In an effort to identify where people are parking and how Palo Alto's exiting parking supply is being used, the city has contracted a consultant team headed by Dixon Resources to conduct extensive data collection in downtown Palo Alto Thursday and on Saturday, May 21, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Parking counts will be performed in the city's six public garages and 12 surface parking lots, according to the city. Dixon Resources will conduct the counts using the smartphone app, OccuApp, which captures license plate numbers and locations of cars parked within the study area. Information on individual license plates will not be stored in the system, according to the city, but rather "aggregated to have a better understanding of where people are parking and for how long."
The data collection effort will guide city officials on recommendations for the most efficient use of parking in downtown, including time restrictions, evaluating if paid parking is needed and the allocation of permit and public parking spaces.
Parking data collection will be captured again in September and October, according to the city. Because of the study's proposed scope and size of the study area, the survey will rely on "a sampling methodology to select a set of block faces and off-street facilities that are representative of downtown," according to the city.
A stakeholder group of residents, large and small businesses and property owners will serve as an advisory committee on the direction of the study. The group will also evaluate draft recommendations based on the data collected. Dixon Resources will also conduct a number of focus groups to solicit feedback. A recommendation is expected to return to the City Council by the end of the year or the beginning of 2017, according to the city.