Brandy Stanley at the City of Manchester NH is usually on my case because I paint with a very wide brush. I’m honored that she lines up with Mark and agrees with my Shoup comments here.
Her words are important enough to reprint them:
We haven’t had parking requirements downtown for several decades, if ever. In fact, the City put a moratorium on parking space development around the city’s event facility built 10 years ago – and it’s been ranked one of the top 10 venues in its class EVERY YEAR SINCE IT WAS BUILT.
And guess what? We have enough inventory to handle demand) Here, downtown is actually thriving while the Mall has tons of empty space – if people want to go to the mall, that’s where they go. If they want to do business, eat, drink, hang out, etc, they come downtown. They’re looking for something other than the mall and we don’t compete with the mall.
Plowing operating surplus back into the neighborhood just makes sense, and laws CAN be changed. All of our surplus goes back to the general fund, but the City Council over the last 5 years has told us to pay for various downtown improvements anyway, knowing that the cost will “short” the contribution to the general fund. These items include additional snowplowing, sidewalk repairs, local grant match for a downtown circulator shuttle and police detail for special events. So even though they haven’t changed the law, they’re heading in Shoup’s direction without even knowing it. I just keep my mouth shut, smile and pay the bills.
Perhaps your consultant friend should do a little more research to see Shoup’s theories in practice. One of the beauties of Shoup’s pholisophy is, as Mark said, its flexibility. You can put parts of in practice without the whole thing falling apart. It’s a long process to get policy-makers, business owners, consumers and elected officials on the same page so you have to do it in stages
Thanks Brandy – keep reading and keep your comments coming. And I love your last paragraph.