A Response from Jacksonville

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A Response from Jacksonville

Well, it had to happen, someone disagrees with me. Here’s a response on the Jacksonville post:

The parking enforcement in Downtown Jacksonvlle was draconian and
cited by every large business closure since 1984 as the major
contributing reason for their closing.

Woolworths, Iveys, May Cohens, Furchgott’s and a few other stores
were the backbone of Jacksonville’s retail community. With the
exception of Furchgott’s they still exist and are still thriving across
the country.

The only difference between their successful stores, and their failure in the downtown was the oft cited metered parking.

The law needed to be changed and it was.

The old guys who own the stores cited in your article are all that
are left of a generation of Merchants Association leaders in our
downtown that presided over the worst business failure of any downtown
in the United States.

Actually, the comments above are off quite a bit.  First of all, if you read the history of Jacksonville, you will find that in addition to Parking Meters, it was the addition of "toll" bridges and boat traffic that caused considerable congestion into the downtown area that was the harbinger of the end of Downtown Jacksonville.  Read all about it here.

Although the author of this article is happy to blame parking meters, you will note that the heyday of downtown Jacksonville continued until 1955, however parking meters were installed in 1942.  The author isn’t quite correct. He says that growth stagnated with the installation of meters. But he goes on to point out the fact is that the city continued to grow until 1952, a full decade of meter use, and that the growth became flat only after the building to toll bridges. However, I won’t contest that a marketing campaign by the big mall on the edge of town touting "free" parking did its damage.

However, one must consider this — A true Shoupista doesn’t just support charging for parking on street (and charging the right amount). One must also take the money and reinvest it into the area from whence it came.  The article infers that the city got its claws on the parking meter money and kept it. It wasn’t reinvested. My guess is that laws keeping the zoning ordinances in place that required certain numbers of parking spaces per type of building kept different types of businesses from moving into the area.

Let’s see — I get a fresh, new, shopping center with shops, restaurants, bars, theaters, and events, or I get a drab old, downtown where I have to pay tolls to cross the bridge and traffic congestion makes driving almost impossible. Where am I going to go?

My guess is that if the downtown area had

1) Taken the money generated from parking and used it to revitalize the area.
2) Looked inward for the problems rather than blaming virtually everything else
3) Taken the marketing and other ideas from the malls surrounding the downtown area and use them to increase business
4) Adjusted pricing on and off street to make it convenient for workers downtown to park off street and easy for visitors and shoppers to park on street
5) Advertised that parking money was being used to revitalize the city, not just to line the "general fund."

The downtown could have competed with the malls. Its happening now in cities across the country. People are streaming back into trendy downtown areas and out of jammed and commercial malls.

Oh, I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen a Woolworth’s in a decade (that name hasn’t been used for years — its now Foot Locker, by the way — The "May" part of May Cohens was purchased by Federated and now operates as Macys or Bloomingdales. 

Times change — names change — the mood of the public changes. In cities that move and react to those changes, they have vibrant and active downtowns (Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, New York, Boston, Atlanta, San Diego, Denver, Portland, all come to mind.) More are on the way in smaller communities like Santa Monica, Pasadena, Redwood City…

In virtually every case, a lot of work, money, and sweat went in to making those downtowns what they are today. They have been reborn, rebuilt, and stand as examples of what can be done. and in virtually every case, they have parking meters on every street. Charging for parking doesn’t destroy downtowns. Its held forth as an excuse for inaction and poor management, most often by local government.

If you build it, they will come.

JVH

John Van Horn

John Van Horn

11 Responses

  1. The author of the comments on JVH’s Jacksonville post says “The parking enforcement in Downtown Jacksonvlle was draconian” – in the absence of some sort of data, like capture rates, violation rates, or compliance rates, this is simply one person’s opinion, and thus subject to tremendous bias. Even if a number of business owners claim the enforcement was draconian, it remains unreliable, personal opinions. And, as JVH points out, the enforcement was not likely the issue – every vibrant, busy downtown has “draconian” parking enforcement, if you ask the locals, especially the ones that have received parking tickets recently. Parking management, and urban planning, decisions should not be made on the basis of inherently biased personal observations – they should be based on accurate, reliable data about actual parking behavior.

