Have your say about downtown parking

The District of Invermere (DOI) has a new public survey to help lay the groundwork for future parking projects.

For those who have ever been frustrated by the downtown parking situation, or feel like there’s an idea no one else has thought of yet, the District of Invermere (DOI) has a new public survey to help lay the groundwork for future projects.

Available either online on the district website or in hard copy at either the library or the district offices, the Downtown Invermere Parking Survey 2012 is a chance for anyone who is interested to have their say about future parking projects in the downtown of Invermere. The survey is a joint effort between the DOI and consulting company Opus International, who were awarded a contract earlier in the year.

“The scope of it is that they are looking at downtown parking, the existing parking, and considering the community enhancement plan,” Director of Development Services for the DOI, Rory Hromadnik said. “They’re taking a look at the direction for the downtown and at our parking options, but more importantly really evaluating what we have, what’s working, and what’s not working.”

While Opus International has provided the survey and will be taking a look at the results, they worked closely with the district to provide relevant questions and solutions for Invermere’s parking problems, both during shoulder seasons as well as the busier summer days.

Included with the four-page survey is a chance to win one of four $50 shopping vouchers at downtown Invermere businesses. The survey itself asks how satisfied one is with the current parking situation, as well as questions regarding parking preferences and short term cost-effective options that could be implemented for this upcoming summer. Hromadnik says while it’s nearly impossible to plan for some of the busier summer days, they would like to see a few changes this summer, including improved signage,  to help alleviate congestion.

“There are certain days of the year where it is just physically impossible to have enough parking spots,” Hromadnik said. “It’s about organizing, and I think the problem is we’re not sure what we actually need.”

While the survey itself likely won’t serve as a precursor to any major immediate changes, what it will do is help the DOI come up with a vision of what they would like to eventually see happen. While Hromadnik says the district does have some ideas already, he says that this is a great opportunity for the community at large to have their opinions heard and to have a say in the document Opus International will produce to be presented to council later in the year.

“The intent is to have a document we can hopefully adopt and then have a vision, so that when grants and community dollars become available, we’ve got something to say this is where we’re going,” Hromadnik said. “What I’d like to see is some clarity on what our current situation is, and to have some science behind that.”

The survey deadline was recently moved ahead to April 27, 2012. There are also plans to have a sort of open house on June 8, where the community can submit their own designs and ideas for consideration.