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.


The Parking Study

Through drone research on our signature First Friday events to monitoring a typical Thursday evening, 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.

Interested in helping out the cause? We are looking for volunteers to help get in on the action! Sign up to be part of the Downtown Parking Online Focus Group. This group will be sent email surveys to help us gauge the public’s opinion on parking improvements.

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 the downtown in 2018.  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 late last summer 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.


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


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.


Change the colors of meters to prevent confusion with handicapped meters.



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.


Work with Delaware Area Transit Authority to develop a downtown circulating route. Test drive on First Fridays initially.


 Investigate a program similar to Walk Your City to promote walkability of downtown and encourage people to park further away from their destination.

Example of the pay-by-phone app.


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


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.


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 tenant becomes available on the market, 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.

Downtown Parking Online Focus Group

Help us improve our Downtown Parking and get your voice heard! Volunteers for the Online Focus Group will participate in surveys to help us get an idea of what will improve your downtown parking experience.

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