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Parking Services in Iowa City

Parking Services in Iowa

The provision of parking services in a city is one characteristic that can be used to define the success or failure of the city design. Additionally, when a city is experiencing parking deficiencies, it has a negative impact on all the activities of the city as it is likely to lead to congestion which in turn makes it hard to move from place to place across the city. For quite some time, the city of Iowa has been faced with challenges in its parking service provision sector. In other words, the number of vehicles that need parking has always been higher than the available places for parking. As a result, experiencing inadequacy in parking services has made the city a more congested place hence causing inconveniences in terms of time taken to park a vehicle. The parking cost incurred as well as the amount of effort one has to make to find a parking place.

In Iowa City, the department of city transportation services is responsible for supervising the activities of parking lots available in the city, garages, as well as metered on-street parking. One of the department’s main roles involves the regulation of parking practices in the central business district of the city. In regard to the state of the parking situation in the city, the department reports reveal that there is a relatively high demand for parking services in the entire Iowa City. In order to ease the parking problem, the department resolves to promote the use of on-street parking areas and garages in the town especially by people with longer-term requirements for parking. However, the department does not seem to have solved the problem facing the high demand for parking space as compared to that which is available. Therefore, it is crucial to find a solution to the city’s parking challenge in order to ease the situation.

A deeper analysis of parking space deficiency across Iowa reveals that people have been facing the problem for quite a long time and most of them fear how far it could go if no solution is developed. In fact, one of the residents was quoted saying that the “most appropriate and reliable way to get around the town is only on foot or by use of two wheels”. In other words, residents, as well as guests of the city, affirm that the situation is just as horrible as anyone could imagine. Moreover, residents of Iowa State believe that the best way to ease the parking challenge is to put up more places. However, it is not easy to establish more parking lots in a packed up city like Iowa which implies that strategic planning is highly needed to create more space for parking.

Challenges Caused by Parking Problems

In a town that is undergoing inadequacies of parking services like Iowa, there are a number of challenges that are likely to be created. Disruptions of people’s normal and daily routines are likely to occur in Iowa as compared to other cities with available parking spaces. When activities are disrupted, they result in alteration of plans without notice, which in most cases is likely to cause inconveniences such as delayed delivery of goods. In situations where processes of production are involved, these disruptions lead to delayed production which in turn may interfere with the produced amounts.

The shortage of parking lots in Iowa has led to reduced reliability of public transport systems. When the town is crowded and there are no places to park vehicles, it becomes more complicated for those vehicles in the streets to keep moving, thus leading to traffic congestions. In such a scenario it leads to slow down the movement of transportation processes. Additionally, when public transport systems are slowed down and unreliable, people are forced to opt for commuting which happens for relatively long distances. Commuting for long distances, in turn, leads to a waste of time, which could be avoided if there was an available means of faster transport.

Reduction or total loss of public spaces is common in Iowa. When parking lots are full, the owners of vehicles will most likely use public land or other vacant space to park. Using public lands such as roadsides, common fields, and others prevents other transport and pedestrians from comfortable moving around, or even leaving them blocked. Parking at the roadside in many cases leads to congested roads, which could easily lead to the occurrence of an accident. Increased chances of accident occurrence, in turn, endangers the lives of people who may use these roads.

The high cost of parking and transport services also may be noticed in Iowa. The above-stated difficulties make the city more prone to manipulation of prices to suit the prevailing conditions. In Iowa for instance, parking time is said to be limited to one hour. Restricting parking time to one hour is quite unrealistic as in many occasions people need to park and to work or other important activities which are unlikely to last an hour or less. City congestion, therefore, has a number of negative effects on the people who live in it.

Existing Efforts to Solve Parking Inadequacy

To deal with the problem of insufficient parking space, the department of Iowa City transportation services has engaged in several activities that are aimed at creating more parking spaces or making better utilization of the existing one. Some of these activities include holding meetings that are aimed at arranging discussions with people on how to improve the condition of parking services in the city. In holding these meetings, the transportation department aims at collecting a wide range of ideas from the people on what they think would work best in providing more parking spaces. The officials also wish to hear ideas as well as thought that other people have concerning the situation most likely to make a smart decision.

