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Parking Study Highlights Need For New Businesses

Nelson\Nygaard consulting firm makes recommendations to improve borough parking situation

The Nelson\Nygaard consulting firm presented their during Wednesday night's Lansdale Parking Authority meeting, and while the study predominantly focused on parking availability, the amount and variety of businesses within the borough also came into question.

As a part of the parking study, the Nelson\Nygaard firm conducted an online survey of more than 200 people, of which 80 percent were located within the 19446 zip code. 

The survey results suggest that a lack of stores and restaurants — not the availability of parking — has been keeping people away from the borough.

"The main reasons [people] don't go to Lansdale had nothing to do with parking," said Ralph DeNisco, a senior associate with Nelson\Nygaard.  "It had to do with what is already here."

Many of those who responded to the survey said they liked to go to due to the convenience of being able to shop close to home and to support local businesses.

But the survey listed a lack of stores, restaurants and business variety as the three main reasons people chose not to come to town.

"We understand that while parking is an issue in Lansdale, it's really an issue in service of the larger goals that I think everyone is trying to accomplish, about making this a more vital, attractive place for people to live, work and shop," said DeNisco.

In order to make the borough a destination of choice, the survey respondents said they'd like to see additional specialty, convenience and service shops, as well as the preservation of historic buildings and additional cultural activities.

Parking Recommendations

While the findings of the parking study state that "downtown Lansdale appears to have more than enough parking for its uses," that doesn't mean there's not room for improvement.

The recommendations included allowing the parking authority to have greater control in an effort to streamline the administrative processes, implementing short and long term plans for adding kiosks to parking lots and smart-readers to replace the old parking meters, and placing new signage explaining parking regulations.

Waypoints and maps were also suggested to improve the parking situation, however both will be implemented as a part of the borough's upcoming branding initiative.

Councillor Dan Dunigan, chairman of the parking authority, cautioned that no decisions have been made regarding the results of the parking study, and that they're simply recommendations at this point.

The full comprehensive parking study is available for viewing here.

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