RegionName: Out-of-Town OtherArea: DC
Another example of horizontal growth not being able to pay for itself long-term. Too much area to patrol, tax base can't cover the costs.
When you have more parking than actual business, well...duh.
You make everyone drive and they have $5,000-9,000 less to spend every year. This location, so close to a major university, was ripe for a less auto-oriented development style. Now you're stuck w/ big boxes for the next 25 years..at least. Can those buildings be turned into something else after? Not likely. In their shiny and new best they can't meet revenues after all that sunk infrastructure cost! DO THE MATH! Compare downtown's traditional development style to the crap we've produced for the last 70 years.
Doesn't sound like Mr. Skorman has read anything from parking researcher Donald Shoup (i.e.. The High Cost of Free Parking.)
While this seems like a nice gesture, it actually probably hurts him and surrounding businesses b/c parking is a scarce commodity that is universally underpriced. Charging the right amount for parking increases turnover (MORE CUSTOMERS! Yea!) and helps to prevent cruising for a space, which leads to more congestion (BOO!) Performance parking programs seek to charge market rates so that 1 or two spots per block are always available. On blocks where there is high demand, the price to park is higher. Drivers are able to make a decision based on market forces to either pay more for a spot on a high demand block or drive around the corner or down the street (and walk a bit further) for a lower priced space. This also leads to more shoppers checking out shops that they might not necessarily have planned on visiting to begin with.
Lastly, Mr. Skorman would probably do well to replace at least one space in front of his business for a parked motor vehicle with bicycle racks. This way, a spot that only served 1-2 customers (in a car/truck) is available to be used by 10 times the number of cyclists (MORE CUSTOMERS! Yea!) In fact, in most studies, cyclists are shown to buy fewer items, but buy much more frequently than motor vehicle drivers, leading to a net increase in sales.
Cars don't buy things, people do.
30 years, or approximately one lifecycle of all that infrastructure to service single occupancy vehicles, big box stores, and single family housing built on the fringes that you now have to maintain or replace. It's expensive that...and it was never going to pay for itself b/c there was just too much of it. So you skimped on maintenance, cut a bit of public transportation, and were hamstrung along the way by TABOR. Now you're here. Either keep "growing" horizontally and dig yourself a bigger hole, or return to the way we used to build place, and coincidentally, wealth, through a form that put people first (on foot or bike) instead of automobiles. Mixed use, walkable, dense...like downtown, the west side and Manitou.
50 Million a year = 1 interchange (http://www.csindy.com/coloradosprings/chee…)
Sprawl is an expensive mistress.
Biking and walking infrastructure and events; Low cost, high ROI.
I don't think people who complain about a lack of parking understand that adding parking destroys the fabric of what makes Manitou a great PLACE.
No one wants to walk past a large parking lot(s) or garage(s), they want to walk past shops and restaurants..interesting things to look at or do. Space for car storage takes away from places for people (not to mention higher ROI land uses like shops and restaurants.)
If there's a parking problem, charge the appropriate price for parking! It's clearly a scarce resource. Why do people feel that it should be provided to them, in front of their destination, for little or no cost? Manitou should look to performance parking programs. It some places it might cost more than it does now, in others it may be less, depending on demand. It may mean charging for parking even in more residential neighborhoods, while implementing a system for residents to park their cars at low or no rates. The key is to try and keep 1 or 2 spaces per block open so that drivers don't have to continuously search for a space. People will walk if the walk is interesting, safe and fun...oh hey, that's exactly what Manitou is!
Complaints about parking always remind me of a good quote from Yogi Berra: "Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded."
A parking challenge is a good thing to have. There are solutions without adding more of it. Look to optimize the space first.
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