Dortmont Borough will get a parking study about the existing problems and possible solutions of the city’s parking situation. And they will get it for free! How did they arrange this, you ask? Instead of having to pay consultants to research the parking situation and recommend solutions for the problems, Dortmont has help from students of the local Carnegie Mellon University.
At the CMU they have a course called Sustainable Community Development for graduate students. This time, the students’ project is about Dortmonts parking woes and ways to improve parking in order to improve the business districts and residential areas viability now and in the future.
In residential areas this is the current problem: There simply aren’t enough parking spaces for the amount of cars. To make matters worse, people who have a driveway or garage at their houses park on the streets anyways leaving even less room for people who don’t have a private parking space. It’s up to the students to find out what the problem really is and how it could be fixed.
First the students will do some field research and meet with officials. The students will probably look at how parking in the business area can be more attractive. Because right now it just doesn’t seem convenient for people to stop here.
Normally you’ll have to hire professional consultants, which costs a couple of hundred dollar bills. Make that about ten of those bills. Let’s just hope that the students are as professional, creative, motivated and well-informed as the Borough hopes they are.
The project has to be finished over 10 weeks. That is the time limit for the students to pass the course. I’m curious about what they will present in the end.