  2. There is a lot of interesting research on why, or how downtowns across the country began to decline. The theories are all over the board, but what people don’t seem to focus on is what caused there to be a sudden explosion of suburban retail and business parks that gave all these customers and workers a place to flee to. The suburban housing explosion began in ernest in the 40’s, but most downtowns didn’t start losing retail to the burbs for another decade. I finally found what, at least to me seems like a fairly simple explanation. Read section 4 of the following link;
    http://www.gladwell.com/2004/2004_03_15_a_malls.html
    The same change in the tax laws that made it financially attractive to build a suburban mall also made it attractive to build a suburban office park. At the time most of the areas where they were building were unincorporated, so the costs for land and the regulatory issues were minimal. Its pretty basic economics.
    This further supports the theory that reinvesting the parking monies back into the area from which they were collected makes sense.

  3. JVH, In reality, I don’t think that I disagree with your new urbanist theories one iota. However I did, and still do disagree with your casual and very derogatory assessment of Jacksonville’s action regarding our parking laws.
    The following article appeared in our Daily Paper, and explains the situation fairly well:
    (http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/121706/opl_6844965.shtml)
    By RON LITTLEPAGE, The Times-Union
    This is my last column of the year as I’ll be on vacation until after Jan. 1. I want to finish up 2006 with a subject that I’m sure is on the minds of everyone.
    Parking.
    OK. Perhaps parking hasn’t been on the minds of everyone, but it certainly has been the subject of debate among downtown advocates for years.
    Parking has been the bane of many people who wanted to give downtown a chance only to depart with $45 in parking tickets and a promise to never leave the suburbs again.
    One problem: The one-hour limit on most downtown parking meters. Go one minute past, a $15 ticket.
    Another: The draconian parking meter enforcers. Park one inch farther from the curb than allowed, a $15 ticket. Park a little past the space allotted for the meter, another $15.
    It’s easy to understand why people who opted for a nice meal at a downtown restaurant and returned to their cars to find a wad of parking tickets might leave steaming mad.
    That changed last week when the City Council passed new parking legislation and Mayor John Peyton signed it into law.
    “This is such a welcome change,” Stephen Dare, the owner of the Boomtown restaurant across from Hemming Plaza on Monroe Street, said during a bill signing ceremony Thursday.
    City Councilwoman Suzanne Jenkins nodded in agreement. She had worked on the legislation since May, trying to find workable solutions for those downtown businesses that preferred the one-hour limits and those that wanted more time for their customers.
    The new rules allow people to feed meters, which was against the law in the past, for up to three hours of parking.
    The previous rule that people couldn’t park within four blocks of their original parking spaces when time expired was voided.
    And the parking police have been told not be so anal about enforcing whether a vehicle is properly parked. In other words, a inch one way or the other doesn’t make that much difference.
    Peyton and Jenkins both stressed that the plan is flexible and that if glitches show up, they will be dealt with.
    And with the so-called “smart meters” the city is buying next year to replace the ancient meters now in place, that flexibility will be even easier.
    The smart meters will allow the time limits on the meters to be easily changed to meet the needs of special occasions or even adjusted for what one merchant might want in front of his business that is different from, say, a restaurant where customers tend to stay longer.
    Parkers also will be able to use swipe cards instead of digging in their pockets for change.
    Much of the credit for bringing sense to downtown parking goes to folks like Dare and other downtown business owners and advocates who have been clamoring for change and to officials like Jenkins and Ron Barton, the head of the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission, who listened.
    Thanks to them, it’s a new day for parking downtown.
    Give it a try. We’ve invested millions of dollars of public money to improve downtown. You can now enjoy it without the fear of leaving $45 poorer.
    ron.littlepage@jacksonville.com,
    (904) 359-4284
    I agree with you completely on the Build it and they will come, and I couldnt agree more with the hard reality that centralized development is the necessary guiding principal that cities MUST be guided by if they are to survive long term.
    In the case of Jacksonville, however, the cities policy has been totally crafted by the owners of our Downtown Parking Garage management companies.
    Instead of offering fair rates for the parking in garages, downtown visitors were charged significantly more than comparable cities. Furthermore, the daily visitor was forced to park their car in buildings (which were typically unmarked with identifying signs ) all the way on the top floor of the garages, with no elevators, since all the convenient parking was reserved for leased parking spaces.
    When the public found that it was cheaper to park on the street and pay fines than to deal with the inconvenient top floor policies and inflated rates, the response of the Garage Management companies was incredible.
    One of their intrepid group managed to get appointed to every task force that was formed to examine parking. At his urging, using Shoup as an authority, the city raised all of the fees for parking infractions to the 15-25 dollar per infraction range, which doubled if unpaid within 10 days, and doubled again if unpaid in 20.
    These draconian measures forced everyone off of downtown streets, but without the need to compete, the garages found no reason to install appropriate signage and immediately doubled (yes DOUBLED) the fees for monthly parking.
    Further, the same parking companies then employed private agents to drive around the downtown, calling in complaints to the parking commission over every minor infraction they could find (being one inch away from the limit on the curb for example, using tape measures in order to prove the infraction)
    The result was devastating.
    In our city, the fees from infractions are divied up between the city, the pension fund of the police, and the construction of garages which are managed by the aforementioned Garage Companies. None of the money goes back into the city core, and there is a clear incentive to cite drivers for minor infractions.
    So you see, our parking changes have more to do with local corruption than they do with suburban sprawl.
    If high parking fines and fees were the answer, then their application here for a number of years should have yeilded a vibrant compactly organised downtown.
    Instead, they have produced a failed city center and a city whose sprawl is amongst the worst in the country.

