It's been the better part of two decades since the City of Casper undertook a downtown parking study, and a lot has changed since then. The Old Yellowstone District and a revitalization of downtown has city planners looking to address the future growth of the area, and a public meeting to kick off a new parking study is planned for Wednesday, December 13th, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Fox Theatre on Second Street.

"It's a really exciting time for Downtown and the Old Yellowstone District," says Aaron Kloke of the Casper Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). "Especially with the eclipse, I think a lot of people even from Casper discovered or rediscovered their own Downtown and Old Yellowstone District and I think people are seeing Downtown in a new light."

MPO and city staff, along with representatives from consulting firm Kimley-Horn, will be on hand. The meeting will include a presentation on what to expect from the study process and opportunities that will be explored in the next six months, and will review some ideas that may come out of the study and planning process. After that, they'll open it up to comments and questions from the public.

"This is sort of the first public kick-off, so it's really just giving the community a chance to get to know who's going to be working on this project and giving us some initial feedback on what they see some of the issues are," says Kloke, who adds that people are passionate about parking, to the point of becoming an emotional issue. "Parking is a hot topic, I mean everyone cares about parking. If affects their daily transportation, it affects their weekends, and how they get to downtown and their overall Downtown and Old Yellowstone experience."

The last downtown parking study that took place was more than 17 years ago,The City Council approved this parking study in June, in an effort to be proactive and anticipate future parking demands as these neighborhoods grow.

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