Comment 92193

By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted September 16, 2013 at 09:53:12

There is a much simpler way to reduce the city's parking occupancy percentage without building a single lot: Raise the all-day parking rates and let the elasticity of demand do the rest. To people who complain it will kill their business downtown: no, your customers pay the hourly rate. They want more meter parking and meter-like pricing structures.

We're saying this is a limited resource, we're talking about spending millions to fix it, but nobody is talking about the obvious solution: raise the parking price that applies to commuters - they're the people who are already getting the best deal on parking downtown anyways. I mean, even if occupancy is maxing out, why is our pricing structure saying "$2/hour for people who want to stay for only a few hours to get some shopping or an appointment done, $0.75 an hour for people who take up the parking spot for the whole darned workday". And that's not even mentioning the monthly rates that hover around $55/mo. $55/mo over (average) 22 workdays at 8 hours a day is $0.31/hr.

Want to get that parking usage down below 85%? Stop charging a quarter and a nickel per hour. The commuters are paying per day what the consumers are paying per hour.

Of course, the problem is the private lots will eat the city's lunch, and reducing competitive pressure from the municipality will mean more incentive to create and preserve private lots. Which means the city would have to start giving the private lots a hard time (taxes, enforcing the moratorium on new surface-level lots). And that sounds like work.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2013-09-16 10:02:14

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