City of Tampa built a couple of garages – I’ll take one in Ybor city as an example.
For those of you who don’t know Tampa, Ybor city is a great cluster of clubs, restaurants, and shops built in old factories and the like on the outskirts of Tampa. I think many of the buildings were cigar factories years ago. It’s a great destination location. There are a few ways to get to the area. You can take the bus, the train, or drive. I have done two of the three.
During off hours, it’s easy to find a parking space. There are plenty on the street and a few surface lots. When its hopping, it’s more difficult.
I don’t know if Tampa did a study or not, but they decided to build a parking garage. I have actually parked in it. It is about a three block walk from the center of the entertainment area. The next thing they did was remove all the on street meters so people would be motivated to come to Ybor city. There great restaurants., shops, clubs and all weren’t enough. They needed free parking.
For some reason, people aren’t parking in the garage, which charges. They prefer to park on street. Other garages and lots charge more than the new garage, but they are more convenient. They would cost about $4.50 to park for three hours, the garage in question a buck, but then its not convenient. And of course I can park on street for free.
They have dug a hole, are seem to keep digging – They have cut deals with a local sports team to provide parking revenue to them, they sold a money making garage to a local hospital,
What they could do is let parking pros who know the business run their parking operation and keep the politicos out of it. But then, what do I know. You can read the entire story here.
As Mark says: They build garages with the idea that the parking revenue will pay for them, and then basically take/give away the revenue. What did they think would happen?