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Parking On Clark Still Police-Only A Year After Old Headquarters Vacated

A year ago the St. Louis Metropolitan Police moved from their old headquarters at Tucker & Clark to their new HQ on Olive, between 19th-20th. Back in April 2011 I wondered what would become of police-only parking on Clark between Tucker & 14th once the move happened. It seems nothing would happen.

Privately-owned vehicles now park where police vehicles used to park. July 23, 2015
Privately-owned vehicles now park where police vehicles used to park. July 23, 2015

The old police headquarters is, presumably, vacant. So who’s parking on Clark in spaces marked for “police vehicles only”? My guess is the police academy at Tucker & Spruce, just south of the old police HQ.

When the police left their old building the on-street parking on Clark should’ve become metered parking for the general public.

— Steve Patterson


Both Styles of New Parking Payment on Same Block

July 30, 2015 Downtown, Featured, Parking Comments Off on Both Styles of New Parking Payment on Same Block

New parking meters are pretty much installed throughout greater downtown St. Louis.  These include multi-space pay stations and updated single-space meters. I’ve yet to determine how it was decided which type would go on which blocks. In the 7 blocks I travel to reach the store both types are used.

Last week, looking at the Chestnut bike lane, I noticed in the 1000 block of Locust each side of the street is different from the other.

1000 block of Chestnut: On the North side single space meters, other side multi-space pay stations (one circled in red)
1000 block of Chestnut: On the North side single space meters, other side multi-space pay stations (one circled in red)

I might map out block by block to see if a logical pattern emerges…or I’ll enquire. It just seems like downtown visitors might be confused by two different physical ways to pay for on-street parking.  I still prefer the app.

— Steve Patterson


Parking Conflict Resolved

A year ago the police were called to a parking dispute at our condo association. The issue was a fight between residents and the tenant of one commercial space, see Parking Battle Close To Home.

View from ,my balcony on Friday July 25th.
View from my balcony on Friday July 25th, 2014.

A couple of months ago everything was resolved — much better than anyone could’ve predicted. It did require legal action. The original developer, the now-defunct Loftworks, was seriously delinquent on condo dues for the two commercial spaces and a few residential units. After years of negotiations and missed payment plans, our board had enough and for a foreclosure sale.  They were mortgaged for more than their value, but our board then began negotiating with the bank(s).

The best part is the commercial tenant in my building, Stealth Creative, was able to purchase their space. Every parking spot on the lot between the two buildings has been assigned to a commercial space.  So just like our residential spaces, both commercial spaces now have assigned parking. While the other commercial space is vacant and for sale, those parking spaces are leased to residents seeking a 2nd parking space.

As I mentioned a year ago, I think my neighbors and the employees are too auto dependent. Hopefully having a fixed number of parking spaces will help change that attitude. I also want to make the case to Enterprise that their CarShare service needs vehicles West of 11th Street. They’re waiting for more members, we’re waiting for the service before joining.

— Steve Patterson


Reading: Parking Management for Smart Growth by Richard W. Willson

July 23, 2015 Books, Featured, Parking Comments Off on Reading: Parking Management for Smart Growth by Richard W. Willson

Parking management is a popular topic, I have numerous books on the subject. Now I have one more: Parking Management for Smart Growth by Richard W. Willson:

The average parking space requires approximately 300 square feet of asphalt. That’s the size of a studio apartment in New York or enough room to hold 10 bicycles. Space devoted to parking in growing urban and suburban areas is highly contested—not only from other uses from housing to parklets, but between drivers who feel entitled to easy access. Without parking management, parking is a free-for-all—a competitive sport—with arbitrary winners and losers. Historically drivers have been the overall winners in having free or low-cost parking, while an oversupply of parking has created a hostile environment for pedestrians.

In the last 50 years, parking management has grown from a minor aspect of local policy and regulation to a central position in the provision of transportation access. The higher densities, tight land supplies, mixed land uses, environmental and social concerns, and alternative transportation modes of Smart Growth demand a different approach—actively managed parking.

