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Thread: 2hr parking or resident parking on-street downtown?

  1. #1

    2hr parking or resident parking on-street downtown?

    Currently we have a situation where we are seeing an influx of residents into downtown. It is only problematic in the fact that as our upper levels (residential), fill up then there will be no place to park on-street, because currently all day long, the on-street parking is limited to 2hrs. Although it is not metered (yes, it's free), it is enforced by foot patrol.
    The problem comes in where the residents are requesting (as they are currently) that the on-street be posted as 2 hr OR Resident parking as we have in a small predominantly residential area of downtown. If we grant their request for the additional allowance of resident parking, it will supercede the 2 hr parking and the space for a business patron will likely be lost all day to a tenant/condo owner who doesn't work during the day. As more and more residential comes in who should we "favor"? Favor the businesses and make the tenants (and employees) park in the off-street lots? or vice versa? We don't want to lose either vital component of redeveloping our downtown. I'm sure many older downtowns are in the same dilemma, whereas in 19??, when these downtowns were laid out, most families didn't have cars and parking was of little value.
    We have also tossed around the idea of meters with the revenue collected going toward a parking structure to add spaces in one of our surface lots. Our older business owners are already pretty dead set against meters, as they (meters) were downtown in the 70's and removed when the mall was built in hopes of saving the downtown by offering free parking, which it didn't.
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Ah, to have other towns' problems. There is an assumption, often false, that downtown residents and their vehicles will be gone from 8 to 5. I would, however, be on the side for keeping 2-hr parking. exceptions only lead to lawsuits or gunshots. The landlords and tenants of these units should work towards locating off street parking.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Ideally, the landlordds would be able to provide parking. That is rarely the case due to physical and economic realities. The city should not favor resident parking over others; i.e., keep the two-hour restrictions on locations which are the most desirable to visitors. There are other techniques to deal with resident parking, most of which involve city lots. One option is to designate parking lots on the periphery of downtown as longer-term parking. Ten hours is common, which should be long enough to serve resident and employee needs. There is still a need to promote turnover, though, to keep th elots from being filled with many cars that simply never leave. Another option is to assign alternate overnight parking in these lots. Lots A, C, and E might allow overnight parking on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and Lots B, D, and F might allow it on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

    People also have to recognize that living downtown is a different situation and they should not expect to have three or four vehicles for a two-bedroom apartment. While the city may assume a responsibility for providing downtown parking, it is not obliged to provide it at peoples' doorsteps.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    Am I understanding correctly that the parking is only 2 hr during the day?
    So at night the residents can leave them all night?

    If that is the case leave it as it is. I can't believe that everyone that wants to live downtown also works all night so they would need extended parking to sleep. I can't believe that leaving it the way it is would detour many that want to live that lifestyle.
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  5. #5
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Interesting dilema, maybe you could offer permit parking, where residents can park in certain areas all night providing that permits are in place. Ultimately the responsiblity of parking should be the land owner, as without gauranteed secure parking, he will not be able to rent the residential spaces out once other businesses come in that serve the local population. Those business unfortunately will be dependant upon the residents who will provide a stable base. A chicken and the egg to be sure.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    I would think you would want your customer parking to be on the street and closest to the buildings. You know that if they can't find close parking spaces they will go straight to the Wal-mart Supercenter and walk 500 feet to the building.

    Leave these spaces at 2 hour, and at night the residents can park in those spots.

    We actually have a very similar situation, with lots of free parking and more and more residential on the upper floors. Our parking lots are posted 2 hour, but not enforced. We don't allow overnight parking though. What we did is designate 5-10 spaces in each parking lot for overnight parking so we can continue to snowplow, etc. At night, they have to park in those areas or they are ticketed. During the day, they can just park where ever.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    Well...

    It seems to me that if you want people to live downtown, which will help the businesses, you need to provide at least some spaces for their all-day use. Pick out some areas where the spaces can be spared during the day, or spread out the burden by using only half of each block, and make those areas permit parking while keeping the other spaces 2 hour only. My guess is that there aren't enough people living downtown to use up all the spaces, as long as some of them are put aside.

  8. #8

    To Compound the Problem

    Many business owners believe that the 2 hr parking restriction (which is in effect from 8A-5P Mon-Fri ex. holidays) is not LONG ENOUGH, and should get removed altogether. City staff feels that this will create a free-for-all (Ted Nugent speak), and then it will be a first-come first serve, park as long as you want fiasco that will certainly kill downtown businesses as the employees and residents will park up the streets, leaving the patrons the surface lots to park in. They don't see it like that, they feel that in order for a patron to "browse" the downtown, it takes longer than 2 hrs. Their point is taken, but there are at least 3 signs along every block face that denotes the parking as 2 hrs (and in some cases less) during the day, and should be easy enough for out-of-towners to see to realize that they need to move if they are going to park in excess of that.
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

  9. #9
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Take the limit off of a test block and see what happens over time. We did that the last place I worked. It turned out that the city and buisness owners were both a little right and a little wrong. They are phasing in more space little by little and gauging the reaction.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  10. #10

    Did that

    Quote Originally posted by giff57
    Take the limit off of a test block and see what happens over time. We did that the last place I worked. It turned out that the city and buisness owners were both a little right and a little wrong. They are phasing in more space little by little and gauging the reaction.
    We have done that near some investments companies and the county building. I have received a few complaints about not being able to find a space in this block, but none recently. However, this block does not have the added component of residents, most of the other blocks in downtown at least have the residential potential, if it is not getting turned into that (residential) right now.
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by ssnyderjr
    Many business owners believe that the 2 hr parking restriction (which is in effect from 8A-5P Mon-Fri ex. holidays) is not LONG ENOUGH, and should get removed altogether.
    This was done in our downtown. Now employees fill the spaces along the street and their designated lot sits half empty. As a result, the employer believes they need more parking closer to their offices. They are proposing to buy out 3 businesses and 5 buildings to increase their parking.

    If street parking is to be free, it should be 2 hr max. and ENFORCED. Shoppers will never have the chance to use unlimited, free, on street parking. Those spaces will be filled long before the shops open.

  12. #12
    We have here a very similar setting. Our town has on street 2 hour parking in the downtown and a few small off-street parking lots with unlimited parking. All parking is free at this time but the two hour limit is very strictly enforced. Almost all on-street parking outside of the downtown is not time limited except during the winter when you cannot park overnight on the street. This works pretty well and data from parking studies seems to show that for most people, the two hours is plenty. At the same time, there are people pushing to get additional off street parking available for employees, residents, and anyone else for a small fee.

    I would say that first, the residential users should not expect preferential treatment and get all day passes. The next arguement will be why not business property owners or their employees? If they have a parking pass they will expect to have a space as well.

    I would push for private resolution of their parking difficulties, in that the property owners should contribute something to the process. If that can't happen I would try to get some public off-street parking for a fee. There are automated fee collection kiosks that aren't terribly expensive to purchase or maintain, and a 100 space parking lot may be able to be served by 2-3 of the kiosks depending on layouts.

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