Local Officials Discuss Parking Strategies at Urban Centers Forum

Representatives from Chester County’s 15 boroughs and the City of Coatesville attended the recent Urban Centers Forum, which focused on ways to address parking challenges, opportunities, and strategies.

As a component of Chester County’s economic development strategy known as VISTA 2025, the “Parking Lessons Learned” forum was a call-to-action for the urban centers to learn about and discuss parking issues. Municipal officials, staff members, main street managers, and consultants for the county’s 16 urban centers attended the forum, including representatives from the City of Coatesville and the following boroughs: Atglen, Avondale, Downingtown, Elverson, Honey Brook, Kennett Square, Malvern, Modena, Oxford, Parkesburg, Phoenixville, South Coatesville, Spring City, West Chester, and West Grove. Officials from townships that have train stations were also invited since the forum focused on parking issues. 

The two-hour event, which took place on Dec. 14 at the Coatesville Courtyard Marriott, included a panel discussion and networking opportunities for event attendees. During the panel session, Chester County Planning Commission Urban Planner Kevin Myers presented “The State of Parking in Chester County.” Phoenixville Borough Manager Jean Krack and John Yurick, a senior project manager at McMahon Associates, talked about a Phoenixville parking study. West Chester Business Improvement District Executive Director Malcolm Johnstone discussed a West Chester parking study. Timothy Haahs, president of Timothy Haahs & Associates, shared tips about parking strategies.

The Chester County Department of Community Development, the Chester County Planning Commission, and the Chester County Economic Development Council have hosted these workshops as part of an ongoing effort to support the 16 urban centers in promoting revitalization and assist with future growth and development initiatives. The workshops are centered on specific topic areas that pose both challenges and opportunities for the urban centers. They are designed to promote data sharing and comparing experiences with one another through friendly communication.

The fall 2015 forum focused on building and implementing economic development strategies in towns; the spring 2016 forum highlighted the redevelopment of underutilized properties; and the fall 2016 forum featured the mentality of marketing.