  4. While everyone is entitled to an opinion in any debate, I feel that a few of the “facts” referenced in the response above deserve some clarification or response;
    In the case of Jacksonville, however, the cities policy has been totally crafted by the owners of our Downtown Parking Garage management companies; response – (I believe if you look at the makeup of the various Task Force groups and Committees that have been formed over the years to address the issues related to parking in downtown Jax you will find that there was very limited representation from the Parking Management companies – see the complete list of participants below).
    Instead of offering fair rates for the parking in garages, downtown visitors were charged significantly more than comparable cities; response – (both the Master Plan and Parking Task Force reports clearly show our rates were below the average for comparable cities – http://www.coj.net/Departments/Jacksonville+Economic+Development+Commission/Downtown+Development/Downtown+Master+Plan.htm, http://www.coj.net/Departments/Jacksonville+Economic+Development+Commission/Downtown+Development/Downtown+Parking+Task+Force+Report.htm, Further, based on national rate surveys from the summer of 2005 Jax’s rates for non-reserved core monthly parking were equal to or lower than Cincinnati, Columbia, Tampa and Orlando, were slightly higher than Memphis and were less than 50% of the overall national average).
    Furthermore, the daily visitor was forced to park their car in buildings (which were typically unmarked with identifying sign); response – (I thought the claim was that Jax had a sea of surface lots that were the result of the parking companies tearing down buildings in a conspiracy to drive businesses from downtown, what happened to them? It wasn’t unitl the summer of 2002 that a sign identifying a garage as a public parking garage could be legally installed, up until that time the signage referred to was not allowed – http://www.coj.net/Departments/Jacksonville+Economic+Development+Commission/Downtown+Development/Downtown+Signage.htm)
    all the way on the top floor of the garages, with no elevators; response – (I know of no garages with public parking without elevators, or any that restrict hourly parking to the top floor)
    One of their intrepid group managed to get appointed to every task force that was formed to examine parking; response – (see my response above).
    At his urging, using Shoup as an authority, the city raised all of the fees for parking infractions to the 15-25 dollar per infraction range (rate for meter fines went from $5 to $15, not $25)
    which doubled if unpaid within 10 days, and doubled again if unpaid in 20; response – (not true, there is an additional $10 after 15 days and $15 after 30 days, http://www.coj.net/Departments/Administration+and+Finance/Public+Parking/Ordinance+Changes.htm)
    These draconian measures forced everyone off of downtown streets, but without the need to compete, the garages found no reason to install appropriate signage and immediately doubled (yes DOUBLED) the fees for monthly parking; response – (the rates in Jax have increased at an average of approx 2.5% or less per yr over the past 15 years. See reference to rate surveys above).
