$80k Casper Downtown Parking Study Allocated with Federal Funds

Casper city officials address downtown parking issues with a new traffic study.

The new study aims for parking improvements as the heart of Casper thrives and grows.

News 13's Tyler Waggenspack reports on the cost of the study and spoke with council members about what it will do.

Casper residents took to Facebook, expressing their concerns about city officials spending $80,000 for a downtown parking study.

"The money can always be spent somewhere else,” shared Councilwoman Amanda Huckabay.

Casper Area Metro Planners recently approved the study, while city council members were asked where it should be focused.

Council members made a decision to use the study for parking improvements in downtown and the Old Yellowstone District.

Ninety-one percent of the $80,000 is federally funded. Every dime can only be used for the study itself.

Council member Amanda Huckabay told News 13 it will help meet demands for the growing downtown area.

She added the money will also be spent wisely.

"If we're going to come up with a comprehensive plan, that's something that needs to be a part of that."

The plan uses community engagement and focuses on high priority issues, such as traffic.

Local business owners have felt the impact of downtown traffic jams.

Emilee Willard, downtown business ower shared, “Weekly someone has come in and said, I’ve been meaning to come to your store, I’ve been meaning to shop from you but I couldn't find a parking spot so I just kept going. It has always been a huge issue."

"The main issue I see is we have a lot of downtown merchants and their employees parking on their street which is taking away parking from their paying customers."

The last time a parking study had been done in Casper was nearly 17 years ago.

The study proceeds this fall.