I have been saying for years that in most neighborhoods, there is plenty of parking. Even when folks say there isn’t. Cathy Duncan’s Parking Authority of River City in Louisville hired Walker to count the spaces. They found what I knew they would (or would have told em if I had know about it)…There are plenty of parking spaces in the area, but they aren’t being used. No more than 70% of the spaces in this area of bars and restaurants and clubs are used at any one time. Read the Story here.
Now, what to do — Walker made some good suggestions, which were most likely fleshed out in the report. Cathy is correct in her comments in the article and I’m certain she will move forward with some solutions that will greatly help the situation.
My approach — well, do I really need to say it.
1. Charge for parking
2. Do it consistently
3. Set the rates to drive people off street and keep 15% of the spaces open
4. DON"T require a certain number of spaces per business — that will create more of the problem you have now
5. Take the money collected in the area and put it right back into the area (Sidewalks, lighting, etc)
There are a lot of spaces, according to the article, the are private and go wanting every night. Now, if a parking company were to start an on street valet operation they could negotiate for spaces with the folks that own them and the city wouldn’t have to deal with the problem at all.
The deal could be that the valet company would pay the city for the three spaces it used for its valet operation. It would be up to them to get someplace to put the cars nearby. If they used on street spaces, they would have to pay standard rates. However they could, for a few hundred a month, cut deals with local merchants to use their parking after hours. That would be between the valet company and the merchant. The city wouldn’t have to get involved at all, except to use its good offices to support the plan.
I whole heartedly agree with Cathy — more parking structures is probably the last resort. Technology and planning can make good use of the parking that is currently available.