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Posted: July 14, 2014 More public parking proposed for Downtown Eau Claire

Early designs for parking ramp show 550 to 775 stalls

Taken from Leader-Telegram, Andrew Dowd

Amid pickup trucks hauling bathing-suit-clad people ready to float down the Chippewa River on inner tubes and cars circling Phoenix Park to find a parking place before Thursday night’s free weekly concert, city planners and consultants spoke about a proposed downtown Eau Claire parking ramp.

Thursdays in summer are among the peak times for parking in the North Barstow area, where Eau Claire officials are planning a parking ramp to address demand from area workplaces during weekdays and the general public on nights and weekends.

“We’re to the point where this needs to be done or we’re done developing this area,” said Randy Beck, executive vice president of RCU, the first private company that built in the Phoenix Park area.

There’s no more space available for parking lots, he said, if the city still wants to attract more businesses to the North Barstow area.

While the ramp is not being designed to cater to peak times like Thursdays, city engineer David Solberg said it would improve parking availability for special events and meet city agreements to provide parking for nearby businesses, for which they have agreed to buy permits.

Though the City Council has not yet voted on if it will actually build the ramp estimated to cost about $10 million, local officials did hire a consultant to draw up designs for the project.

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