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Thread: Can you name dense walkable places with cheap available parking?

  1. #1

    Can you name dense walkable places with cheap available parking?

    The Get Rid of Parking Meters thread got me thinking:

    I avoid places with lots of cheap parking. I don't like to drive and I tend to live in and visit dense urban communities. But are there walkable dense areas with lots of available cheap parking? Can anyone name any?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Downtown Fort Worth is dense and walkable. Parking is relatively affordable during the day and free on nights and weekends. Downtown rents have soared in the past couple years, and several surface lots are being consumed for redevelopment.

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  3. #3
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    From what I've experienced -
    Columbia, SC
    Downtown Charleston, SC
    Charlotte, NC (if we call that dense?)
    Some parts of Philadelphia

    You know where is surprisingly expensive? Pittsburgh
    @GigCityPlanner

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Plymouth MI is very walkable with the center of town having a near perfect walkscore, yet it has free parking. The center of the main block has a parking deck! They do employ parking cops though, so obey the rules or you will be fined.

    The way they measure time is by marking tires with chaulk. You better not break the 3 hour rule on the first floor of the deck!
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    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    Downtown Charleston, SC
    Downtown Savannah (GA) as well - very similar, although Savannah is a bit more compact and has city-owned parking decks that I don't recall having seen in Charleston.
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    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Also in the Detroit 'burbs are Birmingham and Royal Oak. Both have great "walkscores" and are very vibrant communities. Birmingham has metered parking on the streets in the downtown but has 4 city-owned parking garages that offer free parking for the first two hours and parking is free everywhere from 9:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m.

    Royal Oak has a mixture of metered and free street parking. They are very strict about monitoring the time limits though - or so says my sister who racked up quite a few parking tickets before her employer finally decided to spring for garage access for everybody.

    I live near downtown Birmingham and rarely move my car from the garage on the weekends once I get home from work Friday evening.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  7. #7
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    Royal Oak has a mixture of metered and free street parking. They are very strict about monitoring the time limits though - or so says my sister who racked up quite a few parking tickets before her employer finally decided to spring for garage access for everybody.
    I had a two hour meeting about a week back in Downtown Royal Oak. Parking in the structure there was dirt cheap! Fifty cents for over two hours! You're sis must be a tightwad! (though it might be higher at night if thats when she works)
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  8. #8
    I can think of a few moderately dense "streetcar suburbs" in New Jersey that fit this description. Densities are probably in the 5,000-10,000 people / sq. mi range.

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    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    I had a two hour meeting about a week back in Downtown Royal Oak. Parking in the structure there was dirt cheap! Fifty cents for over two hours! You're sis must be a tightwad! (though it might be higher at night if thats when she works)
    She is a tightwad indeed. She works right downtown in an office at Washington and 4th (or maybe it's 6th) and would park her car on a side street and go move it every couple of hours but waited too long a few times.

    I once parked in the garage by the Amtrak stop for about 20 hours and I think I ended up paying $3 or $4 for all of that time.

    There is also a new garage on Main Street north of 11 Mile that has a self service pay system that is so complicated that I've never really been able to figure it out (you are supposed to pay in advance and leave your ticket on your dash or something like that but you need to know your parking spot number and the machine only takes very clean credit cards or ultra-crisp dollars). I don't think I've ever paid in that garage and I've never gotten a ticket. Who knows what's going on there...
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I was going to mention Disney World, but they do charge for parking, and it is more substantial than most downtown parking garages. There is always a question of what people mean by "cheap" parking. Just try to park in downtown Chicago for less than $20 per day. Yet I was in Sioux City not long ago and heard complaint after complaint about having to just put a few quarters into a meter. Some might disagree, but I think Madison is both very walkable (the Capitol Square, State Street, and and the UW campus are all within walking distance of downtown ramps), and affordable. Rates are from $0.75 to $1.50 per hour, with all-day special event parking at $5.00.
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  11. #11
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    I was going to mention Disney World, but they do charge for parking, and it is more substantial than most downtown parking garages. There is always a question of what people mean by "cheap" parking. Just try to park in downtown Chicago for less than $20 per day. Yet I was in Sioux City not long ago and heard complaint after complaint about having to just put a few quarters into a meter. Some might disagree, but I think Madison is both very walkable (the Capitol Square, State Street, and and the UW campus are all within walking distance of downtown ramps), and affordable. Rates are from $0.75 to $1.50 per hour, with all-day special event parking at $5.00.
    I'll second Madison - lots of cheap available garage parking within 1-2 blocks of State St and the area is very walkable. On-street parking in the government areas farther east isn't bad, either.

