The Future of Downtown Parking

Current Downtown Parking

Winter Street parking lot on a Thursday evening
  • “As a business owner, it’s challenging for me. Customers will comment about how hard it can be to find parking, which can prevent them from coming.” – Melissa Dixon, owner of Coffeeology.
  • “I’d come downtown more often if I knew I wouldn’t get frustrated trying to find parking.” – Emma Weber, Delaware resident.
  • “Has anyone seen the Parking Officer? She’s really quick and I need to beat her back to my car before I get a ticket!” – Zane Ross, Delaware resident.


Delaware is working to make it easier for patrons to find available parking. This page is dedicated to helping you find where to park today and a plan to make it easier to park in the future. Learn about the underutilized parking areas that are no more than a six minute walk from Delaware’s vibrant downtown district and the parking plan the city conducted in 2016 with plans to improve signage, enforcement and pedestrian experience in the coming years!

Where to Park

We know parking in cities can be hard, but knowing where to park makes it much easier! Use the map to identify the area you want to park and plug the coordinating address into your GPS to arrive right to the underutilized lot. Note that the Delaware County Library lot and the lot at 35 S. Franklin are open to the public after business hours.


The Parking Study

Through drone research on a typical Thursday night to monitoring Delaware’s signature First Fridays, the MKSK team provided incredible insight that helped us set goals that we will start implementing this year! Watch for changes to will enhance your parking experience.

MKSK Downtown Parking Study can be found here:

thumbnail of Downtown Delaware Parking Study – high res 2

**Need a short term parking fix? Use our updated Downtown Parking Map to know where to go.


Short-Term Improvements

You will notice these changes around thewithin the year.  View the Implementation Matrix here.

Implement a public information campaign to publicize public improvement efforts and inform people of when and where they can park.

Our #DelaWhere2Park campaign launched summer of 2016 to help people find underutilized parking with a social media campaign, passing out fliers with maps of underutilized parking and surveying businesses and downtown patrons of different parking issues. More to come as the campaign develops!


Eliminate vague, confusing and unnecessary signs within publicly available lots.

 We have come a long way on this and it is a work in progress.


Introduce simple, clear signs within parking lots that clearly states when parking spaces are available.

 We have come a long way on this too…and it is a work in progress.


Implement signs informing visitors that get a parking ticket that funds will be reinvested in the downtown.



  Adjust pricing to more appropriate hourly rates for an active downtown.

You can expect to see a change in pricing in 2020.




Mid-Term Improvements

You’ll see this list implemented before 2020. View the Implementation Matrix here.

 Establishing a joint or communal valet parking system downtown during peak times.

 We did research on this and found valet services would be too expensive for the city or downtown businesses to justify. We encourage any group of people interested in starting a low overhead business to consider starting their own valet business to contract with downtown business owners.

Work with Delaware County Transit Authority or a third party group to develop a downtown circulating route. Test drive on First Fridays initially.

The Delaware County Transit Authority currently circulates through downtown on First Fridays to shuttle people from the farthest underutilized lot to the downtown core to encourage people to park farther away! This is great for information gathering to see how a regular weekend circulator would to in the downtown.

 Investigate a program similar to Walk Your City to promote walkability of downtown and encourage people to park further away from their destination.
One of 16 signs in the downtown core placed around underutilized parking areas in Downtown Delaware for the Walk Your City sign campaign.

 The City collaborated with the Delaware General Health District to launch this sign campaign in June of 2018.

Install charging stations for electric cars in core downtown parking lots.

Two charging stations were put in the William Street public parking lot in 2018.

Evaluate potential to establish parking benefit district in Downtown Delaware. Publicize where revenue from parking will be reinvested in downtown parking.


 Phase in new parking meters that take credit cards and allow users to pay via mobile.

The Passport app was launched April of 2019!

Long-Term Improvements

These changes will happen after 2020. View the Implementation Matrix here.

Improve pedestrian connections from public parking lots to destination by making beautification improvements to existing pedestrian-ways and alleys.


Example of a pedestrian pass-through using a downtown building.
As key first floor spaces become available, the City could acquire a downtown space to create a publicly accessible pedestrian pass-through.

Enhance the streetscapes of the Downtown Core to create inviting pedestrian connections and encourage people to walk farther to their destination.


Improve the entrance points to lots, providing aesthetic improvements to make them more inviting to pedestrians and motorists.


Install smart meters throughout downtown.


***Need a short term parking fix? Use our updated Downtown Parking Map to know where to go.

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