Monday, January 23, 2017

2016 Downtown Parking Assessment Discussed on Thursday

The Downtown Advisory Board meets later this week on Thursday the 26th, and the centerpiece of the meeting will be the presentation of last year's parking study.

2016 Downtown Parking Study
It has seemed like they are usually done in even numbered years, as I have collected bits on reports from 2010, 2012, 2014 and now 2016 - though this year's report also has data from 2015. Maybe they're annual - it doesn't matter for our purposes here.

As has been the general case for a while now, the on-street supply in the "retail core" is tight and full at times. At peak it generally exceeds the industry target of 85% full.

"Retail core" on-street stalls are often full
By contrast, the off-street supply in our municipal parking garages is only about half-full at peak, with plenty of room for people and their cars.

Our parking garages have plenty of room, only half-full
Here's the whole picture.

The whole system shows demand in the center
In the center, the on-street stalls are marked red as full, and on the edges our parking garages are green indicating plenty of room.

So any theory of managing our parking supply will need to moderate demand in the on-street central area, and increase demand in the parking garages on the edges. There should be no need to add new parking. The total supply is plenty! (Especially when you also look at the non-public lots - see all of it just below.) It's just that the demand right now - a demand, it should be noted for a "free" good - is not distributed evenly.

Downtown Surface Parking Lots in Red
Parking Garages in Solid Brick Red
On-street parking stalls not included
(click to enlarge)
Previous attempts to solve this problem by industry standard solutions met with incredible resistance, so there is an opportunity for Salemites to craft some ingenious new solution. (Or, if we cannot find one, perhaps finally to implement standard measures.)

Parking Made Easy
The Board meets Thursday the 26th, from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm in the Urban Development Conference Room, 350 Commercial St NE, underneath the Chemeketa Parkade.


Anonymous said...

Something tells me parking activists will have some "alternative facts" to offer.

Evan said...

It's extremely problematic to code places where parking's empty as green (green = good, in most people's minds).

<55% utilization means we're overbuilt with parking, and no one's coming to downtown (or, less likely, they have shifted to non-driving modes).

For almost all of our goals: having people in downtown, using public resources wisely, using public space wisely, low parking utilization (compared to supply) should be DARK RED. To only one goal - the single driver wanting to park wherever they want, without having to walk even half a block - is empty parking helpful. Perhaps a second goal of people not driving it's temporarily beneficial, but then we should convert that parking to other uses.