Friday, April 16, 2010

The immediate result of the WMMS Parking Initiative is a table

Pretty simply put it has been tabled for another meeting or two.

I should have written this the night of but procrastinated...

At any rate, everyone saw the presentation.  You will be able too soon enough since the presentation is now it is on the Main Street Website.  There is no sound to the presentation so if you want to look I suggest that you click on the pause buttons and take it all in.   The numbers there speak for itself, if you look at the revenue that you take in over the span of three years, it pays off any revenue bond needed to maintain the drive plus produces enough revenue to fund the movement towards the final phase of having trees down the middle of the drive and turn this speedway into a jewel.

The phased approach works.  It allows us to take the funds from the parking meters that would be installed in the 115 new spaces and pays for maintenance, meters, enforcement, and then more.   We can, after the first year pays off the striping of the drive, begin to reclaim the medians and place beautification "hardscaping" items such as pavers and other items such as planters to better delineate entries to driveways and streets and other things.

This can all be done by our little cash strapped city in the middle of a budgetary crunch.

The biggest problem I see with all of this is a vision thing - the plan will work if it is followed and the monies from parking in those 115 spaces that are created are strictly used for the improvement of the drive until the drive is completed. If these guidelines for finances are not put into place, the budgetary realities of life in a constrained era would mean that we end up with a striped drive with plenty of parking funding items that the city will need to function.  This money should not be used for painting offices, internet access for the outlying buildings, or replacing city vehicles for example.   The money should be strictly limited for the improvement of the drive until the plan for drive is "Complete".

Do we have the discipline to follow the plan?   I am a project manager by trade.  The plan follows a normal iterative process in project management.  If you follow each step, you will get to a point where you are ready to move onto the next.   You can't jump from step one to step four without going through the other steps first.  Without step one funding the rest, you will end up being stuck at step one "forever".

That will solve the problems of some of the businesses on the drive, lessen the parking problems in the immediate neighborhoods of the Central Area (Link was broken when I made this post) and help beautify the city.  Those who complete this plan will be justifiably be qualified for reelection.  

The plan needs oversight, and that can't be avoided, but it is a good one and allows for some flexibility in the final results.

So go look at the video on while it is there.  All the numbers are there for you to crunch.  The city will be revisiting the plan in two (or perhaps four) weeks.  There is a LOT there and I think the most prudent thing for them to have done was to table it while they look over the large three ring binders that were presented to each of them.

We will have to wait until then... but this can be a good thing.  Measured and thorough thinking always helps.

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