Merchants on board with Alder Street angled parking

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WALLA WALLA — At a Council work session this week, downtown merchants made it clear they want an Alder Street angled parking plan to go for the max.

And some suggested another alternative to keep traffic from backing up.

“My preference for the thing would be to go for 80 (parking) spots, and when you get to where you have traffic congestion put up a sign that says no left turn,” downtown building owner Charles Potts told Council at a work session on Monday.

Earlier this month, city officials released plans to convert a half-mile stretch of Alder Street between Fifth Avenue and Spokane Street to angled parking.

The plan came in three configurations, all three of which reduced through traffic to two lanes.

The least favored plan would add 47 spaces as well as a center turn lane to keep traffic from backing up. But angled parking would only be on the north side of Alder, thus reducing the number of added spaces.

The plan favored by a number of merchants at the meeting would add 80 spaces and angled parking on both sides of the street similar to Main Street.

The plan favored by city officials, however, would add 60 spaces and put angled parking on both sides of the street, except near the intersection of Second Avenue, where turn lanes would be added to avoid backups caused by motorists making left turns.

“Parking is a huge issue downtown. There are more people that work downtown than are parking spots, and we need as much parking as possible,” Downtown Walla Walla Foundation Executive Director Elio Agostini said.

He added he that believes the backups on Main are occasional and not enough to keep the city from going for the max plan.

“We don’t have a problem making left hand turns,” Agostini said. “Oh, we do on occasion. But it is not that serious.”

City officials are now asking the general public to voice their opinion on the matter with the new Open City Hall website.

The angled parking issued is expected to be reviewed and voted on by the Council at its regular meeting on Dec. 18.

Alfred Diaz can be reached at alfreddiaz@wwub.com or 526-8325.

Comments

Hersey 4 months ago

If folks who work downtown would not park on Main, that would probably add a number of open parking spots.

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janrocks 4 months ago

there isn't a left turn problem now because of the 4 lanes...the dynamic will be totally different.
More street parking isn't the answer. I think more parking for employees in lots, and shoppers in lots would be more effective and keep traffic flowing. Employees are willing to pay for a spot to park - there just aren't many available.

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Calzaretta 4 months ago

I worry about the impact of angled parking on cyclists. Drivers have a much harder time of seeing cyclists when parked on an angle.

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oldguyonabike 4 months ago

Riding on Main Street, which has diagonal parking, is not a problem. Traffic is going slow enough that I don't delay others by just riding in the lane. By using diagonal parking the "door zone" is eliminated.

Adding this much parking for a very little amount of money, seems like a good idea. And if parking is still in great demand, charge for it.

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Calzaretta 4 months ago

I agree with the door issue, but at least you can see the door coming. It is really hard for someone to see when they are backing out since there is no line-of-sight until the car has already pulled out into traffic.

Maybe the real solution is for more of us to ride!

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fishmark54 4 months ago

It has already been decided by downtown employees that the future parking spots on Alder will be used so they can work downtown (no downtown 2 hour parking rules on Alder). Check out the UB FB page for once elected officials and then grow a brain. Why is the City of Walla Walla worrying about 'downtown parking' when the business owners ignore the need for customer parking? Doesn't the City of Walla Walla have street and sidewalk issues to figure out? Have the Alder street businesses really signed off on this moronic plan that will cost 30 grand for 60 downtown employee parking spaces?

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barracuda 4 months ago

Please go to the main (home) page a take the poll that is down towards the bottom of page.

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