If we build it, they will park

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  1. Dave Mabe

     /  April 17, 2017

    Has the town ever considered a dynamically priced parking system? That is, one where the price to park would vary based on demand/availability. In fact, a lot of the time the price could be free since there are only certain times when there are extreme parking shortages.

    If done properly this would eliminate the shortages. You could imagine checking your phone for the current price and decide whether you should walk or not.

  2. plurimus

     /  April 17, 2017

    Dave, Great idea. Market driven parking, ala Uber’s “surge pricing”. I think that ideas from the new economy, leveraging the social media enabled by technology along with the goals of parking vs. public transit vs. getting people out of their cars should be considered in the context of the ebb and flow of Chapel Hill traffic and special events is a worthy effort.

    Being able to collect detailed data on mundane things like parking has the ability to reveal patterns and underutilized capacity.

  3. Bart

     /  April 17, 2017

    Surge pricing would be interesting – possibly useful. But.

    I’m one of those parents with tight timelines who already doesn’t go downtown for much. Disappearing lots, pop up towing, competition for spots and distance from where I want to go are all issues for me. One must build in time for parking: the hunt, paying, and walking to somewhere.

    Surge pricing won’t help me with any of that though. People go downtown when things are open. It would likely make it more expensive but not reduce the effort at all. The kind of parking might change: homesteaders vs errand-running, workers vs shoppers.

    But I’d still be going downtown hoping I could park in order to do what I need to. I hate not being sure I can do something I need or want to do because of PARKING. I pretty much choose not to shop where I have that extra problem. Just an extra hassle I don’t need.

    We could just label downtown for urban dwellers/bus riders only. That, at least, would be honest in terms of what many seem to believe and push for. I don’t have time or the inclination to argue with this, I just shop at Target and eat at restaurants outside of downtown.

    I know I’m not the only one who got the message.

  4. Dave Mabe

     /  April 17, 2017

    Bart said: “Disappearing lots, pop up towing, competition for spots and distance from where I want to go are all issues for me. One must build in time for parking: the hunt, paying, and walking to somewhere.”

    These are all exactly the kinds of problems that dynamic market pricing would fix! It would be much easier to find a parking spot than it would be without it.

    It would be much more predictable. Right now if it’s busy and I think I might have trouble finding a spot I’ll most likely skip the trip (like a lot of people). With dynamic market pricing I would know that there are spots available and I could decide whether the price was worth it given my reasons for going. As it is now sometimes there’s literally no choice at all – no spots available at any price! That’s what’s unpredictable and frustrating.

  5. Nancy, how much of our parking revenues going to pay down the West 140 OVERALL debt and all the parking lots we purchased/leased to make up for the shortfall it created?

    Adding to the Wallace Deck is a terrible idea. Better to self-off that prime real estate for a better use and use the proceeds to beef up parking elsewhere.

    Finally, we got a crap deal with the University Square redevelopment – maybe time to negotiate additional public spaces in their new lots.

  6. Betsy

     /  April 23, 2017

    Dave is spot on — As it is now sometimes there’s literally no choice at all – no spots available at any price! That’s what’s unpredictable and frustrating. And that is precisely why we rarely go to Franklin Street to dine or shop. I’m anxious to see how the parking will be at the urban Target. If there’s parking available I will gladly go there. If not, I will continue to shop at the Target at Southpoint. Oh well, not what I want to do but the parking situation in Chapel Hill many times leaves me with no choice but to shop and dine outside of downtown.

  7. Nancy

     /  April 23, 2017

    Will, the problem is there is no elsewhere. I’d like to see us build a deck on the west end of downtown, but the most logical space, behind Basnight Lane, is owned by a few different people who won’t sell. We can’t spend the money to build a deck on land we don’t own. Second best spot would be to partner with UNC to build a deck on their surface lots on Rosemary, but UNC won’t commit.

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