Columbia considers task force on parking and traffic

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council is considering establishing a task force on Parking and Traffic Management. The task force would review the parking requirements in the newly-proposed downtown zoning code.

The proposal came out of last fall's Smart Growth America Parking Audit and Workshop. 

Fourth Ward Councilman Ian Thomas supports the idea, but he said he'll make amendment for the task force to serve 12-months instead of the initially proposed six.

"Six months is a very short amount of time for the task force members to meet, understand our mission, and then to get through the scope of work," Thomas said.

He said the task force will look at several items including studying the newly-proposed downtown zoning code, the Unified Development Code and related parking requirements.

"Personally I don't believe we should mandate residential building developers to include parking. I think it's fine for them to include parking if they feel they need it, but a lot of downtown residents don't have a car these days," Thomas said.

Karl Skala, the 3rd ward council member, said he likes the idea and would like to see an outcome as soon as possible from the task force.

"I think we can accomplish what we want to accomplish in six months. That is a recommendation in conjunction with the integrate development code we're considering. I'd like to wrap the development CODE debate up by the first of the year, " Skala said.

The Columbia City Council voted 5-2 to put a administrative freeze on multi-family housing in the downtown area until December 1. The city council will consider a new downtown zoning code during the administrative delay.