By Josh Davis, Associate Editor
(July 19, 2018) In an online post, the Town of Berlin recently requested information for a multifaceted parking study.
According to an online description, the town “is seeking consultant qualifications for pro-active solutions to its mobility challenges, such as a lack of bikeways, inconsistent pedestrian access and limited parking to continue the successful growth of downtown.
“The selected consultant will develop a detailed and cohesive mobility and parking study for downtown,” the request stated.
Proposals are due by July 31 and vendors had until July 17 to submit questions about the project, according to Town Administrator Laura Allen.
“It’s not just a parking study, but we’re also asking for the successful proposer to address mobility issues in town, such as a lack of contiguous sidewalks and lack of bikeways,” Allen said.
She said the request asked consultants to include an assessment of existing parking conditions and included requirements for recommendations.
“In here, we have a parking garage, but it’s not designed to be the sole solution,” Allen said. “We’re asking the consultants to think about their work … using a multimodal approach and keeping the concept of ‘complete streets’ in mind.”
“Complete streets,” Allen explained, “focus on access for everybody.” That includes pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as motorists.
“It’s a planning model that Smart Growth America uses with much success,” she said. “We’re asking them to think about the parking challenges in a broader sense as mobility within the town.
“The more I read about the generations of folks that are younger than me, they’re not relying on automobiles for transportation like my generation and the generation before it,” Allen continued. “The other thing that we included in here is asking the consultants to keep that in mind … The town wants to be forward in future thinking around mobility and the mobility of those folks that are going to be less auto-focused.”
Allen said a committee would look over proposals and there may be an interview process before the Town Council votes on whether to award a contract.
To view the request for information, visit https:/berlinmd.gov/maryland-government/request-for-proposals.