Parking signage in downtown Conshohocken is incorrect or non-existent‘s recent article about Daniel’s new streetery has generated a lot of comment and concern about parking in downtown Conshohocken. The residents who live along the first few blocks of Harry Street and Spring Mill Avenue have long complained that their neighborhoods are negatively impacted by the number of patrons of the restaurants that end up parking along their streets. The removal of four downtown parking spots for use by a restaurant has renewed these complaints.

The Current Parking Situation

The Borough of Conshohocken negotiated with the owners of two parking garages in downtown Conshohocken to increase the available parking. This involves almost 2,000 parking spaces.

The public has access to 150 spots in the SORA West garage that is next to Hotel West & Main from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. everyday. After 5:00 p.m. on weekdays and all-day on weekends, that increases to approximately 1,500 spots.

There is a similar situation at the parking garage for Two Tower Bridge at the intersection of East 1st Avenue and Fayette Street. When the garage was built the deck accessible from East 1st Avenue side was dedicated to public parking. There is also agreement to allow public parking in the evenings on weekdays and all-day on weekends.

In addition to the garage there is metered street parking along Fayette Street, East 1st Avenue, East 2nd Avenue, and West 1st Avenue in this area.

Signage Problems

On May 4th, we walked the area and inventoried all the signage related to parking. There are more signs than we initially thought, however, much of it is wrong.

For example, lets review the signage pictured at the top of this article. This was taken at the intersection of where East Hector Street dead-ends at Harry Street (just down Harry Street from El Limon). This is one of the two ways to access the park garage at Two Tower Bridge. The right arrow tells you there is public parking. The “do not enter” warns you to not to turn right (which you need to do to access the garage).

Another issue is that the parking information is incomplete. Parking is available starting at 6:00 p.m. on weekdays, but on weekends parking is available all-day. It is reasonable for someone who isn’t familiar with the area to abandon their plan to park in the garage and make their way to a nearby neighborhood street. No one wants a ticket, or to be towed.

That is not the only problematic sign.

Above is the sign at the entrance of the parking deck on East 1st Avenue. It states that public parking is available daily from 6:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.

This is not true. The parking deck is available from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. daily.

The most pressing issue is the lack of signage as you come into the downtown area from both directions. If you are traveling over the bridge from West Conshohocken to Conshohocken, there is zero signage at the intersection of Fayette and West Elm street to point you to the parking garage at SORA West.

The first sign about public parking as you enter Conshohocken from the bridge is just beyond the Fayette and West Elm Street intersection that points you to the Two Tower Bridge garage.

There is also a second duplicate sign at the entrance to Two Tower Bridge. Neither sign mentions weekend hours.

The sign above is located on the west side of Fayette Street at the intersection of 2nd Avenue. If you are traveling down Fayette Street from the upper avenues it alerts you that public parking is available, however, there isn’t any further signage telling you to make a left or right to reach either garage.

Borough Council Response

After we inventoried the signage, we emailed the seven members of borough council and asked specific questions about the signage and why it was incomplete, wrong, and/or non-existent. We received the following response back from Borough Council President Tina Sokolowski (D, Ward 3). All the other members of the council were cc’ed.

As the next step following the approval of the Main Street Overlay District, we have asked administration to study the flow of people and transit around the lower end of the Borough to be able to support our businesses and residents with the changing needs of our community. These plans include meeting with business owners, evaluating signage and wayfinding, evaluating traffic patterns and business deliveries, as well as conducting outreach to County and state officials related to creating a potential solution for traffic issues across the Matsonford Bridge that impacts traffic flow in and out of Conshohocken.

To ensure a comprehensive evaluation, we requested that administration look at these items across not only winter months but also spring, summer, and fall as walkability and Business capacity differs throughout the seasons.

Yes, there are some quick wins we can and will be looking to implement related to better parking identification and directions as well as encouraging and empowering staff to identify ideas they become aware of while out in the community and share them back to Administration and Borough Council. We are exploring how to utilize Park Mobile in our residential areas to be able to enforce non-residential parking at key times of the day and will continue to look at all aspects of our strategic priorities developed in our Task Forces and Committees as well as our comprehensive plan.

We are at a point in time where we recognize the need to create a new comprehensive plan that will guide in our strategy and implementation for the next 7-10 years.

I encourage all residents to take part in the process and volunteer to help shape the future of the borough. Everything implemented over the last 7 years can be directly correlated back to the various sections of the 2017 Comprehensive Plan.

We look forward to working with the community to identify and create the next set of recommendations for the future success of our borough.

Let us know what you think of the signage and the borough council’s response in the comments.