    Further, the same parking companies then employed private agents to drive around the downtown, calling in complaints to the parking commission over every minor infraction they could find (being one inch away from the limit on the curb for example, using tape measures in order to prove the infraction); response – (If this wasn’t so absolutely laughable I’d say something).
    In our city, the fees from infractions are divied up between the city, the pension fund of the police, and the construction of garages which are managed by the aforementioned Garage Companies; response – (the parking revenues earned by the City’s Public Parking division are dedicated to several places including the debt service on the publicly owned Water St Parking Garage, Police and Fireman’s Pension Fund and the City’s general fund. No revenue is dedicated to any private parking operation.).
    None of the money goes back into the city core; response – (the Water St Garage is in the City core, and while the P&F Pension Fund is not exclusively a core service they have and are making significant investment in re-development projects within the core
    So you see, our parking changes have more to do with local corruption; response -(pretty bold claim)
    If high parking fines and fees were the answer, then their application here for a number of years should have yeilded a vibrant compactly organised downtown; response – (the increased fees and fines went into effect in only the past 1-2 years, compare the amount of private investment and property values of the last 3-5 years versus the previous 10 and it’s easy to see how ridiculous this claim is) .
    Instead, they have produced a failed city center and a city whose sprawl is amongst the worst in the country; response – (I believe if you research the sprawl indexes you’ll find that Jax isn’t great but it is far from the worst. Jax scores better than cities like Greenville, Tampa and Fort Worth, and is comparable to places like Cleveland and Indianapolis – http://law.wustl.edu/landuselaw/Articles/measuringsprawl.pdf ).
    AS REFERENCED ABOVE;
    Master Plan Committee Participants
    Executive Steering Committee
    & Advisory Committee Chairs
    Ms. Audrey McKibbin Moran – Chairperson
    The Honorable Elaine Brown – Past
    Chairperson
    Mr. Jim Citrano,Ms. Jeannie Fewell, Mr. Mike Harrell, Mr. Warren Jones, Mr. Jordan Logue, Mr. Ron Weaver, Mr. Mike Weinstein
    Economic Development Advisory
    Committee
    Mr. Howard Serkin – Chairperson
    Mr. John Welch – Co-Chair
    Mr. Rick Catlett, Mr. Stuart Evans, Mr. Charles A. Clarkson, Mr. Paul Fickinger, Dr. Steven Wallace, Ms. Linda Storkerson, Mr. Bill Bishop, Ms. Patricia Hannon, Ms. Ann R. Shorestein, Mr. Lawrence J. Hamilton, II,
    Mr. N. Bruce Doueck, Mr. Tracy Danese, Mr. William G. Dresser, Mr. Donald C. Hooper, Mr. Larry Hazouri; Mr. Allen Jarboe, Mr. Marc Mayo, Ms. Margo Dundon, Mr. Howard Dale, The Honorable Lad Daniels, Mr. Paul Vance, Dr. Duane D. Dumbleton, Mr. David L. Fincannon, Ms. Kitty Ratcliffe, Mr. Paul C. Williams, Ms. Pam Caven, Mr. John Zona
    Housing Advisory Committee
    Mr. John Rood – Chairman
    Mr. Dick Browdy, Mr. Michael Bryant, Mr. Jerry R. Cravey, Ms. Cheryl Donelan, Mr. Steve Franklin, Mr. Greg Gross, Mr. Warren Jones, Ms. Wanda Lanier, Mr. Doug Milne, Mr. Nick Nicholson, Ms. Linda Sherrer, Dr. Steven Wallace, Ms. Tracy Bolton, Mr. Trip Stanly
    Transportation Advisory Committee
