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Posted by on Mar 23, 2011 in General | 5 comments

(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.

5 Comments

  1. Well said!

    They have lots of bike racks at the Arena. Bike/walk Central Florida has even looked into creating a Bike Valet there. The more expensive it is to park, the more desirable and worthwhile that becomes.

    • Indeed Keri. The best part about the bike racks is that many of them are full on event day. I notice that quite a few of the bikes are used by people working at the arena on event day. Most can’t park near the arena so either have to park way out and get a shuttle or ride their bikes or use some other means.

  2. Several years ago, my town’s public works director quoted $14000 or $15000 per space for surface parking.

  3. Also, consider how big the old arena site was. Many of those “off-site” parking spaces that are still $10 in nearby garages are no farther than “on-site” parking on the old arena grounds.

    I wrote this response to a whiny article in the Weekly about arena parking prices: http://myurbangeneration.wordpress.com/2010/06/28/parking-and-oil/

    • Excellent post!