Last week’s special public works meeting Tuesday, July 23rd, was devoted to the future of parking in Lake Geneva.
Cindy Flower ran the meeting and conducted it as an informal open discussion. Among the topics discussed were covered kiosks, traffic, and micro-mobility. Sylvia Mullally, head of Lake Geneva’s Parking Department, once again gave a very detailed presentation regarding the short life left in the current parking kiosks and the need for an upgrade to keep up the technology current (2g is going away and has to be replaced with 4g acceptable equipment). She also covered ideas regarding micro-mobility and shared revenue. Sylvia has done significant research and has a clear understanding of the different kiosks systems and how they work. She has also looked into ways other cities have increased parking revenue, relieved traffic congestion, parking frustration, and put thought into how alternative transportation might work. Shared bikes and scooters are being used in many other cities, as well as vehicles like those used in Lake Geneva’s own tuk-tuk experiment.
Just imagine having most of the downtown parking in lots just outside the busy lake and business section of Lake Geneva and having alternative ways to get where you want to go. This is the new trend that other communities are trying, and, for the most part, is working great. Would it, or could it, work for Lake Geneva? The meeting was not about making final decisions or coming up with a concrete plan but rather held as an opportunity to share information and ideas, and to find out what the people of Lake Geneva would like for the city. The overall answer to the question about what people want the future to look like in Lake Geneva regarding parking and traffic, seemed to be those parking kiosks will need to be upgraded and purchased eventually but maybe it can wait a few more years. Less parking and traffic, with no loss of parking revenue, were among shared goals by all. But there was not much interest in increasing the amount of money coming in from parking, except for Sylvia, who seemed shocked no one else was interested in increasing the revenue. The ideas and conversation from the meeting will be presented and discussed at the next committee of the whole meeting, and, as always, public input will be encouraged and welcomed.