    Mr. Joseph N. Debs – Chairman
    Ms. Cindy Laquidara, Ms. Teala Milton, Mr. Dick Kravitz, Mr. John Gordon, Mr. Larry Ferris, Mr. Mark Rimmer, Mr. Mike Blaylock, Mr. Lorenzon Alexander, Mr. John Peyton, The Honorable Elaine Brown, Rev. Doug Pigg, Ms. Jeannie Fewell, Ms. Ann Thompson, Mr. Roger Sharp, Mr. David Kaufman, Mr. A. Travis Surratt, Mr. Fred Kyle, Mr. Jeremy Smith
    Urban Design Advisory
    Committee
    Mr. Ted Pappas – Chairman
    Mr. Zim Boulos, Mr. J.F. Bryan, IV, Mr. Skip Cramer, Ms. Laura D™Alisera, Mr. John A. DeVault, III, Ms. Anna M. Dooley, Mr. David M. Foster, Mr. Dean Jay Wright, Mr. Tom Goldsbury, Ms. Melody Linger, Ms. Emily R. Lisska, Mr. Sam Mousa, The Honorable Jim Overton, Mr. James C. Rinaman, Jr., Mr. Bill Scheu, Mr. Jerry Spinks, Ms. Martha Cesery Taylor, Mr. Walter Taylor, Mr. Jim Tullis, Mr. Robert D. Woolverton, Mr. Mark Pappas, Mr. Joseph Erhardt, Mr. Oliver Barakat
    Special thanks for all of the participation from the vast number of citizens of Jacksonville who volunteered their thoughts and ideas and became an active part of this plan in many different ways.
    Mayor of Jacksonville
    John A. Delaney
    Responsible Staff Members:
    City of Jacksonville Planning and
    Development Department
    Jeannie L. Fewell, Director
    John Crofts, Deputy Director
    Coen Purvis
    Jason Thiel, Project Manager
    Jacksonville Economic Development
    Commission
    Michael Weinstein, Executive Director
    Paul L. Krutko, Director of Downtown
    Development
    Al Battle
    Eric Lindstrom
    Kris Thomason
    The Downtown Development Authority
    Board
    Ronald M. Weaver, Chairman
    James P. Citrano
    Elaine Brown
    Audrey McKibbin Moran
    Gerry Nichols
    James W. Milligan
    Consultant Team
    Urban Design
    EDAW, Inc.
    Rink, Reynolds, Diamond, & Fisher
    Transportation
    Cambridge Systematics
    Market Analysis
    Urbanomics, Inc.
    Development Strategies
    DOWNTOWN PARKING TASK FORCE COMMITTEE
    Mr. Bob Rhodes (Chair), Executive Vice President and
    General Counsel, The St. Joe Company
    The Honorable Suzanne Jenkins, City Council Member,
    District 4
    Mr. Eric Green, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, City of
    Jacksonville
    Mr. Joseph Debs, Partner, Reynolds, Smith & Hills, Inc.
    Mr. Mike Blaylock, Deputy Director & Mass Transit Director,
    Jacksonville Transportation Authority
    Ms. Susan Grandin, Project Manager, Trust for Public Land
    Mr. Mike Harrell, Vice President, CB Richard Ellis, Jacksonville
    Mr. Paul Krutko, Senior Director of Downtown Development
    and Development Services, Jacksonville Economic Development
    Commission
    Mr. Mark Rimmer, General Manager, Central Parking
    Jacksonville
    •Staff
    Jason Thiel, Project Manager, JEDC (Principal Staff Member)
    Eric Lindstrom, Senior Project Manager, JEDC
    •Additional Participants 
    Ms. Lin White, Legislative Aide to Council Person Jenkins
    Mr. Derek Igou, Division Chief, Public Parking, Regulatory and
    Environmental Services Department, City of Jacksonville
    Mr. Al Kinard, Director of Special Projects, JEDC
    Mr. Mario Taylor, Department Head, Regulatory and
    Environmental Services Division, City of Jacksonville
    Ms. Terry Lorince, Executive Director, Downtown Jacksonville
    Business Improvement District

