NSB Commission Hears Parking Study Update

As a popular destination for day trippers, vacationers and residents, New Smyrna Beach sees its share of visitors every day. While they may be looking for different experiences, all of them are also usually looking for a place to park.

At a recent New Smyrna Beach City Commission meeting, city officials heard an update to a paring study being conducted by Ormond traffic engineering planning firm LTG Inc.

“As you know, we hired LTG to do our parking study,” City Manager Khalid Resheidat told commissioners. “They started almost three months ago (and) they have done such a good job.”

Resheidat said the city has scheduled a public meeting for Aug. 1 at the Brannon Center on Riverside Drive for residents to hear more about the study and offer feedback.

“After the meeting that we have on Aug. 1, we will make a big presentation to the Commission as a workshop based on the public meeting and also based on the data (LTG) has collected and the ideas they’ve come up with,” he said.

After Resheidat’s remarks, Consultant Carrie Carl from LTG gave a short overview of the work done to date.

“We started by reviewing your past parking studies and prior task force presentations,” she said. “It is clear that this city is not without an abundance of solid ideas and potential solutions to address your parking issue.”

Carl said the parking study focuses on Flagler Avenue, Canal Street and the Venetian Bay Town Center and includes information provided by Volusia County officials.

“Volusia County has been very supportive of the city providing beach toll data,” she said, to help get an accurate assessment of the traffic volume headed to the affected areas. “For context, if you look at eastbound traffic going over your north and south causeways, it’s about 15,000 on any given day,”

Carl said the study also utilizes GPS and cell phone data along with visual counts of parking as well as speaking with a variety of individuals and groups.

“We’ve had good discussions with some stakeholders that include the Southeast Volusia Chamber,” she said.

Another area the consultants looked at is population growth projections.

“We looked at population, focused on the Orlando metro area,” she said. “The reason is you have such a draw from there. The Orlando area has been growing.”

Carl said the final report is expected to be submitted by the end of September.