.