In managing the parking practices of people, the transportation department has been out to regulate the hours that a car is parked in a public parking space. Although prohibiting all-day parking in a public space, people ignore the regulations and park their cars anyways because there is not sufficient supervision. When people park for long in public lots, they make other drivers who need short-term parking experience difficulties finding such a place. In order to reduce the congestion, therefore, the department has been increasing its supervision and monitoring activities to ensure that only short-term parking is done at public lots especially in the central business district of Iowa City.

In addition to the above-stated regulation plans, the city authority has been planning to increase the reservation for the courthouse employee parking to ease the traffic. If the workers at the courthouse are provided with their own parking, the congestion at the square would reduce as long-term parking will reduce. County commissioners have been witnessed to have the interest to help in easing the parking congestion in the city. The city plans to identify the possible spaces that could be transformed into parking lots and thus increase the space for parking.

Situation Analysis

In Iowa, the poor availability of parking places and services highly affects store customers and the owners of the stores. When customers need something from the stores, they are forced to park their vehicles at a larger distance from them and have to look for means to transport their goods to their vehicles. Having to use other means of transport to get the goods to their car, greatly discourages the customers and can lead to a perusal to visit the store again. These parking insufficiencies have negative effects on both individuals and their businesses.

Store owners are also involved in solving the issue as sometimes they are forced to cater to the transportation of their customers’ goods to vehicles. Such expenses reduce the profits that the store owner gains from the sales. In addition, the store owners are also victims of the lacking of places to park. They are forced to park far away from their stores and walk to their stores. Parking space insufficiency can, therefore, be said to interfere with business processes in negative ways which cannot be ignored when considering the effects of lack of convenient and reliable parking spaces.

Workers who are based in the city have to incur parking costs as they report in for work. Paying for parking services tends to reduce the disposable income of individuals in the city. Reduced disposable income, on the other hand, reduces the amount of money that individuals have to spend on their daily needs. In the morning when they lack places to park their vehicles the workers are forced to spend more time looking for parking lots which in turn leads to them getting late for their jobs. Reporting to work late is considered as one of the job misconducts and employees are forced to take up responsibility for their lateness which is not actually their fault.

Travelers who use the roads that are affected by the unavailability of parking spaces find it hard to easily navigate their way through the city. Sometimes a lot of vehicles are parked on the roadside causing a lot of road congestions which could at times lead to reduced road visibility hence increasing the chances of accident occurrence. Increased probability of encountering accidents highly endangers people’s lives as they may lead to loss of lives or severe injuries.

Iowa City schools also have a very inconvenient transporting and parking system. Students spent 100 dollars a month to buy a pass while without them, a student pays a dollar per every city pass. Free rides for students with identity cards are only available inside school premises. Rides are as well highly unreliable as they are offered only between 40 minutes to an hour.

Solution Proposal

As the past measures and techniques have failed to reduce the congestion caused by parking area insufficiency, new measures will have to be incorporated to deal with the problem. In decreasing parking congestion, different components of the city population will be categorized according to their area of work. The campus parking lot, for instance, should be constructed in such a way that it is specifically identified and differentiated between the faculty members’ and students’ parking lots. Included in the campus are three parking lots, A, B, and C. A is only for the school’s faculty parking, while B and C are for students.

In charging, the lots are paid for according to their distance from the campus teaching area. Apart from distance, the lots will charge depending on the parking lot the person chooses. The faculty’s parking lot will charge a lot more than the students’ parking lot. In the students’ parking lot category, the parking lot B is a lot nearer to the campus and teaching area while Parking lot C is further. It, therefore, implies that parking lot B will charge a lot more than a lot C because of its closeness to the campus.

In addition to parking lot coordination, the school should organize its transporting system so that all students have access to a convenient transporting system. In doing this there will be the least cases of inconveniences experienced by students concerning the transport system. Transport should be arranged in such a way that it is highly convenient for the students. Convenience may be achieved by making sure that the intervals between bus arrivals are as minimum as possible. Small-time intervals will ensure that there is always a bus available for the students to use in case they are changing classes or blocks. Ensuring that buses operate under small time intervals will guarantee that students do not have to wait extra time to be picked by the bus which could cost them they're being late for class or even missing it. With such interventions, students will be sure to have the maximum time they could get to focus on their books as well as to make sure they get to class on time.

