Scottsdale’s Phantom Parking

In a Scottsdale Republic article yesterday, reporter Beth Duckett asks the question, “Could downtown Scottsdale get paid public parking?”

It’s too bad that Beth’s editors don’t allow her more time to really dig into issues like this, because the problem isn’t lack of parking…it’s Mayor Lane and the City Council continuing to support increasing density at a rate that exceeds available parking.

We’ve known there’s a parking shortage for YEARS. This didn’t just happen yesterday or last year.

And for years, new businesses have had to pay significant “in lieu parking” fees; which is a fancy way to say, buy their way out of the requirement to provide parking for their customers (based on typical customer load for their type of business). This money was supposed to have gone into a fund to build public parking. I’m wondering where all that money has gone?

Making customers or employees pay for parking isn’t going to solve the problem of not having enough spaces. It may encourage folks to carpool or take public transit…and it may encourage companies to provide shuttle service, as Duckett describes. But that’s not a solution, so much as it is a band-aid.

The city should FIRST stop making the situation worse. Stop approving new businesses (mostly bars) with high customer loads in areas that don’t have enough parking. But since the liquor industry has so overtaken the city council, I don’t have much hope for a real solution.

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