Friday, April 20, 2007

Harrison Square supporters needed, I need help!

I have asked this question several times and I have never really got an answer from Stadium Supporters that made sense to me except that the parking Garage is needed as a public subsidy for the new hotel. Please try to explain this to me.

Numerous consultants have been hired to tell us how we should develop Downtown. They all tell us that we need to make downtown more pedestrian friendly. Over and over people who support Downtown development tell me that we need a downtown that is pedestrian friendly and that we need people to walk around our downtown area.

I tend to agree with this concept.

Consultants tell us that we have too many surface parking lots Downtown.

Why does the Mayor's office want to build a brand new 900 space Parking Garage Downtown?

I can understand why a hotel would want us to build a Parking Garage for their use as a subsidy. I can understand why someone at the GWC might think that a nearby Parking Garage would be convenient for people who attend Conventions (Though there are many other places to park nearby, I have never had a problem finding parking downtown in my life except during the Three Rivers Festival).

If you really believe in developing Downtown I would think that you would agree that we need Downtown to be pedestrian friendly and that we need people to spend some time walking in Downtown Fort Wayne.

A Parking Garage 100% defeats this purpose.

If there is a Parking Garage next to the Baseball Park most of the people who attend the baseball games will obviously park in the Parking Garage. They will not walk anywhere other then from the Parking Garage to the Stadium and back.

How does this encourage people to walk in Downtown Fort Wayne? How does this help the shops, restaurants, etc gain business?

I attend baseball games in many different places. When I go to a Cubs game I tend to walk a long ways because I am cheap and do not want to pay too much to park my car. Last time my wife and I had to carry our young children because we parked far enough away that our kids could not walk that far. For me walking through the neighborhood around Wrigley is part of the baseball experience.

Building a Parking Garage Downtown makes absolutely no sense to me from a Downtown Development standpoint.

Over at the blog "Change Fort Wayne" they use a lot of sarcasm. Maybe they are right, I wonder if more people would attend wizards games if we installed a shuttle system from the Parking Garage to the Baseball Stadium? That way people would not have to walk at all? Heck maybe we could have Fort Wayne purchase a couple hundred golf carts (At taxpayer expense of course). The golf carts could be used to shuttle people from their parking space in the parking garage all the way to the baseball stadium itself...

Mike Sylvester

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm 100% behind HS but I agree with you Mikey, the parking garage is not necessary.

If the Marriott wants a parking garage...they can build one

scott said...

Not once did you mention the fact that Lincoln employee parking is being uprooted by Harrison Square and needs to be replaced in some other fashion.

Parking garage.

LP Mike Sylvester said...

So we are building a new Parking Garage for Lincoln to replace a couple of surface parking lots they have?

Why can't we just buy some other nearby surface parking lots, and there are a lot of them, and give those to Lincoln...

Scott you do bring up a fair point; however, it does not justify building a 900 space parking garage, or does it?

I have not been able to get ANY information on the Lincoln Parking lots to date, have you?

This is another thing The Mayor's office has not released...

Mike Sylvester

Andrew Kaduk said...

Surface parking accounts for more wasted space in the downtown area than anything else...

...except maybe lawyers' offices.

:)


It's a joke...but I'm being serious to an extent. Surface parking is the LEAST efficient way to park cars, and it is also a major hassle for planning traffic flow (and subsequently for the people driving). But it's really all about density. The more people you wish to be located in a certain close-ish proximity, the less practical surface parking becomes. It's going to take about 1200 parking spots to accomodate a sell-out crowd for the HS ball park. The idea is to cram 900 of them into an efficient, compact area. This cannot be accomplished with surface parking.

Boston has many parking garages. Perhaps a quick call to their urban planning department might clear up why this is necessary in such a highly "pedestrian" town.

barranda said...

The parking garage is necessary because the hotel requires one. Period. Without the garage, no hotel.

By the way, the parking garage does not contradict a walking downtown 100%. People that drive in from the burbs must park somewhere. It's not like they're gonna hop on our mass transit system.

Kody Tinnel said...

I am a little torn on this issue. On one hand I agree that space downtown should be used efficiently, but I can also see how a large parking garage would isolate many of the downtown visitors into a smaller area which would most likely keep them from going off the beaten path and actually going to the other attractions that could be located downtown such as stores and restaurants.

If we want to get people downtown we need to make it convenient, but we don't want people to just go downtown, park, walk to the baseball stadium, walk back to the car, then go home. That does nothing for our downtown as a whole.

Kody Tinnel said...

I should also note that I am still against the Harrison Square project due to the baseball stadium aspect.

ChadGramling said...

I am less likely to come to the ball park if I have to drive all over town looking and fighting for a parking spot. The garage provides assurance that I don't have to waste my time doing so. I can park my car, WALK TO A RESTAURANT and have dinner or lunch, WALK TO A RETAILER and purchase gloves and a hat for the unseasonably cold April that I wasn't prepared for and the WALK TO THE PARK for the game. Afterwards, I could WALK TO A BAR and drink a couple sodas while my buddies guzzle a few beers (even though they had quite enough at the game). Afterwards, I can CARRY THEM to the car, conveniently parked in the parking garage where my car has been safely parked without my concern of being towed away because I had to park it two inches into the yellow because it was the only spot I could find.

Anonymous said...

Kody,

Nobody ever said the downtown area would be limited to one parking garage. This garage just has a few key functions it will serve, and start things moving in the right direction.

Change Fort Wayne said...

Actually Mike - we are proposing moving sidewalks, no effort needed.