Posted: October 10, 2012 8:35:46 AM PDT
Library visitors will see five newly-marked book-drop spaces on Central Avenue in front of the Bellingham Public Library. Public Works crews painted and signed the additional spaces Friday, October 5 in response to survey results shared by library staff. The seven book-drop spaces are designed to allow visitors to park for free for up to 10 minutes while dropping-off or picking-up materials.
The Library Board of Trustees recently conducted a survey to assist in developing a 5-year strategic plan for the library. Parking at the Central Library was selected by 44% of respondents as the greatest barrier to library service. With over 740,000 visitors a year to the Central Library and with most users driving to the library, finding parking can at times be a challenge. Many library users found it frustrating to have to find a parking space for short term use, such as dropping off books or picking up reserved materials. Other users have expressed frustration at the need to pay for parking when visiting the library where the concept of free and equitable access is a long-held belief.
City of Bellingham staff from the library and public works departments discussed the survey results and parking needs near the civic center. The need for additional short term, free parking was identified as a priority to improve the public’s experience at the Central Library and reduce the parking barrier. By extending the drop off time from 5 minutes to 10 minutes and adding 5 additional spots the parking needs of library customers will be better served.
“This is a great example of how an easy change can meet the needs of the community,” said Eric Johnston, Assistant Public Works Director for Operations.
Eric Johnston, Assistant Director - Operations