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Posts Tagged ‘parking’

Every year, global commercial real estate organization Colliers International produces an annual survey on parking garage rates across the United States and Canada which they compile into a public report. Columbus was noteworthy in that there was zero change between 2011 and 2012′s pricing, while the national average rate of increase was 1.6 percent.

“This year’s report shows that Columbus’s parking rates have held strong and are now listed as below the national average for monthly parking rates,” said  Leslie Hobbs, Director of Marketing at Colliers International for the Greater Columbus Region.

The average cost of parking in a covered or underground parking garage in Columbus is $95 per month, while the national average is $164.80 per month. The city at the top of the list is New York City, where in Midtown Manhattan the average cost is $562 per month.

To read the full report, visit www.collierscanada.com.

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Originally posted HERE on ColumbusUnderground.com:

The previously approved 50% parking rate increase throughout Downtown and The Short North has been halted for six months pending further study and additional recommendations by the parking meter working group assigned to oversee rate adjustments. The resetting of the meters will begin as early as tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone who helped to support the online petition and who voiced their concerns with this issue. Please take a moment to contact The Mayor’s Office and the Public Service Department and thank them for addressing this issue.

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“Citizens for a collaborative Columbus government” are circulating a petition to show support for a smarter approach to the parking meter rate increase.

If you would like to read & sign the petition, CLICK HERE.

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In many instances, I’ve been impressed with some of the parking-related adjustments that have come out of City Hall lately.

The scooter & motorcycle parking initiative that was rolled out last year was done in a swift and effective manner to provide not only additional parking revenue for the city, but also to provide a progressive service to two-wheeler riders that has actually gotten a bit of national attention.

The city has also been testing a variety of new “smart” meters that accept credit cards, are solar powered, and have wi-fi functionality. Nice.

And just two months ago, there was an announcement that the city would be lifting rush hour parking restrictions in very specific key areas throughout Downtown to allow parking to remain in front of businesses where parking can be very difficult to find. Again, a win for both parking revenue, as well as both businesses and customers.

But today I’m disappointed. Several folks at City Hall have decided that without any public input there will be a 50% rate hike to all parking meters across the board throughout the city, which includes the Downtown, German Village, and Short North areas. Of the $4.6 million in revenue this is expected to raise, $1.4 million of it will be going towards bonds to fund the development of the new Convention Center Hotel scheduled to open in 2012.

Additionally, some areas (mainly the Short North) will have meter enforcement times expanded from 6pm to 9pm, and additional 1,800 meters are to be added to the current 4,200 throughout the city. I would have to imagine that these new meters may wind up in new areas on the near east and near west sides as well as new areas around the Ohio State University and perhaps even up into Clintonville.

Don’t get me wrong… I think that meter rates in certain areas could stand to be slightly higher, and enforcement hours in certain spots are due for an update. The urban landscape has changed quite a bit in the past 10 years, and parking (like everything) should evolve to fit the needs of the public. Enforcing meter parking near open businesses means that parking spots are regularly being turned over, making it easier for new customers to park close to their destinations.

The two biggest things that concern me is the fact that this plan was put together behind closed doors without any form of public input, and that the changes being made are wide and sweeping rather than being done with precision and care. Different streets have different needs. Park Street next to the North Market is a completely different animal than Town Street near the Topiary Park. Why should they be looked at through the same lens?

I think it’s also a bit concerning about how some of this information is being pushed out to the public. I’ve heard several city officials state that current meter rates have been untouched in over 10 years, which is not at all true. Perhaps they see a difference between “raising the rates” and “lowering the time given per quarter” but to anyone else, it’s the same thing.

We’re also being promised the rollout of the aforementioned “smart” meter heads throughout the city, which I do think would be a great technological upgrade. Of course, this is all being promised as something that will happen down the road, and is taking a back seat to the $1.4 Million allocated to bonds to pay for the new Convention Center Hotel. I think the new hotel is a great development, but this funding scenario is a bit ridiculous. This new hotel is going to benefit the entire Central Ohio region, and yet only people who rely on parking Downtown are being forced to chip in to pay for it.

The redevelopment of Downtown as a whole has seen a lot of progress over the past 10 years, much of which is due to city policies that make living, working, and hanging out Downtown a more attractive option than it was before. I’m afraid that increasing the inconvenience by such a drastic amount is going to have an overall negative impact on the area. Instead of heading to the Short North to shop, people are going to go to Easton where parking is free. Instead of going Downtown to dine, people are going to go to Polaris where parking is free. Instead of opening a new business Downtown, entrepreneurs are going to establish themselves in pretty much any other part of the city where their customers and clients can park for free.

