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Wilmington City Council urges administration to spearhead search for a parking study consultant

Delaware Public Media

The City of Wilmington is seeking a consultant to access parking needs.

Wilmington City Council recently passed a resolution requesting the administration engage with an external consultant to assess all aspects of the city’s parking system.

The resolution’s sponsor, Council member James Spadola, says the city needs to look at changing needs.

“Some neighborhoods want parking enforcement on the nights and weekend, some don’t, some have no interest in it," Spadola says. "How can we balance those needs as a city that has totally different neighborhoods, each with their own unique parking situations?”

Parking enforcement across neighborhoods, daily and weekend parking rates, and parking infrastructure would also be evaluated. Spadola adds the proposed study will identify areas of improvement and recommend solutions.

“Just really reexamining everything we’re doing with parking because we’re still doing parking like it was in the 90’s," Spadola says.

Spadola says there is not money included in the current fiscal year budget to hire a firm, but he will work to include it the following year once a firm is chosen.

He adds they are looking for a firm that can demonstrate their expertise and experience in conducting comprehensive parking studies – noting the city wants to reexamine everything.

“More parking is always great," Spadola adds. "For example, if you are downtown, there a lot of areas with a yellow curb that prohibit parking and I’m not sure if anyone has even reexamined why that curb is yellow and what would be the harm in making that a parking spot?”

Spadola says parking is an issue he receives calls about at least once a week, but historically council has been reactive to citizen concerns. He says the parking study is a way to be proactive.

Council already passed some legislation to reform the parking system including reducing the cost of parking tickets, simplifying the residential permitting process, and increasing booting and towing thresholds.

Rachel Sawicki was born and raised in Camden, Delaware and attended the Caesar Rodney School District. They graduated from the University of Delaware in 2021 with a double degree in Communications and English and as a leader in the Student Television Network, WVUD and The Review.