Phoenix First Nominee to “City by the Bay” Award


Phoenix First Nominee to “City by the Bay” Award

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.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

2 Responses

  1. As an employee of one of the parking lots in Downtown Phoenix I would like to address an issues.
    Phoenix is building more and more parking garages in downtown. However, in doing so they are hurting the private owned parking lots. I have seen on numerous occassions the police block traffic and intentionally route traffic into the parking garages. This happens during major events.
    The city should be working with the small business owners in Phoenix not trying to force them out. This country was founded on small business now big business is destroying it.
    Did you interview any of the private owned lots before awarding the city with this award.

  2. Phoenix’s light rail is still under construction and is not operational at all. This article makes no sense.

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