Personally, this isn’t going to stop me from going Downtown, and I really do hope that it won’t stop too many others. I’ve always said that both driving and parking will need to become more inconvenient throughout Central Ohio before mass transit development becomes an attractive option for the general public. I just think that it’s a bit ridiculous to force that inconvenience upon the one area in town that needs it the least while the rest of the city remains unchanged and unchallenged. As someone who rarely deals with cash and pocket change anymore, I probably won’t be able to park at meters except on very rare occasions. If we were getting the credit-card accepting meters up front this would not be an issue. Instead, I’ll be giving more of my transit budget to COTA, as I can ride the bus easily without fishing for silver change from the couch cushions before leaving the house. If any good is going to come from this, I imagine it will be in the form of increased bus ridership and bike ridership.

Again… very disappointed in all of this.

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The Lantern
New parking system kicks meters to the curb
Kristin Schmotzer
Issue date: 11/18/08

A few parking meters are missing on campus, and they were taken by the university. Transportation and Parking Services has replaced the meters with a “Pay-N-Display” parking payment system in more than 20 parking lots across campus.

“We looked at areas on campus that tend to bring in a large amount of visitors where we traditionally may not have sufficient individual visitor spaces, and those areas became the places we located the first Pay-N-Display machines,” said Beth Kelley-Snoke, associate director of Transportation and Parking Services.

Instead of a parking meter at every spot, there is one Pay-N-Display system installed in the lot. Visitors must purchase a ticket at the Pay-N-Display machine and put the printed ticket on their dashboard, or face a parking violation. During the day, visitors pay $1 per hour. On weekdays after 6 p.m., the cost is a flat rate of $3.

“We are very pleased with the performance of the Pay-N-Display machines so far,” Kelley-Snoke said. “They do appear to be very reliable.”

READ MORE

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Thanks in part to the massive feedback and suggestions submitted right here on Columbus Underground, the City of Columbus has managed to install 62 new bike racks in 24 locations around the city between July 24th and October 2nd.

New locations include The South Campus Gateway, The Columbus Athletic Club, Studio 35, Café Corner, Café Apropos, The Surly Girl Saloon, Bodega, Claddah Irish Pub, Cornerstone Coffee, The One Columbus Building, Katzinger’s Delicatessen, The Short North White Castle, B1 Bike Shop, Metro Gym, Voluneers of America, Barcelona, The Columbus Museum of Art, Four Points Real Estate, Town Street Properties, Urban Spirits Café, The COTA stop at Henderson & High, the corner of 9th and Indianola Avenues, Zettler Hardware, and at the corner of Cherry & Lazelle.

There are also 11 more racks pending at locations near Café Bourbon Street, The Chamber of Commerce, Café Brioso, and The Convention Center.

More suggestions are still needed though, as the City continues this program into 2009. In order to make the process as smooth as possible, some additional information is being requested with suggestions:

1. Business name and exact street address
2. Property owner and/or biz managers name and contact info

The city can install in the Right of Way in front of businesses and sometimes dense housing (such as large apartment or condo buildings)… but helping commercial areas thrive is their top priority for the time being.

You can post your suggestions directly here on Columbus Underground, or use 311 via phone or web to file a request. Thanks for all of the great suggestions! Keep them coming!

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I’ll be one of the thousands of fans going to the season opener against YSU on Saturday. My secret parking space (location withheld) may be affected by this construction. I’m tempted to park on West Campus or at the Fairgrounds to take COTA.  Oooh, idea!  If I bring bicycles with me to Columbus, I can park near the path, I’m thinking near the Park of Roses, and bike to the game.  Sweet.

Going to the ‘Shoe on Saturday? Prepare for gridlock
Construction on N. High will slow football-game traffic
Tuesday, August 26, 2008 8:37 PM
By Rick Rouan
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

End-zone pylons won’t be the only orange that Buckeye fans will want to stay between on Saturday.

Construction on N. High Street north of Lane Avenue will make bumper-to-bumper traffic tighter as orange cones restrict traffic to one lane in both directions, said Mary Carran Webster, Columbus assistant director of public service.

Webster said the city has told construction crews to make sure the intersection of Hudson and High streets is open before, during and after the game.
(more…)

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