  5. The alleged critique is hardly a critique at all. In fact there are several very misleading statements which can baresly seem anything but intentional.
    Jacksonville’s Downtown is not comparable to any of the city’s listed since our population base for the downtown is only 18 thousand people, rather than the 50-60 thousand people which is regularly claimed by this particular contingency within our internal city debate.
    It has no retail to speak of, and very limited dining options. To compare it to a Cincinatti, Tampa, or Orlando is disengenuous at best.
    There are approximately 2 times as many parking spaces within the narrow area of Downtown which these parking ordinances address than there are daily users. The majority of these spaces are within parking garages and single level parking lots. An arial view of our downtown will show that on any given day, and at any hour, there is only 60 percent usage of the total parking available.
    The ‘average’ fee for parking includes the 50 cents per hour meters as well as the dollar all day parking spaces that line the extreme limits of downtown, and does not reflect the prices that are charged in the core city by the garages which were specifically built to accomodate visitors.
    As to the respondents claim that:
    “(I thought the claim was that Jax had a sea of surface lots that were the result of the parking companies tearing down buildings in a conspiracy to drive businesses from downtown, what happened to them? It wasn’t unitl the summer of 2002 that a sign identifying a garage as a public parking garage could be legally installed, up until that time the signage referred to was not allowed – http://www.coj.net/Departments/Jacksonville+Economic+Development+Commission/Downtown+Development/Downtown+Signage.htm)
    all the way on the top floor of the garages, with no elevators; response – (I know of no garages with public parking without elevators, or any that restrict hourly parking to the top floor)”
    1. Who made this claim about sea of parking lots and garages tearing them down? Certainly not myself. But thanks for trying to invent a straw man to argue with anyways.
    2. It is a oft cited fact that the garages reserve the top floors of their buildings for public parking, so that leased parking remains in the most convenient floors. To claim otherwise demonstrates either ignorance of their policies or a deliberate attempt to mislead.
    3. It is also a lie that signs which identify garages were somehow not legal prior to 2002. The idea on the face of it, is ludicrous. The link refers to an update in our city codes in the downtown area which made it possible to install signs which were more in keeping with the historic nature of our downtown signage. This included signs which protruded from the buildings rather than lit signs which lay flat against the exterior.
    The average unpaid ticket of 15 dollars for overtime parking becomes a 70 dollar fine after 30 days. Having paid hundreds of these tickets over the past 10 years, I can speak with conviction. At this moment there are 3 cars with boots on their wheels which have remained at their meters for more than a week. They have identical fines of 210 dollars posted for the removal of the boots, reflecting three unpaid tickets apiece.
    The parking lease fees for 8 of the larger garages did in fact, EXACTLY double this past year, which is somewhat higher than the wholly laughable increase cited by the respondent of 2.5 percent. per year over the past 15 years. Perhaps if you divided up increases into the mathematical progression of a 2.5 compound interest rate over 15 years that would be true, but the increases happened over a three month period in the garages, not over 15 years.
    The disingenuousness of the respondent continues in the following statement:
    “In our city, the fees from infractions are divied up between the city, the pension fund of the police, and the construction of garages which are managed by the aforementioned Garage Companies; response – (the parking revenues earned by the City’s Public Parking division are dedicated to several places including the debt service on the publicly owned Water St Parking Garage, Police and Fireman’s Pension Fund and the City’s general fund. No revenue is dedicated to any private parking operation.)
    None of the money goes back into the city core; response – (the Water St Garage is in the City core, and while the P&F Pension Fund is not exclusively a core service they have and are making significant investment in re-development projects within the core”
    The respondent follows up with a vast listing of name of hundreds of people who have been on parking committees.
    Hardly a compelling argument.
    Stephen Dare.

