May 8, 2012

Car Parking [Updated]

[5/10/12 Update: I misunderstood the parking signs so this post has been edited slightly]

It rained a lot last night. It rained so much that I didn't want to bike so if you can believe it, I drove to my destination. In this case, my destination was German Village.



As everyone knows, German Village is quaint with brick roads. As an aside, I don't like brick roads that much. They're uncomfortable in cars, they're uncomfortable on bikes. They are good, however, at slowing down traffic, if you're into that which I am.

As with all dense areas of town, parking is an issue. The issue is that it's mostly permit only throughout the area. They have no parking meters on 3rd Street, their main business strip. Nor do they have parking meters anywhere else that I could tell. The most frequent parking restriction I saw was 2-hour parking between 10AM - 8 PM except for permit. According to the German Village Society, there are also the following restrictions:
  • 2-hour parking 10AM - 4 PM except for permit
  • No Parking 4 PM - 10 AM except for permit
  • 2-hour parking 10PM - 2AM except for permit
What this means is that there is little to no parking between 8PM - 10PM. [Edit: I misunderstood the signs. I was there at 7:30 PM so I could have parked in half the areas.] It's frustrating to see sign after sign of restricted parking. I don't mind walking far or paying for parking. I just mind not knowing where an acceptable place to park is. The German Village Society writes this on their website:
"Parking is a limited and valuable resource."
I agree with that. I think that German Village would have more going for it with variable pricing on-street parking on their main drags such as 3rd Street. Variable pricing works on supply and demand; the more people parked, the higher the price of parking. This on-street parking should last between morning to 10PM. I also think it would be nice that any revenue above operating costs would go to German Village although I don't know if that's possible.

To address some supply loss due to on-street parking for non-residents,  parking permit costs should increase with each additional pass bought per address. A parking permit costs $25 per year. Overall, that's a pretty good deal and I'm glad that residents have on-street parking but anytime there's limited supply, you should try to price better to not have over parking.

Finally, I should note that a visitor's pass can be obtained from the City. The first 5 are free and after that, it is a $1.00 per temporary pass. So it's nice that there are options out there for visitors, but a $1.00 per day? Again, the price could probably be increased because on-street parking is a valuable thing.

A bunch of Dutch people cycling in the rain:

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