Parking survey shows some support for garage

The results of a recent neighborhood survey show that a majority of residents and business owners support a recent proposal by the Cooper-Young Business Association to build a $4 million parking deck and retail space on Young Avenue, but the neighborhood is still divided on the best solution for parking congestion.

By the close of the survey, 416 people had responded. The first step in analyzing the survey results was to double-check that the respondent was a resident or business owner in Cooper-Young. Of the 416 respondents, 364 were valid. We omitted 28 responses because the respondent’s address was outside of the Cooper-Young boundaries, 12 because the respondent’s specific address was not given and 12 because the respondent only gave their address and left the rest of the survey blank. At the time of writing, we are still working to go through all the comments and feedback solicited in the open-ended sections, but we do have some information concerning the results to share.

Do We Have Enough Parking in Cooper-Young?
In response to the question, “Does this neighborhood have too many, too few, or about the right number of parking spots currently?” approximately 75 percent of respondents said that there were not enough parking spots in Cooper-Young, 17 percent thought that the amount of parking in the neighborhood was just right and only around 4 percent said that we had too many. This indicates that many respondents, residents and business owners alike, think that there is some form of a parking shortage in the community.

Options to Improve Parking
Since there does seem to be a shortage of available parking in Cooper-Young, what are possible solutions? The most popular response from survey respondents was a parking deck – 205 out of 364 voted for the deck as a viable option. The second most-popular option was additional signage to free parking with 81 votes, followed by “other” and pedicab service which tied, then shuttle/bus service and finally an increase in the number of valets. We asked respondents to elaborate on their selection of “other” if chosen. Many of the responses included working with existing lot owners, including most notably First Congregational Church, to allow parking in the busy evening hours, prior to the building of a deck. Trolley lines and/or some other form of a shuttle were also suggested.



Overall Feelings on Constructing a Parking Deck
For the most part, resident and business views on the above questions have trended very similarly. The biggest difference of opinions that we have found as of yet in reviewing the data is concerning the overall opinion on constructing a parking deck. Respondents who identified themselves with residents were divided in their views. For residents, 28 percent of respondents strongly supported constructing a parking deck. On the other hand, 21 percent were strongly opposed.

Overall, 52 percent of resident respondents expressed some form of support for constructing a parking deck whereas 37 percent expressed some form of opposition. Of the responses, 4 percent stated that they are neither in support nor opposition and 7 percent said that they did not have enough information at that time to make a decision.Respondents that held a business address were less divided in their responses. Of business respondents, 48 percent stated that they strongly

supported the construction of the parking deck whereas 7 percent strongly opposed it. Overall, 63 percent of business respondents expressed some form of support, 27 percent expressed some form of opposition, 3 percent were neither for nor against, and 7 percent said that they did not have enough information at that time to make a decision.

When the responses were looked at as a whole, with both business owners and residents combined, overall 56 percent of respondents were in favor of the construction of a parking deck, 36 percent opposed, 4 percent neither for nor against and 7 percent undecided due to not having enough information at that time.

There were many reasons listed as to why respondents supported the proposed parking deck. Those reasons included street congestion around the Cooper and Young intersection and on side streets, continued growth for businesses and the community, and overall lack of parking concerns that could be assisted with the deck. Those opposed were concerned about crime, current use of available lots, current design and aesthetics and the cost. Those requesting more information wanted to know more about safety and security measures, continued upkeep and funding and displacement/traffic issues from construction. We are still working on compiling the results of the rest of the survey, and we will also be mapping out responses to see how those closest to the location of the proposed deck feel.

We hope to release that information soon.Also to note, the Cooper-Young Community Association board has not yet taken a stance on the parking deck.  Results from this survey will be one of the factors playing into their decision.Thank you all for sharing your thoughts about the proposed parking deck with us via the survey we shared last month. We had a great response!

By Kristan Huntley/CYCA

Author: LampLighter

The voice of Cooper-Young, a vibrant, diverse neighborhood to live, work and play, in the heart of Midtown Memphis, Tennessee.

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