Burbank officials are developing a parking management program for the city to make it easier for residents and visitors to find parking without affecting local neighborhoods.
The City Council unanimously voted on Tuesday to approve a set of parking management principles city staff will use to create a parking plan.
Although the parking management plan allows city staff to further conduct research on different tactics to address parking issues throughout Burbank, such as spillover into neighborhoods and a lack of spaces available, city staff recommended — and council members agreed — to use the Metrolink station in the downtown area as a way to test whether certain parking management tools work.
David Kriske, the city’s assistant community development director for transportation, gave an overview of the six principles that will guide city staff when developing parking plans.
He prefaced by saying that the city really doesn’t have a coherent parking policy in place throughout the city.
“We’re currently looking at it in a piecemeal manner and not looking at it as a whole,” Kriske said.
The most controversial of the principles was regulating street parking and public lots with pricing. Kriske said it has been several decades since Burbank has had paid public parking and that some people take pride in the fact that the city does not charge for parking.
However, Kriske said council members should look at paid parking as a way to create turnover and open spaces throughout the day, rather than as a revenue source.
“It’s all about how you pick the price,” he said. “It’s not setting a price for a revenue goal. It’s not setting a price arbitrarily, but it’s really to find out how you do want that parking to operate and then setting a price for that operation to occur.”
Kriske added that the price set on the first day is probably going to be wrong and will have to be adjusted several times to determine what works best.
Should paid parking be implemented in the city, another principle in the parking plan suggests any parking revenue be reinvested, whether it be toward additional parking enforcement, maintaining and improving parking assets, such as public lots and structures, as well as making parking improvements in local neighborhoods.
Kriske said thee management plans need to be tailored to the neighborhoods they are addressing, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution to parking issues.
Aside from using paid parking as a management tool, another principle looks at the city working with businesses to utilize their private lots for public use after business hours.
Implementing this type of parking plan could benefit business hubs that have heavy traffic but limited spaces, such as Magnolia Park, Kriske said.