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Ventura Downtown Specific Plan and Downtown Mobility and Parking Plan

Ventura, California
Firm Role
Parking and transportation demand management planning and coding
2005 – 2006, adopted 2006
525 acres
Honors & Awards

For the Downtown Specific Plan:

  • 2008 Compass Blueprint Achievement Award for Livability from the Southern California Association of Governments
  • 2007 Excellence Award for Outstanding Comprehensive Planning from the APA Central Coast Section


Ventura’s Downtown Specific Plan established an ambitious vision. Acres of surface parking are giving way to mixed-use buildings, reviving downtown’s historic role as the lively, pedestrian-friendly heart of the city. While a Principal at Nelson\Nygaard Consulting, Patrick Siegman consulted on the award-winning plan, as part of a team led by Moule & Polyzoides. To help implement its vision, he was then engaged to lead the Downtown Mobility and Parking Plan.

The work included a comprehensive review of best practices in transportation and parking management and technology, and extensive outreach to key stakeholders and the public.

The result of this consensus-building process was a dozen recommendations for restructuring downtown’s transportation plan. They included replacing free parking with performance-based parking prices, devoting the new parking revenue to downtown, phasing out minimum parking requirements, and instituting strong traffic reduction requirements. The plan requires new developments to unbundle the cost of parking from the cost of housing and commercial space, provide free transit passes for residents and employees, and institute parking cash-out programs.

Ventura’s then Mayor, Bill Fulton, described the results achieved on the first day that paid parking went into effect: “People who park all day downtown have moved into the lots and the upper levels of the parking garage. Spaces on the street are now available for shoppers…In other words, only 30 minutes after we instituted the parking management program, it is working.” In addition to solving a perceived parking shortage, the new meters raise more than $600,000 annually to fund downtown security, lighting and beautification. In the first six months after implementation, downtown crime dropped by 40%.

Renderings courtesy of Moule & Polyzoides and the City of Ventura