Ah, someone agrees…


Ah, someone agrees…

Correspondent John commented on my post on California outlawing public funds usage for parking garages.

John – I know that much economic development is funded by taxpayers, but in the end the goal is to increase property values, so the developments end up paying for themselves. Garages should also do so.

My comments…

We are in full agreement – An example of subsidized parking is Culver City, CA. They have spent many millions on downtown development and it worked. The CC downtown is a textbook case of how urban renewal can turn a lost city into a Mecca and the tax revenues certainly show the positive results. However parking is virtually free and the three new garages are in great demand. However, I believe, like all businesses, parking should pay for itself. There is no reason, in my mind, that people visiting Culver City shouldn’t pay for their parking. It is not the ‘free’ parking that brings people downtown, it’s the movies, great restaurants, stores, and trendy shops. If they weren’t there and the parking was free the city would be a ghost town.

Garages should face the economic test just as do all businesses. If they fail, they shouldn’t be built.

If the city can’t find the money to build a garage and pay it off with the structure’s revenues, it should leave garage building to the private sector, and set on street pricing to ensure the success of the enterprise. Let’s face it, who is going to build a garage if there is parking right in front of it at half the price.

It’s exactly like the city building a restaurant and funding half the operation out of tax revenues and then expecting the private sector to build a café next door and survive.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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