This book offers a set of tools and a method for strategic parking management so that communities can better use parking resources and avoid overbuilding parking. It explores new opportunities for making the most from every parking space in a sharing economy and taking advantage of new digital parking tools to increase user interaction and satisfaction. Examples are provided of successful approaches for parking management—from Pasadena to London. At its essence, the book provides a path forward for strategic parking management in a new era of tighter parking supplies.

The book, published by Island Press, is available in softcover & hardcover
The book, published by Island Press, is available in softcover & hardcover

To see the topics covered, here’s the contents:

  1. Introduction: What is a Parking Space Worth?
    Parking as a Contested Space
    Problems of Unmanaged Parking
    Understanding Parking Behavior
    Strategic Parking Management
    Key Terms
    Map of the Book
  2. Parking Management Techniques
    Origins of Parking Management
    Understanding and Organizing Parking Management Methods
    Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced Parking Management
    Parking Management Gone Wrong
  3. Creating a Parking Management Strategy
    Planning and Strategy in Parking Management
    Parking Management Stakeholders
    Process for Developing a Parking Management Strategy
    Process Pays
  4. Managing an Integrated Parking Supply (Rick Williams)
    Management Principles
    Organizational Structure: Administration and Management
    Defining the Role of On-Street Parking
    Relationship of On- and Off-Street Parking Assets
    Rate Setting Policy and Protocols
    Measuring Performance
    Identifying and Communicating the Integrated Parking System
    New Technologies
    Financial Analysis and Management
  5. Best Practice Strategies
    Best Practice: Individual Measures
    Best Practice: Integrated Strategies
    Global Perspective
    Case Study Conclusions
  6. Implementing Strategic Parking Management
    Politics and Community Participation
    Technical Challenges
    Greening Parking Operations
    Parking Enforcement
    Conclusions on Implementation
  7. Parking Management for Smart Growth
    A Paradigm Shift
    Why Not Rely on Pricing Alone?
    A Broader Vision for Strategic Parking Management
    It’s Time

I’m looking forward to diving into some of these topics. The book came out last month, you can read an excerpt or order from Left Bank Books.

— Steve Patterson


Readers: New Building Should Replace Condemned Parking Garage

December 2014
December 2014

No surprise, but most who voted in the Sunday Poll favored an occupied building to replace a condemned parking garage downtown:

Q: The parking garage at Tucker & Locust, built in 1967, was condemned a few months ago. What should be the long-term outcome? (PICK UP TO 2)

  1. Raze for new building w/zero parking 22 [34.92%]
  2. Raze for new building w/some parking 21 [33.33%]
  3. Renovation of structure, reopen garage 6 [9.52%]
  4. Raze for new parking garage 5 [7.94%]
  5. Unsure/no opinion 3 [4.76%]
  6. Other: 3 [4.76%]
    1. Apartments, parking, ground level retail.
    2. Restaurant
    3. Traditional incremental urbanism
  7. Raze for surface parking lot 2 [3.17%]
  8. Nothing, leave as is 1 [1.59%]
  9. Raze for open space 0 [0%]

I was very happy nobody voted for “Raze for open space”, because we’ve got more open space than we need. I have to wonder about the person who voted that leaving a condemned parking garage is the best long-term outcome. Really!?!

Even in the short-term I’d oppose a surface parking lot. If built properly, it would likely stick around until fully depreciated — which isn’t short-term. We need to build on many of our existing surface lots to reduce holes in our urban fabric. A case could be made for a new parking garage on the site. At this point I’d give little chance the existing garage will be renovated — the repairs are just too costly.Without a doubt, a new building, with or without internal parking, is ideal.

The New Jersey-based entity that owns the condemned garage likely doesn’t care about what’s best for creating a more urban St. Louis, but I don’t care about their bottom line! In the Downtown Neighborhood Association’s Planning & Zoning Committee I’ll advocate for a position on this site that opposes just letting it sit or a surface parking lot, supports a building.

— Steve Patterson




Notice of Open Meeting: Parking Commission of the City of St. Louis
Tomorrow at 12pm CST.
The meeting will be live-streamed via the STL Treasurer Facebook page.
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2 days ago  ·