Phoenix has the honor of being the first nominee for the "City by the Bay Award" for inept parking policies. I try to pick those that are prima facie (Look it up, I spelled it right) and blatantly obvious to anyone who has thought through the problem.
Here’s the deal:
Phoenix has a plethora of parking downtown mostly built by taxpayer money. It also has a light rail system that isn’t being used (because people are driving downtown. I might note that on my most recent trip to the Valley of the Sun traffic in the morning is as bad as anywhere one might visit.
It has been noted that the extremely inexpensive parking rates, kept low by the city, is causing the light rail to flounder. IE its cheaper to drive and park than it is to ride the rails. Here’s a quote from one of the wizards:
City planners walk a fine line in balancing parking and light rail.
Build too little or charge too much and it benefits transit but drives
away people who wouldn’t or can’t ride rail. Build too much or charge
too little and the opposite happens.
That is so much balderdash. You are telling me that someone who could afford a $20,000 automobile, plus the $200 a month to keep it running, can’t afford to ride the light rail. If parking charges in downtown Phoenix were set to simply pay for the cost of the garages, my guess is that the light rail would be flooded.
Phoenix has a plethora of parking now — and are attempting to build more. If there are not enough paces, its not because there aren’t enough, its because they don’t cost enough.
There was one bright comment in this mess:
"You should do what you need to do to change downtown," he said.
"Portland wanted a compact, vital, 24-hour downtown. You won’t find one
. . . in the United States that is based on the automobile. If you
dedicated less space for parking, land would be more valuable and more
If you build it, they will come — all the cheap parking in the world won’t bring people downtown.
Congratulations Phoenix — you are the first nominee for the "City by the Bay" award for inept parking policy.