City Opts for the Cheap, or Does it?


City Opts for the Cheap, or Does it?

The City of San Luis Obispo is moving toward putting in a new parking garage. It had a sort of design that included a revenue generating mixed use garage. But is opting for a cheaper single use garage. Read about it here.

The first shocker is that the garage is going to cost $32,500 a space. WOW!. That’s about 2.5 times what most garages cost. Even if the spaces are paved with cold pressed laudanum that number would be hard to reach. But I digress…

The council has heard that creating a multiuse facility would greatly increase the cost and has opted for the lesser amount. One of the councilmen even had the temerity to say that he didn’t think that the garage should make, dare I say it, a profit. I guess he thinks the place is going to generate $500 per month per space. If so, it would take at least 10 years to pay off the $13 million, assuming there is no operating cost, depreciation, or maintenance.

I wonder if their other downtown garages in SLO are generating that kind of money. I’m pretty sure the monthly parking isn’t at that rate (I would be shocked SHOCKED if it was over $100), and assuming a daily max of what, $10, and its full every day, it still couldn’t make the debt retirement. If they went multi use the rents would generate more than parking. But then who’s counting.

Of course, if this councilman is typical of many, he doesn’t care. The taxpayers will foot the bill.

I wonder if they really need more parking in SLO. Have they tried raising the fees for onstreet parking? Upped the cost to park in their existing structures (just to cover the actual cost to park)? In doing so, have they provided the $$ generated to be used for streetscapes and neighborhood renewal? How about on street valet? Or a shuttle service to the edge of town for employees downtown so customers will have a place to park?

Oh, well – a $32500 a space garage is probably just what they need.

I thought I was finished — I scrolled down the list of articles for today and found this one. This is a Don Shoup case study in action. The city planners say the beauty college can’t move because it needs 87 spaces. The college says it has only 25 students and never uses more than 40 (I guess the rest are for the folks who are used as practice by the students.). However, the college can’t move into an abandoned school, near the university (where, I might guess victims, read that practice folks, and potential students are more available.) Nope — the city planners have the problem well under control.

Its probably isn’t bad — the number is only off by a factor of 2.  Once again urban planning run amuck. Its time for a new Shoupista chapter in San Luis Obispo. Someone up there needs to get the book.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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