Read this in the Honolulu Advertiser. In a nutshell, it says that an area of the city is suffering from lack of parking, that there are a number of solutions, like forcing out employees, valet operations, restriping lots, and the like, but they can’t figure out how to pay for it. People literally circle, sometimes for 15 minutes in order to find a space.

They have a few problematic solutions, like raising prices on the lots (which of course will drive parkers on the streets). They paid 75K for a parking study and then argued over its conclusions. Neighbors are at each others throats over the problem.

From my in depth study (reading the article) I find that the following would solve or at least alleviate their problems:.

1. Institute valet parking during the peak hours at lunch and dinnertime — have the parkers pay for valet parking  – Simply hire a valet company and tell them to set it up.  They will do the rest.

2. Find a vacant lot somewhere away from the area and reserve it for employees — have a shuttle set up to take workers back and forth. Let the workers pay $75 a month. That $7,500 would probably cover the shuttle costs — and who knows — maybe others would use it on a daily basis. Employers could pay for all or part of this if its too expensive — there’s 200K in the kitty to start the project.

3. Set the fees in the off street lot to be just over the on street charges for the first three hours and then really hit for more than two hours. This will keep employees out of those lots. Strict enforcement will ensure employees use the shuttle lot.

4. Raise the parking costs on street and off street — use the money to repave and improve the area. Remember, parking costs don’t prevent people from going places where they want to go. If merchants are overly concerned about it, let them validate or give credits for parking. Set the on street rates to guarantee a 15% vacancy rate — that way parkers can always find an on street spot.

Note — the 100 or so employees moved out of the area would probably provide enough spaces to solve the immediate problem. The valet would take care of those who come for lunch and dinner. The increase in revenues from the parking should help revitalize the area and cause an increase in customer activity.

Problem solved…


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John Van Horn

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