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Thread: Private valet parking using public streets/garages?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian UrbaneSprawler's avatar
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    Private valet parking using public streets/garages?

    There's apparently an interest of a private individual looking to open up a valet parking business for our general downtown area (not valet parking specific to a restaurant, business, etc.) The premise would be the valet parking service would look to reserve typical parking spaces in street right-of-way to allow for valet parking pick-up/drop-off operations, and then drive off to store the parked cars in the municipally owned parking garage. Along with presumably signs in right-of-way advertising this service, the entire private enterprise seems to operate fully within public right-of-way/facilities.

    I think clearly there would need to be some sort of compensation to the municipality for the on street parking spaces lost as well as use of the parking structure. I'm just curious to know if other folks have a similar situation where an "at-large" private valet parking service operates wholly in public property -- this concept just seems unusual to me, but maybe this is the norm in big cities? Thanks.

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    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Very common in Boston:

    Boston's on-street valet rules

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    Cyburbian UrbaneSprawler's avatar
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    Thanks for posting this link, it's interesting to see the rules, permit procedure, and fees Boston has formulated for comparison purposes.

    If I'm reading the permit right, I still question if the situation I'm illustrating is the same as Boston's. Their permit states: "Valet parking permits shall be issued to the establishment serviced by the valet parking operation." In our case here, there is no particular establishment being serviced by the valet parking operation, per se. Here, the establishment is all of downtown. It's not a valet parking service for the benefit of the patrons of a restaurant, store, or shopping center. "Joe's Valet Parking Service" would operate "at large" for anyone going downtown to use.

    I'm somewhat mentally stuck on this, as we issue permits for signs, outdoor eating, and other encroachments onto right-of-way for adjacent businesses that operate fully on private property. To grant usage of the right-of-way without any specific "establishment serviced" outside of right-of-way seems unusual. Could I apply for a permit with the City of Boston and say my "establishment being serviced" is the City of Boston?

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    Cyburbian JimPlans's avatar
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    In a past life I studied Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and I know that some of those have set up valet parking services that cover their service areas. I couldn't cite any examples anymore, but I see that if you google "business improvement district" and "valet parking" you will get some interesting hits.

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    Cyburbian UrbaneSprawler's avatar
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    Thanks, this really helps. The concept of collective valet parking both within and through a BID makes sense. I hope that if valet parking gets implemented here, it is done through our BID. Thanks again!

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    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by UrbaneSprawler View post
    If I'm reading the permit right, I still question if the situation I'm illustrating is the same as Boston's. Their permit states: "Valet parking permits shall be issued to the establishment serviced by the valet parking operation." In our case here, there is no particular establishment being serviced by the valet parking operation, per se. Here, the establishment is all of downtown.
    There are many instances in Boston where multiple restaurants in close proximity are serviced by one valet zone. I would imagine that in this situation, one establishment would need to volunteer to be the applicant. After all, the valet zones are usually located in front of a specific establishment.

    FYI: I actually worked for the largest valet company in Boston during college. Let me know if you have any operations questions.

  7. #7
    FYI: I actually worked for the largest valet company in Boston during college. Let me know if you have any operations questions

    Can you email me about valet operations? I have a few questions please. Email me at jojolox@yahoo.com

    Thank you!

    Joe A

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