Study: Area needs 27,000 parking spots

PHOENIX - Nearly 27,000 more parking spaces will be needed in the downtown area by 2015, the Downtown Phoenix Partnership said this week.
The estimates are based on a months-long study of the area and the results will be presented to a City Council subcommittee next week, officials said.

"We don't need to panic about this, but it (the study) points out that it's an issue we can't ignore," said Brian Kearney, partnership president and CEO. advertisement

Officials expect the population of downtown residents and workers to boom in the coming years because of several developments that are in the planning stages. These include the Arizona State University downtown Phoenix campus, the University of Arizona medical school, light-rail and an expanded Phoenix Convention Center.

The number of needed spaces is high, officials said, because the study does not take into account any garages or lots that might be provided by private developers. "We're trying to get ahead of the curve," Chairman R. Neil Irwin said at the partnership's board meeting Monday.

The study found that there are about 30,000 parking spaces in the downtown area but that about 4,500 spaces would be lost to development. The study recommends that businesses work with the city to promote alternative transportation and to build underground garages, among other things.

The study is being conducted by Walker Parking Consultants. It will be presented to the City Council's Downtown, Economy, Sports and International subcommittee on Wednesday
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