Establishing a system that allows students with their student identification cards to ride the bus for free ensures that every student will have an opportunity to move around the campus even if he/she does not have cash. Having an arrangement that uses available student cards to transact reduces the time taken in changing money on the bus and enables them to focus on getting to their destinations in time. In addition, this arrangement provides students with an alternative in terms of riding the bus. When one does not have their student card and they need to use the bus, they can pay with cash.

In addition, those students who reside outside the school campus should be provided with shuttles to transport them to school and they could find how to get back to their residence on their own. Alternatively, they could add stops by signing an agreement with the transport services department. Intervals of the bus arrival will be 10 to 30 minutes for enhanced efficiency and reliability. The time of operation of these shuttles will be from 10 to 3.00 am in the morning so as to make sure that they facilitate the travel of the tenants.

A similar technique should be used in the city to leave aside public parking lots for those people who only want to park for a few minutes or less than an hour. Establishing these kinds of measures requires very close monitoring to ensure that no vehicles are left in public parking lots for more than an hour. Charging rates should additionally depend on the parking lot’s authority. Employers should also be advised to make sure that they provide enough parking space for all their employees. Under close and very strict supervision these rules will be a success, therefore the transport services department should be very keen to monitor these practices for the effectiveness of the plan.

Conclusion

All the solutions that were provided to resolve the issue of congestion in Iowa City are the best combination of methods that will help the city to achieve maximum effectiveness. The plan covers both the city and the school systems which allows them to achieve maximum efficiency of the plan. It is, however, challenging to achieve the effectiveness of the stated plan and therefore the responsible authorities including the city transport services department and the school security guards should maintain the standards set in the plan. With the plan and keen enforcers, the congestion in the city will decrease. The police departments should ensure that employers provide adequate parking services for their employees.

Reflective Notes

At a certain time, I lived in Iowa and observed the way the entire city was congested and therefore I thought I had an opportunity to evaluate the issue further and receive more information about it. My friend had a car and I witnessed how much time was needed to find a place to park the car. I realized that it was a big problem in Iowa to find a parking place. On inquiring if that was a usual case, it turned out that struggling to find a parking spot in Iowa City was as hard on any other day as it appeared to be on that day. Additionally, rare parking spots in the city, driving across it was another challenge as vehicles were parked all along the road hence blocking the road at some point such that it became a one-way passage. This experience, therefore, urged me to decide to write about the situation of transporting and parking in Iowa City.

Some of the information used in the paper is from ‘The Daily Iowan’. The article provides an insight into the situation of the Iowan transport system as well as its parking system. It also incorporates the changes that were proposed to help improve the parking situation in downtown Iowa City. It analyzes the recommendations while at the same time providing an analysis of their benefits and shortcomings in case of their adoption. It also gives a list of the authorities that are proposed to be responsible for the different activities stated in the plan. I used this information to provide my own evaluation of the changes, their relevance, and how well they will work to improve the situation of transport and parking in Iowa City.

Over the course, I have learned new techniques of gathering information, analyzing it, and using the results to make inferences and valid conclusions regarding different situations. Throughout the project, I applied these skills to enable me to gather enough information on the topic that would help to understand the situation better. I also used this knowledge to analyze the findings and make conclusions regarding the topic. I also applied the skills in concluding text to make inferences and decide the action for the project problem.

Some of the aspects of the project that imply it was researched and written down by an experienced researcher are that it contains enough information that is useful in evaluating the problem of parking and transportation in Iowa City. The paper contains an analysis of the situation of transport, an explanation of its effects, and whom it affects. The action plan provided in the paper reflects good communication skills as it manages to provide the reader with a clear understanding of the case.

If I were to evaluate the paper, I would assign it a grade not less than 70% because first, it covers a specific issue that faces a large community which is the transport and parking system of Iowa City. Second, all statements made in the paper are supported with relevant information which enables one to make appropriate conclusions. Third, it includes charts to give an evaluation of the stated facts and conclusions. Lastly, the paper provides a clear organization consisting of a valid introduction, conclusions, and provides a logical flow of ideas. The paper applies a unique approach to the subject and provides original discussions and conclusions of the topic.