If you haven’t, read the post below first. Then read this one.
Since I live in the area, I went to Third Street in Los Angeles on Saturday and personally checked out the situation.
Sure enough, I was right. There is a ton of parking, empty within two blocks of the area in question. The problem is that it’s not available. The residential areas are empty of cars due to a residential permit program." I discovered that permits cost $22.50 a year. That’s not enough to cover the administrative costs of the program. But I digress
There are also a number of neighborhoods in the area with high density apartment parking. Some of the buildings have parking under them, others do not. Now the buildings with parking also charge more for the apartments, usually about $150-$200, to pay for the cost of providing the parking space. People willingly pay the additional, and there is a waiting list for these units.
So let’s see. If I’m able to get an apartment with a parking space, the cost if $200 a month, if not, the on street spaces cost me $22.50 a year. Now that makes a lot of sense.
Back to the original problem. The city, in its infinite wisdom, and I’m sure to keep voters who live in apartments and in the tony neighborhoods near the Third Street shopping area, has set up a virtually free parking permit program. It enables the single family neighborhoods to have virtually no cars parking in front of their homes, and it enables those in apartments to find parking spaces virtually for free.
In the mean time, local merchants are having huge problems with parking, Third street is jammed with cars looking for parking, when easy and simple parking is available only a block away.
The solution, as I noted below, is to charge market rates for on street parking in the area.
1. They could raise the cost of on street permits to a price that leaves about 15% of the the spaces open. OK, grandfather in the current residents of apartments and as people move, hit the new folks with the new rate. As for the people who live in single family dwellings, I say let em eat cake. They have received a large increase in the value of their homes, due primarily to the location near the tony shops and restaurants, plus they all have garages.
2. The local merchants could then buy permits in the residential areas so their employees could park there, freeing up space around their stores for their customers.
3. Return the money raised by parking to the neighborhoods in the form of new services, sidewalks, lighting, and the like.