City commission discusses future Aggieville parking and traffic solutions

The infamous AggieVille Sign located in Manhattan, KS, on Nov. 3, 2017. (Olivia Bergmeier | Collegian Media Group)

During the Tuesday night meeting, city commissioners began planning for more efficient parking plans in Aggieville.

Andrew Vidor, a consultant at Walker Parking Consultants, presented plans to increase parking availability by implementing a parking garage in the area.

“In a low-growth scenario, we are showing that there is a need to build 800 additional parking spaces in Aggieville,” Vidor said.

Aggieville currently has 595 existing parking spaces, 261 of which are off-street parking.

The first proposed solution was to install a five-story parking garage at a site northeast of the intersection at Laramie and 14th streets that would be able to hold 600 parking spaces.

The plan also called for the garages to have add-on capability in the case another floor is needed. If the parking garage was to get an additional floor, making it a total of six stories tall, it would be able to hold 200 more spaces.

City Commissioner Michael L. Dodson expressed his approval for the this plan’s forward-thinking design.

During the commissioners’ comments time of the general item, City Commissioner Jerred McKee also expressed his concern for pedestrian safety. He proposed an idea to shut down Moro Street during certain times of the week to protect pedestrians during high-traffic time periods.

There are over 70 parking spaces on Moro Street, but pedestrian safety was a higher priority in the discussion.

City Commissioner Wynn Butler said he thinks an effective enforcement plan is needed that is enforceable by Riley County Police Department.

“I think we need a comprehensive plan,” Manhattan mayor Linda Morse said. “I would like to pursue this with Kansas State together.”

The meeting was meant only to introduce and discuss potential ideas without making definitive decisions.