Willmar Downtown Parking Assessment

Willmar, Minnesota

The Willmar Design Center, in partnership with Rice Memorial Hospital, Kandiyohi County, and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission, retained SRF to conduct a parking study for downtown Willmar. The City is located west of the Twin Cities and has a population of approximately 20,000.

SRF relied on a quantitative approach to support the plan’s recommendations. One of these measures included a utilization survey that placed “boots” on the ground to determine the number of available parking spaces (on and off-street) during peak periods of the day. This information was linked to a parking model that determined parking needs based on existing and future land use scenarios. Findings from this assessment was also supplemented with visual graphics (i.e., parking modules) to display how redevelopment can occur overtime, while meeting parking needs on-site and maximizing the site’s development potential.

Our data driven approach, paired with visual diagrams and best practices in parking management has helped educate and inform policy makers and a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).

Key deliverables for the project include:

  • A digital inventory of all on-street and off-street parking spaces, with associated attribute information (e.g., public vs. private, time restrictions, ADA compliance, and type).
  • A parking model linked to the downtown’s existing land uses (e.g., type of use, number of residential units, and square footage), utilization rates and ITE Parking Generation Rates.
  • A parking model that provides staff the opportunity to make development assumptions and see its direct impact on the downtown’s parking supply.
  • Parking modules that provide a visualization of how blocks may redevelop, while maximizing density, providing open space and meeting on-site parking requirements.
  • A plan that prioritizes recommendations, cost implications, and resources needed to help facilitate parking demands over the next ten to fifteen years.

Client:

The Willmar Design Center, in partnership with Rice Memorial Hospital, Kandiyohi County, and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission.