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Old Posted Jun 21, 2011, 3:35 PM
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Calgary Downtown & Retail Area Parking Policy

I had no idea what section to put this in so I chose the Calgary issues one.

I wanted to start a discussion regarding parking policy.

Generally, and correct me if I'm wrong, the city policy has been one of artificial restriction, particularly in the downtown area, driving up parking rates, and in theory, driving people to use transit instead of their cars. I think we could possibly also agree that in commercial areas such as Kensington, and maybe Marda loop and such, there might be less stalls that the number of people who would wish to drive.

So a few things I'm interested in:

- What are the advantages of forcing people to use alternative transportion means due to the cost of parking, rather than just the amount of traffic/length of commute? I could see one negative aspect being that not only would bigger traffic jams slow down car traffic, it would also slow down bus traffic (although if the bus-only lanes were actually enforced perhaps not)

- If restrictive parking forces those who work in the area to take transit, does it also force those who would be going to the area to shop, have appointments, etc to also take transit? or do those people simply go elsewhere?

- What would be the negative impact of restricted long-stay parking, but generous amounts (even slightly in excess) of short stay parking? Would there be a negative impact?
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Old Posted Jun 21, 2011, 3:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DizzyEdge View Post
What are the advantages of forcing people to use alternative transportion means due to the cost of parking, rather than just the amount of traffic/length of commute? I could see one negative aspect being that not only would bigger traffic jams slow down car traffic, it would also slow down bus traffic (although if the bus-only lanes were actually enforced perhaps not)
First of all, the city owned parking lots generate a lot more money, always good for CPA. Second, I think hitting people in their wallets is more effective a deterant than commute times, and one that doesnt create pollution, and keeps pressue off the city to build more road capacity into the core.

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Originally Posted by DizzyEdge View Post
If restrictive parking forces those who work in the area to take transit, does it also force those who would be going to the area to shop, have appointments, etc to also take transit? or do those people simply go elsewhere?
I dont think that is a problem for shoppers. In the evenings, when the bulk of parking demand is gone, cost of parking drops to $2.00 in just about every parkade, and on street parking is free after 6:00. Those who would be tempted to go elsewhere are the day time shoppers (not many of those) and people who would like to go to the core but dont have to (to have lunch with friends). Density allows many shops and services to survive due to customers who already are present in the area.

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What would be the negative impact of restricted long-stay parking, but generous amounts (even slightly in excess) of short stay parking? Would there be a negative impact?
This would only be negative if transit doesnt get its act together and increase capacity to the core. Trains are packed so if they want to keep quality of service up as more towers are built in the core, they need to make the cars longer, run at higher frequencies, and to seperate the two lines by way of a DT tunnel.
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Old Posted Jun 21, 2011, 4:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DizzyEdge View Post
- If restrictive parking forces those who work in the area to take transit, does it also force those who would be going to the area to shop, have appointments, etc to also take transit? or do those people simply go elsewhere?
Given that the restrictive parking only exists during the typical North American 9-5, M-F work period, I'd say it hardly affects anyone. I've lived in (and visited) cities where downtown parking is dirt cheap, and people still don't come downtown during "banker's hours" to shop.

One difference I do notice is that Calgary does not seem ripe for central medical facilities. I'm thinking something like Winnipeg's Medical Arts building. It's a tower full of medical specialists right in the heart of downtown. Convenient for office workers, but it also handles people from the whole city. Plenty of folks drive downtown during business hours to visit it. Something like that in Calgary I just can't see working - even with generous short term parking you never really know how long your wait and appointment is going to take. Doc running behind? Sorry, your 4 hours is now up, too bad, you get towed. I assume in Calgary these specialists are either more dispersed throughout the city, or concentrated close to the hospitals. I'm not much of a user of our medical system so I really don't know how it works here.

The only other negative I hear consistently is the expense/inconvenience of doing business appointments. In theory ample short term parking should cover this. I know, for example, that my friends who work downtown will almost never visit me for lunch. They just find the parking too much of a hassle. Not a great crisis but there are plenty of small business types who like to come for meetings downtown and this hampers them.

Quote:
- What would be the negative impact of restricted long-stay parking, but generous amounts (even slightly in excess) of short stay parking? Would there be a negative impact?
We already have this, in the evening/weekend period when most people typically go out and shop, and run errands. The select few that do want to come downtown during business hours would love improved short term parking - although there definitely is a small number of people who would be impacted. Like I mentioned above, what about day-long meetings? Or long doctor's appointments?

