Reserving Limited Parking


Reserving Limited Parking

Here’s a great article by a columnist for the St. Petersburg Times. If you don’t feeling like following the link, it goes like this:

Often stores with limited parking (particularly in strip centers) reserve parking in front of that store for the store ("These spaces reserved for Joe’s cleaners, others will be towed"), Often you have to park blocks away even though plenty of space is available right there, but it happens that you aren’t dropping off your cleaning, you are picking up a cup of coffee.

Its a cute article — worth the read.

What the merchants want is "turnover."  They don’t want to tow your car.  Lets face it, what are the changes of your ever dropping off your cleaning if your car is towed when you visited Starbucks next door.

The City of Santa Monica solved that problem years ago with different rules for different parking spaces, often in the same block. They had "no charge" parking for the first say 5 or 10 minutes for spots at the curb so you could run in for the cup of coffee or to drop off your dry cleaning, but charged through the nose for folks who wanted to park longer. Worked great.

So why not at strip centers — I am certain that folks like our protagonist columnist above would love to drop a few bucks to park for lunch and not have to brave the dangers of walking on the roadside where there are no sidewalks.

The money generated would easily pay for enforcement and the funds left over could be used to clean up the area, add some sidewalks, or whatever. Also, our hungry drivers may think that if they have to pay to park, that one would swing by and pick up another so instead of two or three cars jamming the lot, per group,  perhaps only one or two.

Oh merchants — if your customers are willing to walk three or four blocks and brave the semis on the highway, they certainly are willing to pay a few bucks to park.

Everyone wins


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

One Response

  1. The place where I do my cleaning is has 2 parking spaces designated for their custmer’s use right outside their door. I often have to park in an other area because the spaces are taken. When I go into the shop, there are no custmors there, but the parking spaces are occupied.
    If parking fees were imposed as you suggest, and a restaurant was within the strip center, I would not mind paying the fee as a restaurant patron. However, where does that leave the cleaners’ customers if the spaces are occupied by long term parkers?
    Just a thought…

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