  6. btw, the following statement of yours:
    My guess is that if the downtown area had
    1) Taken the money generated from parking and used it to revitalize the area.
    2) Looked inward for the problems rather than blaming virtually everything else
    3) Taken the marketing and other ideas from the malls surrounding the downtown area and use them to increase business
    4) Adjusted pricing on and off street to make it convenient for workers downtown to park off street and easy for visitors and shoppers to park on street
    5) Advertised that parking money was being used to revitalize the city, not just to line the “general fund.”
    The downtown could have competed with the malls. Its happening now in cities across the country. People are streaming back into trendy downtown areas and out of jammed and commercial malls.
    Brilliant summation of the facts on the ground here.

  7. Since I make up everything I know about Jacksonville, I will continue to do so. The number of people living in an area doesn’t make the downtown work. Many downtown areas have few actual residents. But the successful ones are places that people WANT to visit. Virtually no one lives “in” the malls on the edge of town, but they attract people from as far as 50 miles away.
    Its not the population of the downtown that makes the difference. I know of many small villages that are simply jammed by visitors almost daily. Its because there is a reason for people to go there.
    Has downtown Jacksonville done any of the items 1-5 above? Fill me in.
    JVH

  8. Below are the actions taken so far by Jax related to your 5 points;
    1) Taken the money generated from parking and used it to revitalize the area.
    NO, OTHER THAN AS DESCRIBED IN PREVIOUS POSTS ABOVE
    2) Looked inward for the problems rather than blaming virtually everything else
    NO, ALL BUSINESS FAILURES IN DOWNTOWN SEEM TO BE BLAMED ON SOMETHING ELSE (PARKING, SIGNAGE, NO RESIDENTS, UNFAIR COMPETITION FROM THE SUBURBS, TRAFFIC, BAD PUBLIC TRANSIT, ETC, ETC)
    3) Taken the marketing and other ideas from the malls surrounding the downtown area and use them to increase business
    THERE ARE A FEW EFFORTS ALONG THIS LINE, BUT THE MAJORITY ARE EVENT RELATED. NO COMPREHENSIVE “DOWNTOWN” PROMOTIONS WITH CUSTOMER INCENTIVES (COUPONS, BUY ONE-GET ONE, AREA WIDE SALES, ETC)
    4) Adjusted pricing on and off street to make it convenient for workers downtown to park off street and easy for visitors and shoppers to park on street
    ITS 50 CENTS AN HOUR TO PARK ON THE STREET, AND ANYWHERE FROM 80 CENTS (CHEAPEST) TO $3 AN HOUR OFF STREET (THE MOST COMMON IS $3 FOR THE FIRST HOUR AND $2/HR AFTER THAT). UP UNTIL A YEAR AGO THE CHEAPEST PARKING IN THE CORE OF DOWNTOWN WAS TO GET A $5 TICKET FOR NOT PUTTING MONEY IN A METER, THE TICKET IS NOW $15.
    5) Advertised that parking money was being used to revitalize the city, not just to line the “general fund.”
    NOPE

  9. If we did not control the on-street parking downtown, it would all be used by workers, leaving none for visitors. It is good policy to provide for the short-term parking needs of those with business or shopping downtown. Workers balance the cost and convenience of off-street parking and are generally willing to walk several hundred feet to save money.
    The meter fees are not a huge generator of revenue. Thare are significant costs associated with metered parking, e.g. procurement, installation and maintenence of parking meters and signs; meter attendants and their vehicles.
    HRS

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