The real negatives? Well, fewer people would be able to drive to work downtown.
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Old Posted Jun 21, 2011, 4:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polishavenger View Post
First of all, the city owned parking lots generate a lot more money, always good for CPA. Second, I think hitting people in their wallets is more effective a deterant than commute times, and one that doesnt create pollution, and keeps pressue off the city to build more road capacity into the core.
That was the other angle I was thinking, simply that restrictive parking = less crappy environment due to less traffic, noise, pollution, road rage, etc.

The pro might be to shut up the 'social engineering' crowd


Quote:
I dont think that is a problem for shoppers. In the evenings, when the bulk of parking demand is gone, cost of parking drops to $2.00 in just about every parkade, and on street parking is free after 6:00. Those who would be tempted to go elsewhere are the day time shoppers (not many of those) and people who would like to go to the core but dont have to (to have lunch with friends). Density allows many shops and services to survive due to customers who already are present in the area.
Yeah I should have been more clear, I was thinking daytime shopping, as most retail in these sorts of areas close by 5 or 6pm, other than restaurants.


Quote:
This would only be negative if transit doesnt get its act together and increase capacity to the core. Trains are packed so if they want to keep quality of service up as more towers are built in the core, they need to make the cars longer, run at higher frequencies, and to seperate the two lines by way of a DT tunnel.
I also didn't word my last point properly, when I said "What would be the negative impact of restricted long-stay parking, but generous amounts (even slightly in excess) of short stay parking?" I was more focusing on the adding of lots of short stay. It seems like if long stay rush-hour visitors were funneled onto transit but random through the day visitors could always find short stay, the negative traffic aspect should be outweighed by the increased retail traffic. Maybe?
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Old Posted Jun 21, 2011, 4:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polishavenger View Post
First of all, the city owned parking lots generate a lot more money, always good for CPA. Second, I think hitting people in their wallets is more effective a deterant than commute times, and one that doesnt create pollution, and keeps pressue off the city to build more road capacity into the core.



I dont think that is a problem for shoppers. In the evenings, when the bulk of parking demand is gone, cost of parking drops to $2.00 in just about every parkade, and on street parking is free after 6:00. Those who would be tempted to go elsewhere are the day time shoppers (not many of those) and people who would like to go to the core but dont have to (to have lunch with friends). Density allows many shops and services to survive due to customers who already are present in the area.



This would only be negative if transit doesnt get its act together and increase capacity to the core. Trains are packed so if they want to keep quality of service up as more towers are built in the core, they need to make the cars longer, run at higher frequencies, and to seperate the two lines by way of a DT tunnel.
One of the main comlaints that people have about downtown is the high parking costs......no one even know that it is only two dollars on the weekends. Parking is strange in Calgary.......strangely high! the worst offender BY FAR is the impark lots.

Anyway, I know it is cheap so....their loss for now! I love shopping at the core, no line-ups!
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Old Posted Jun 21, 2011, 4:08 PM
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Although the thread title combines downtown with innercity retail areas, perhaps they are far too different beasts to have similar policies
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Old Posted Jun 21, 2011, 5:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kw5150 View Post
One of the main comlaints that people have about downtown is the high parking costs......no one even know that it is only two dollars on the weekends. Parking is strange in Calgary.......strangely high! the worst offender BY FAR is the impark lots.

Anyway, I know it is cheap so....their loss for now! I love shopping at the core, no line-ups!
Unless they've changed it, it's actually FREE. At least underneath Holt. We park there every time and it's always plenty empty.

Underground, heated parking at a shopping mall - with no crowds. It's the best of all worlds for a shopper.
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Old Posted Jun 21, 2011, 5:50 PM
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Unless they've changed it, it's actually FREE. At least underneath Holt. We park there every time and it's always plenty empty.

Underground, heated parking at a shopping mall - with no crowds. It's the best of all worlds for a shopper.
You're right. I think it is free for a couple hours? It is the best of all worlds when it comes to shopping in a downtown.
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Old Posted Jun 21, 2011, 6:38 PM
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You're right. I think it is free for a couple hours? It is the best of all worlds when it comes to shopping in a downtown.
2 or 4, I can't remember. It's awesome regardless. All these downtown retailers who whine about the suburbs stealing their business - put in free parking during off-peak hours and you'll see customers.
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