Kevin Valine: Parking expert to weigh in on downtown Modesto

05/15/2014 6:52 PM

05/15/2014 7:15 PM

The public can learn what an expert thinks about how Modesto manages its downtown parking and ask him questions during a forum Friday.

The forum is part of a $10,000 study that the Downtown Modesto Partnership has commissioned on the city’s parking practices. Brian Canepa of Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Service’s San Francisco office will speak. The firm specializes in parking management, transit systems and other transportation issues.

The Downtown Modesto Partnership consists of the city, churches, downtown businesses and other downtown interests. It received a $10,000 grant from the Sacramento-based Local Government Commission for the study, said Josh Bridegroom, Modesto’s downtown project manager.

Bridegroom said Canepa will incorporate what he learns today into a set of recommendations he is expected to present to the City Council in four to six weeks. The forum is from 9 to 11 a.m. in the Kirk Lindsey Center, 1020 10th St., Suite 102.

This is part of a broader effort by the city and its partners to make downtown more economically vital and inviting to visitors. For instance, the city recently increased how long motorists can park on some downtown streets on weekdays from one hour to two, before getting ticketed.

Motorists now can park longer in an area bounded by Ninth, K, 12th and H streets, which is concentrated with restaurants and shops. One-hour parking had been among visitors’ biggest complaints. They said an hour was not long enough to eat lunch, shop or take care of other business. Parking tickets are $33.

In other downtown news, tickets soon will go on sale for the Modesto Grand Prix, in which about 300 superkart drivers will race along downtown streets Aug. 1-3. Superkarts look similar to miniature Formula One race cars. The races will be held Aug. 2-3, but fans can watch drivers practice Aug. 1.

Tickets will cost $10 each for the Aug. 2-3 races and go on sale starting June 1. Children 12 and younger can attend for free. Tickets can be purchased at:

•  Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., or Online purchasers will be charged a “convenience fee.”
•  Modesto Convention and Visitors Bureau, 1150 Ninth St., Suite C.
•  Tenth Street Place, 1010 10th St., on the second floor at windows four and five of the customer service counter and on the fourth floor at the Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods Department’s guest services.

Modesto is working with Southern California-based SuperkartsUSA on the 2014 Pro Tour Summer Nationals. The grand prix is expected to draw racers from throughout the nation and from other countries. City officials have said they expect the racers, their pit crews and the estimated 15,000 spectators to spend a combined $1.2 million on hotel rooms, restaurants and other purchases during their three days in Modesto.

More information is available at

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