    Also, downtown Appleton, WI is surprisingly dense and walkable with an excellent supply of on-street meters (75˘/hour and varying time limits) plus even more $2 unlimited time parking available in several close-in parking ramps.

    Mike

  12. #12
    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    I was going to mention Disney World, but they do charge for parking, and it is more substantial than most downtown parking garages. There is always a question of what people mean by "cheap" parking. Just try to park in downtown Chicago for less than $20 per day. Yet I was in Sioux City not long ago and heard complaint after complaint about having to just put a few quarters into a meter. Some might disagree, but I think Madison is both very walkable (the Capitol Square, State Street, and and the UW campus are all within walking distance of downtown ramps), and affordable. Rates are from $0.75 to $1.50 per hour, with all-day special event parking at $5.00.
    Since in Boston, parking can set you back $35 for a day, $20 is cheap by comparison. But that's still not really cheap. I'd say cheap parking is less than a dollar an hour.

    These examples are great. Keep them coming.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    I was going to mention Disney World, but they do charge for parking, and it is more substantial than most downtown parking garages. There is always a question of what people mean by "cheap" parking. Just try to park in downtown Chicago for less than $20 per day. Yet I was in Sioux City not long ago and heard complaint after complaint about having to just put a few quarters into a meter. Some might disagree, but I think Madison is both very walkable (the Capitol Square, State Street, and and the UW campus are all within walking distance of downtown ramps), and affordable. Rates are from $0.75 to $1.50 per hour, with all-day special event parking at $5.00.
    I am pretty sure you can park in Disney World for free if you go, ironically enough, Downtown (or at the Hotels)! Then you jump on one of the free transit buses you're home free!

    I stayed at one of the mega-hotels about 10-11 years ago. It was one of those All Stars with thousands of rooms. Getting back from Downtown Disney was always a hassle due to the overcrowding of the buses scheduled to stop there, so we would take another bus that would drop us off at a nearby fancier hotel then take a cab from there.
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    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    I am pretty sure you can park in Disney World for free if you go, ironically enough, Downtown (or at the Hotels)! Then you jump on one of the free transit buses you're home free!

    I stayed at one of the mega-hotels about 10-11 years ago. It was one of those All Stars with thousands of rooms. Getting back from Downtown Disney was always a hassle due to the overcrowding of the buses scheduled to stop there, so we would take another bus that would drop us off at a nearby fancier hotel then take a cab from there.
    Funny, but Disney was my first thought. To park at the theme parks you will have to pay. Parking at a hotel or mall may be free, but then there is the bus ride to the gate. Not exactly "walkable" from the parking space, even if the park is walkable.
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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    Funny, but Disney was my first thought. To park at the theme parks you will have to pay. Parking at a hotel or mall may be free, but then there is the bus ride to the gate. Not exactly "walkable" from the parking space, even if the park is walkable.
    What? Downtown is actually a mall?? The transit does have its downsides as I mentioned but what do ya want for 'free'? Kind of funny the transit works well only to get your money. To leave its entirely different. (I just realized I am the one bringing this up after calling WSU's sis a tightwad!
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  16. #16
    Regarding Dusneyworld. Economists would argue the cost of parking is bundled onto the price if the ticket. Since I created this thread, I'm going to exercise my godlike powers and say this is not an example of a walkable community with cheap parking. Not to mention that there is no external connectivity between the park and the outside world.

    Otherwise every mall would call itself walkable and new urbanist. Wait, aren't a bunch already claiming this status?

  17. #17
    Cyburbian terraplnr's avatar
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    It's not dense like a major city, but Santa Barbara, California is extremely walkable and has cheap, convenient parking structures that are hidden behind shops, stores, etc. I don't think I've ever paid more than $4.50.

  18. #18
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gotta Speakup View post
    I avoid places with lots of cheap parking. I don't like to drive and I tend to live in and visit dense urban communities. But are there walkable dense areas with lots of available cheap parking? Can anyone name any?
    On-street parking is notoriously cheap, and the city's parking manager has publicly disagreed with Donald Shoup's idea that on-street parking should more closely reflect market demand. Thus, you can park on Elmwood Avenue for fifty cents an hour. Multispace meters, too. Here in little Hippie Valley, on-street parking is a buck an hour, two hour limit, with old-school single space meters.
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  19. #19
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Come to think of it Ann Arbor MI is fairly dense with a lot of cheap parking. http://www.a2dda.org/parking__transp...options/#rates
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

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