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Downtown Parking

From Bloomingpedia


The availability of Downtown parking has been a hot topic in Bloomington for many years. The most recent parking garages to be added are the facility at 4th & Walnut and Walnut Center at 7th & Walnut.

In 2007, Walker Parking Consultants were hired to perform a new parking study after Finelight, a marketing company headed by former Bloomington mayor John Fernandez, announced plans to build a new five-story headquarters downtown on the condition that the city would be able to provide enough parking. An initial draft of the study suggested that existing facilities were adequate, but Mayor Mark Kruzan pronounced the city "disappointed" by the results. This followed the 2005 Downtown Vision and Infill Strategy Plan, which recommended improving the efficiency of the current parking layout by such strategies as improved enforcement, better garage lighting and security, and co-operation with owners of private parking areas, before building additional structures.

Current layout

5am-5pm, Monday - Saturday

The following areas offer free parking for 2 hours a day on either side of the street of a block.

8am - 5pm, Monday - Friday

The following areas offer free parking for 2 hours a day on either side of the street of a block.

Historical layout

In the 1960s, parking meters surrounded the square. In the 1990s, most of the square and surrounding area had free 2 hour parking Monday through Friday. In the 2000s, the downtown square changed to a 5am to 5pm Monday through Saturday schedule for most spots. This was possibly to deter people from parking overnight on the square.

The Regester Parking Garage, since the early 1980s until the demolishing of the original, was a common place for people to park who needed to keep their car in one place for more than 2 hours. It had metered parking on top and permit parking in the lower level.

Private parking

While most Bloomington residential neighborhoods are required to provide roughly one parking space for each bedroom, the requirements are more lax when building more than 15 housing units per acre. Here are some examples of downtown developments:

Development Bedrooms Parking spots
10th & College 123 70
The Kirkwood 96 80
The Mercury 130 62
11th & College Lofts 32 17
Smallwood Plaza 702 455

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