Casperites tend to be passionate about parking, according to Metropolitan Planning Supervisor Aaron Kloke.
“People get really emotionally charged,” he said, adding that many residents find it upsetting if their preferred spots are taken.
The Casper Area Metropolitan Planning Organization is currently coordinating a downtown parking study, along with assistance from the Casper Planning Division and the Casper Police Department. The study—which was approved by the City Council in June—kicked off with a public meeting at the Fox Theatre in December.
About 30 residents attended the first meeting, but those who couldn’t make it now have another opportunity to voice their views, said Kloke. Another public event is being held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday at Casper City Hall.
Various stations will be staffed by representatives involved with the project, according to a press release from the planning organization. Attendees will have the opportunity to provide feedback, preview initial results and take a parking experience survey.
Kloke said he encourages all community members to attend.
“We invest a lot of time trying to make sure that everyone has a chance to give us their feedback,” he explained.
The study is expected to conclude by May, and officials hope it will uncover specific problems which could then lead to solutions. Those who want to offer opinions but are unable to attend the meeting can contact Kloke at 307-235-8367.
Parking isn’t the only area that the city needs to improve on, according to Casper City Councilman Dallas Laird. The councilman spoke about the need for a new police headquarters during Tuesday night’s council meeting.
Laird, who isn’t one to shy away from taking strong stances, told city staff and other council members that he will continue to bring up this issue until planning is underway.
The department moved into its current headquarters on David Street in 1976, but the building no longer meets the needs of the operation, former Police Chief Jim Wetzel explained last spring. The department wants a building with stronger electronic connectivity, more space and better climate control.
Mayor Ray Pacheco congratulated Councilman Shawn Johnson Tuesday night on receiving recognition for 10 years of service at the Natrona County Detention Center.
The Board of County Commissioners recently gave about 50 county employees, including Johnson, a 2017 Service Award.