Bloomington RDC greenlights parking control equipment for two new parking garages

On Monday night, action by Bloomington’s redevelopment commission (RDC) ensured that a contract is in place, with Evens Time, Inc., to provide parking control equipment for the two new parking garages currently under construction.

The view of the 4th Street garage, now under construction and scheduled for completion in August of 2021. The view is to the northwest, across Walnut Street, from the 3rd Street end of the block. Oct. 5, 2020 (Askins/Square Beacon)

One of the garages is a replacement facility for the 4th Street deck, which was determined to have structural issues and was demolished last year. The new garage is due to come online in August of 2021.

The other garage is being built in the Trades District to the west of city hall. It’s closer to completion and is expected to open in March of 2021.

The equipment covered in the roughly $335,000 contract includes barrier arms, magnetic coils, credit card exit terminals, barcode imaging kits and the like—the hardware necessary to admit and release parking patrons into the garages.

Before the RDC voted to approve the contract, RDC member Eric Sandweiss asked how the dollar amount for the contract stacks up against the budgeted amount for the equipment. City controller Jeff Underwood said $200,000 was budgeted for equipment for each garage, which put the contract with Evens Time, Inc. “well underneath” the budgeted figure.

The Square Beacon asked if the equipment covered in the contract includes real-time updated signage on the outside of the garage to indicate how many spaces are available inside. Assistant city attorney Larry Allen replied that the system would not indicate which individual spaces are available. But Allen thinks there will probably be an overall count to let people know how many spaces generally are available in the garage.

A consultant’s recent transportation demand management program plan recommends such signage.

Trades District parking garage under construction Sept. 27, 2020.

The replacement 4th Street garage is planned to have about 540 spaces. Of the new spaces to be constructed in the new garage, 352 count as replacements for the spaces that were housed in the previous 4th Street structure that was closed at the end of 2018.

The Trades District garage replaces a parking lot, not a structure. It’s supposed to have around 380 spaces. Enough progress has been made on that facility that a walk-through by economic and sustainable development staff is scheduled for Oct. 15. At Monday’s meeting, director of that department, Alex Crowley, invited RDC members to attend the walk-through.