‘ParkEasy’ project geared to ease public parking in downtown Nevada City | TheUnion.com

‘ParkEasy’ project geared to ease public parking in downtown Nevada City

Anyone who has traveled to downtown Nevada City knows that finding a place to park is often not easy.

City Manager Mark Prestwich is determined to change that and will unveil plans that could add 183 new downtown parking spaces under a three-year plan being coined "ParkEasy Nevada City".

"We want people to know that it will be easy to park in Nevada City," Prestwich said.

The parking expansion strategy, which will be discussed at Wednesday's 6:30 p.m. City Council meeting, came forth from previous goal setting workshops and resulted in a plan that includes short-term, near-term, and long-term goals.

Short-term goals, in the year 2017, include utilizing affordable and easy to implement solutions that focus on re-striping roads and adding angle parking to create 33 additional spaces.

The project calls for removing sidewalks on some roadways, including portions of High and Coyote streets, that Prestwich says lead nowhere in order to make room for angle parking, creating 29 additional parking spaces in the process.

Near-term goals, through the year 2018, include expanding existing lots such as the Spring Street lot behind the National Hotel, which would double in size and create an additional 23 spaces in itself. There, a retaining wall would be built at the far end of the future lot and would be filled in with dirt before paving the expanded lot.

"We have some Measure S funds to provide matching funds," Prestwich said of how ParkEasy would be funded.

Other near-term goals include building parking lots that currently don't exist, including one proposed for Clark and Sacramento streets that would be connected to the downtown via a walking path over the historic Maybert Bridge, which was acquired from Nevada County in 2014 and would need to be set in place over Deer Creek.

"It's nice to see an asset go through a renaissance and brought back to life," Prestwich said of the late 1800's bridge.

"This could also open up an interpretive display about the mine there," he added.

More ambitious long-term goals from 2019 to 2020, includes construction of a two-story parking structure at the corner of Washington and Main streets. This would add 48 additional spaces to the current County-owned courthouse parking lot, but would come at a higher cost to implement.

"The idea is to own it by the City," Prestwich said of the courthouse lot. "We can more than double the parking for the courthouse."

Prestwich added that the courthouse parking could be made available for public parking, following the normal business hours.

The plan also calls for four electric vehicle charging stations, two for the Nevada Street lot and two for the lot on Commercial Street, for which Prestwich said the city is already seeking grant funding.

A shuttle option is also being floated in the ParkEasy plan, and would model a shuttle used during Victorian Christmas where folks can be picked up at the Rood Center and brought downtown. The shuttle would operate for six hours on Friday and Saturday nights and would offer 200 additional parking spaces.

To contact Staff Writer Elias Funez email efunez@theunion.com, or call 530-477-4230.