Now its Paso Robles, Ca. They have 3000 spaces down town and are projected to need 500 more. So what are they going to do? The only thing they can — build a parking structure. And the merchants are going to pay for it. Read about it here.
The article infers that they charge nothing for parking downtown now. This sentence tells it all:
Meanwhile, Jeanne Gibson, owner of Gibson and Co. on Pine Street and Mike Gibson’s wife, wrote a letter to the city suggesting parking time limits during peak hours so that vehicles won’t take up spaces for several hours.
Its strange that the city hasn’t realized that most likely the parking is taken up by employees leaving their cars in the same space during the day. Just think what would happen if they instituted pay parking on the streets, and forced the long term parkers off into lots, public transportation, or car pools.
There would be tons of parking and the would save millions on the construction of a new parking structure that most likely will not be used. I mean, why should someone park in the structure when they can park on the street for free. Pay parking would create immediately that 15% increase in available space they need.
So they will build the structure and when it is unused, they will realize that they have to charge for on street parking and will do so. Then they will discover that most of the spaces on street are taken by merchant’s employees and that they didn’t need the structure anyway.
Now the merchants will most likely be out of control when pay parking is suggested. But they need to be educated on what pay parking can do to a downtown. It makes it vibrant, it provides money for improvements, it means that people will have a convenient place to park when they come to shop, dine, and play. The money from the pay parking can support an improvement district and clean up the area, add new lighting, security, repair streets and sidewalks.
Did anyone tell them that when they build the new garage, they will lose all the spaces in the surface lot where the garage is to be located, and during the two year construction, the problem will be worse, not better.
Immediate solutions are pay parking, shuttle services for employees (have em park in that field at the edge of town), on street valet, well, you get the drift.
My guess is that in a few years we will see a brand spanking new garage in downtown.