Thursday, December 28, 2006

Fort Wayne Downtown Parking fees

I decided to take a glance at the City budget for 2007 and at "parking" specifically. I found a statistic that will absolutely blow you away.

The budget calls for the collection of $176,875 in fees from Parking meters.

The budget calls for the collection of $535,000 in fines from Parking tickets.

In other words, the City collects OVER THREE TIMES as much in fines as it does in actual fees. Scott Greider posted on his blog that a Parking ticket only cost him $5...

This is amazing.

Mike Sylvester


Anonymous said...

It's funny this fixation on downtown parking. It boggles my mind! But maybe that's because my wife and I are both in our mid-thirties and neither of us have ever owned a car. To this day we don't have one. Maybe I'll change once we're back, but I have a feeling that walking everyday for the last seventeen years of my life has produced a permanently altered state of mind. ;-)

You'll be interested to know that the building we're buying doesn't even have a garage! I have a feeling I'm going to become on a first-name basis with the parking enforcement officers. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Also, Dan Carmody has some interesting insights on downtown parking. Maybe he could publish an article on the subject in the near future. That is, of course, if he's a glutton for punishment. ;-)

Karen Goldner said...

When my sister and brother-in-law moved from New York to Seattle, they found themselves in the odd position of taking a bus to the car dealer to buy their first car. I'm not sure they were taken very seriously by the salesman - until they bought their second car, that is. So good luck on that score, Scott.

But it does seem that parking is a huge perception issue in downtown Fort Wayne. Part of it is that when you park at a shopping center, you can see the door where you are going, even if you walk the equivalent of 3 blocks to get there. That is not usually the case downtown - so it seems like you are walking further than you are. But that issue aside, there is a lot of parking downtown, and it is very cheap.

I do think there are changes that should be made to the city's parking enforcement such as giving people the first few minutes for free, etc. One of the reasons for the meters is the commonly held belief (which I think is probably true) that in the absence of meters employees of downtown businesses would take up all the on-street parking to save themselves a couple of blocks walking and then there would be no on-street parking for customers and clients. Still, I know that Clerk Sandy Kennedy (who oversees parking enforcement) and her staff are open to making changes that will help improve downtown.

And Mike, perhaps an interim solution to this is that you and I just talk less (or faster) at lunch :-)

Robert Enders said...

I agree that perception plays a factor. People HATE paying any amount of money, no matter how small, for parking. So they might decide to drive an extra mile to Coliseum Boulevard or Jefferson Pointe, burning up an extra fifty cents worth of gas in the process and taking an extra 15 minutes of their time.
Most of the time when I go downtown is to use the library. A couple times I did see shows at Embassy Theater and the Civic. I keep meaning to see a movie at Cinema Center, but I never do. Sunny Shick is the only place I know to get a battery for my ancient Canon AE-1 camera. Sometimes I am passing through downtown and I need to stop and get gas.

So pretty much the only time I go downtown is when I want or need something that I can't get elsewhere.

Here's a question for you all. Why does downtown get more attention than other parts of town? Answer: It is perfectly normal to care more about the parts of town that you live and work in. Since politicians and newspaper reporters work downtown, they are obsessed with drawing more people to an area that really cannot support anymore traffic. Go downtown during rush hour and ask yourself if you really want to see more cars there.

Anonymous said...

Karen is right. I can remember way back when.. In the early 80's I would shop at Glenbrook and think the parking space was miles from the door, but be happy that I got a good parking space when I went to school at IPFW if my car was within the same zip code as the school. Downtown parking sucks, but I’ve never been to a major city where it didn’t suck. When Fort Wayne's downtown was alive and well.... You know... fifty years ago. We had trolley cars that provided transportation to and from downtown. In truth the shopping district of downtown Fort Wayne in its Hey day was only a few blocks long. Busses and Trolleys went directly to the shopping district. Additionally the suburban neighborhoods were much smaller and closer (we didn’t have the sprawl we have now..)

I guess my point is we keep wanting downtown to be what it once was and the paradigm that made it what is was no longer exists. Downtown development will be difficult because there is truly very little demand for shopping, hotels and condos downtown. Parking is just one more problem.

Robert Enders said...

Jon Olinger is right. Parking wasn't a problem when everyone used public transportation. Downtown was designed and built in horse and buggy times. Areas like Pine Valley and Aboite are more geared towards people who don't like to walk anywhere.

Jeff Pruitt said...

Why does parking downtown suck? I park there every day and there MANY, MANY spots available - there is certainly no shortage. I suppose PAYING for parking sucks but the parking situation downtown is not that bad at all...

Anonymous said...

Jeff is right. Downtown parking sucks because I am cheap. Most of Fort Wayne thinks downtown parking sucks because... most of Fort Wayne is Cheap... If I really want to park I do not ever have a problem finding a spot, either at the meter (5.00 all day parking) or in a lot.
If you live in a major city, parking costs as much as a small house. I have a friend who has a Condo in downtown Toronto and she purchased her single parking space in the 3rd floor basement of a parking garage for 30K.

As Einstein said... It’s all relative.

Andrew Kaduk said...

Karen is right.
John Olinger is right.
Jeff is right.

Sorry, I just find humor in the most absurd little things.

In Boston, a crisp new $20 bill will buy you 0.5 - 4 hours of parking (within 2 miles of the convention center). Another $10 will buy you an extra 4 hours (what a deal!). Truth be told, Boston's a shit-hole. I'd rather pay $10 to park in Fort Wayne than $20 to park in Boston. Now if we could just get Sam Adams Brewing to relocate its headquarters to Fort Wayne, we might be able to make this work.

Anonymous said...

Sam Adams in Fort Wayne....

Andrew is right!!!

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