Salisbury, MD – After a Mayor’s Office Business Forum on Wednesday, June 28th, the City of Salisbury is excited to announce the first Phase in the Parking Master Plan. The upcoming phases of the master plan will be released in a few weeks after downtown stakeholders, City Council members and the Salisbury Disability Advisory Committee have had a chance to review the entire scope of the plan. The business owners of downtown gave the City Administration a unique perspective into parking needs for the area including feedback on improvements to work toward over the next few weeks.
“We know residents and businesses are concerned with parking in Downtown Salisbury, City Administration hear and understand the concerns. This is only the First Phase of the Parking Master Plan and we addressed the 3 main issues that were heard: Accessibility, Enforcement/Safety, and Communications,” said City Administrator Andy Kitzrow. “We look forward to continuing to work with the public on ways to make Salisbury a more enjoyable place to live, visit, and explore.”
Accessibility measures such as more handicap spaces and “limited mobility” spaces will be added in premium locations during the implementation of the first phase of the Parking Master Plan in the near future. Limited mobility spots, which will be called Kindness Spaces, are intended to be more accessible parking spaces for those with limited mobility, senior citizens, or families with strollers.
Starting Thursday, June 29th, enforcement hours will be changed from 9am-4:30 pm to 9am-4:00 pm, and the signage will be updated throughout the month of July. There will still be free parking on weekends and evenings after 4 pm in all permitted lots and for on-street parking. In addition to 2-hour free parking in the garage, the City is introducing Free Parking Fridays starting June 30th with the last one being September 1st. This opportunity is for on-street parking only; permit lots or spaces will not be included in this summer parking holiday. These Free Parking Fridays are for residents and visitors to enjoy summer shopping deals, Downtown dining options and local events without worrying about their parking in addition to their tab or spending while downtown.
With safety at the forefront of the discussion, the parking garage safety audit was completed in mid-June identifying lighting improvements, camera adjustments and signage areas that needed to be updated. The majority of these adjustments have already taken place with signage continually being updated but if residents notice any lights that are out in the garage, we advise them to report these issues to our Citizen Reporter page so they can be rectified. The timing for the lights in the parking garage was updated to be active 24 hours a day allowing more visibility and illumination traveling to and from your vehicle. The cameras in the parking garage are already monitored 24/7 but frequent police presence will be added at night. In addition to an increase in SPD visits, daily parking garage safety checks will now be taking place thanks to the addition of the Downtown Ambassadors.
The Downtown Ambassador Program is one more measure which is intended to help communicate with Downtown Visitors all the various parking options and be a concierge service for all things Salisbury. These ambassadors will help make downtown a cleaner, safer, and more enjoyable destination by monitoring the downtown parking areas throughout the day and assisting anyone who may need it. Situations like helping visitors navigate downtown, troubleshooting technical issues with the parking app, or other concerns that may arise will be addressed by the Downtown Ambassador. In the evenings they will also be checking in with the various nightlife locations and assisting with taxi or transportation notification for patrons.
“This is only the first round of improvements coming to downtown, various other solutions to parking and convenience are being explored and we look forward to implementing them into our everyday schedules,” said Mayor Jack Heath. “I thank the business owners for their candor and cooperation, because working together we can make Salisbury amazing.”