(Not So) Free Parking
This is a post I started several months ago and am only just now getting around to wrapping up. Sorry for being such a slacker!
The City of Orlando recently increased its parking fees for the new Arena which opened in October. They doubled the special event parking fee at the two parking garages closest to the arena from the current $10 to $20. People are TICKED! (well, if you actually put any faith into the comments left in online newspaper articles).
Me? I think it’s great. So does the Sentinel’s Beth Kassab. What does this have to do with cycling? Well, part of making a place more liveable – and therefore more bikeable, walkable, transit-able™ – is to stop providing free and/or cheap parking. One parking space in a garage can cost around $20,000 or more, a parking space in a surface lot can cost around $10,000. Land is far too valuable to devote to cheap parking.
Life is choices, people can walk a bit further and pay less for parking or pay a premium for the closest parking to the arena – or ride their bike! such a novel thought. The bills have to get paid somehow and why should a City subsidize the choice of people to drive? We hear all too often about subsidizing other lifestyle choices, why do automobile drivers get a pass? They shouldn’t.