The Kodiak City Council has been asked to kick its parking plan into gear.
On Tuesday night, Kodiak Police Chief T.C. Kamai recommended changes to the plan that governs parking in downtown Kodiak.
As businesses have fled downtown, Kamai said, the parking plan hasn’t kept up. “When that changed, our parking plan didn’t change,” he said.
Kamai recommended the council turn about three dozen short-term parking spaces in the downtown mall area into long-term spaces to be used by people who work in the area.
“There seems to be a demand for long-term parking and not so much for short-term,” he said. “That need is based on employees, mostly, who need a place to park.”
Kamai’s conclusions were based on a series of parking studies that measured which parking spots were used and how often.
If accepted, the changes would reverse a plan implemented by a prior council when the downtown business district took precedence over fishing traffic. With a decline in downtown business, fishing traffic and parking for non-retail workers has become more important.
Bob Polasky, CEO of the Sun’aq Tribe of Kodiak, and Sun’aq board member Iver Malutin each said long-term parking would benefit tribal employees who are forced to park away from their offices in the downtown mall.
“Short of building a very large, very expensive parking garage … I don’t know if we’re ever going to be able to develop parking that’s convenient for everyone,” Kamai said. “Our recommendations are really more about measuring the need, then adjusting what we have to meet the need.”
No action on the parking plan was taking during Tuesday’s work session. The city council meets for a regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. tonight in the borough assembly chambers.