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Poll: your view on regulation of valet parking

June 13, 2010 Downtown, Parking, Valet Parking 7 Comments
ABOVE: Five public parking spaces coned off by Shiver 6/11/2010
ABOVE: Five public parking spaces coned off by Shiver 6/11/2010

The poll this week is about a favorite subject of mine: valet parking.  I feel that on weekends in certain areas of the City of St. Louis some valet companies take over the public streets for their own use. I’ve had one business owner, adjacent to another business that has a valet, that his customers have nowhere to park because one business takes every public parking space.

I’ll go into more detail when I present the poll results on the 23rd. Please take a moment and vote in the poll in the sidebar to the right.

– Steve Patterson


Currently there are "7 comments" on this Article:

  1. STL Parking Advice says:

    Ban valet or tax it extremely high (same for lots and garages). Men, don't give me that “my woman doesn't want to walk in heels” bullshit. It's as easy to drop them off at the door and park on street around the corner. Don't like that? Hang out in Chesterfield!

  2. JoAnn Brookes says:

    I understand the need for valet parking, but the valet companies should not be parking on the street. They should be taking them to parking lots or garages. If they are simply parking on the street, then what's the point.

    In the Central West End, the valets take the cars to nearby lots and garages because there isn't enough street parking.

  3. jason says:

    Charge a fee of $500 per night to every valet stand operating. It would help STL budget problems!

    I learned the reality of how valet companies treat the streets when I was walking one night. I witnessed one valet on foot literally jump into a public spot for a few minutes while another valet brought a vehicle around. A couple was attempting to parallel park into the space when the valet jumped out and waved them away saying they can't park there. Then, like a scene out of Seinfeld, the other valet parked a vehicle in the space going head first. In all respects the couple had right to that spot first.

    One fun thing we could all do is buy beater cars, and then follow valets to a public space and hit the vehicles they park. Wouldn't the valet company be legally responsible for the care of the vehicle while they had it in possession? This surely could bankrupt a few of them in a matter of months! 🙂

    • MiamiStreet says:

      Jason, in your second paragraph you point out one of the most annoying aspects of valets. Since they are mostly young men and they are being paid to stand out on these streets, they have the upper hand in regard to intimidation. In the instance you described the couple in their car could have parked anyway and been yelled at by the valet….then the couple would have spent their entire dinner wondering if their car was being vandelized. It's not fair!

  4. Urbanreason says:

    It's interesting to look back at St. Louis urbanists frustrations with valet having been living in LA for nearly a year now and observing the same situations here. In a city where all but the most progressive or impoverished residents own a car, many urbanists and alternative transportation advocates would prefer that parking to be as inconvenient as possible. I suppose in many cases, from their perspective, valet would be helping that cause – helping encourage people to find other means of transportation (biking, transit, etc). Although, in St. Louis I understand the interest and desire in making parking as convenient as possible in order to continue the trend of growth.

    But even here in the carbon-drenched town of LA – where it would seem half of the restaurants in any moderately “classy” part of town offer valet – I've never seen valet taking up FIVE spaces. Generally valet take up one (or maybe two) spaces where they can put their signs and drive the car to a nearby private space or parking garage.

    • Yes, having one valet take five spaces in a city block is common here as is having a valet stand on every block in the trendy areas. Those nearby businesses that don't cater to those that valet suffer because the perception is the area is only for those willing to pay to valet.

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