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Old 06-08-2011, 11:04 AM
 
94 posts, read 63,973 times
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While seeing a 50%+ drop in parking may not matter to the city's bottom line, I'm pretty sure that's not good for local businesses. They can't simply raise prices by 2 or 3 times to compensate for the lost customers and hope to stay in business.
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:06 AM
 
3,808 posts, read 2,743,747 times
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I wonder how many people were caught off guard and did not have enough quarters for the day.
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Old 06-08-2011, 12:33 PM
 
3,313 posts, read 1,808,695 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lobick View Post
Just declaring that parking rates are "outrageous" doesn't make them so. Feel free not to pay it, many people choose the opposite judging by the difficulty finding parking downtown.

We'll see if usage rates change. I don't think this will have a noticeable effect on parking availability, but we'll see. If no meaningful change is observed, failure to raise the price on meters would amount an abandonment of market economics by the city and having city tax payers continuing to subsidize parking.
Sorry, I didn't understand the last part of your post, what does 'having city tax payers continue to subsidize parking?' mean exactly?
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:54 PM
 
20,274 posts, read 17,277,226 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UKyank View Post
Sorry, I didn't understand the last part of your post, what does 'having city tax payers continue to subsidize parking?' mean exactly?
Speaking just for myself, if the City owns parking assets and then offers them for use at below-market rates, that is a subsidy of parking, and the cost of that subsidy ultimately falls on the other sources of City revenues, most notably its tax payers.
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:17 PM
 
103 posts, read 38,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
Well, optimal pricing policy should be what this is about. And it turns out the revenue-maximizing policy is very close to the optimal pricing policy.
Revenue maximizing for whom? The gain of the city will be the loss of the business owners in the city. They will have less revenue so they will pay less taxes. Of course if they move out of the city, then the tax revenue from that business will be zero. It is not as simple as just looking at maximizing revenue from parking. That revenue effects other revenue. You must look at the total and the total has and continues to decline.

The fact is, I have lived in Pittsburgh my whole life and I have watched the number of business downtown decline year after year and people leave the city year after year. It seems like the city has priced itself far beyond the revenue maximizing point to the point where revenue has declined year after year.

This situation is a perfect example why cities like Pittsburgh experience decay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lobick View Post
Just declaring that parking rates are "outrageous" doesn't make them so. Feel free not to pay it, many people choose the opposite judging by the difficulty finding parking downtown.

We'll see if usage rates change. I don't think this will have a noticeable effect on parking availability, but we'll see. If no meaningful change is observed, failure to raise the price on meters would amount an abandonment of market economics by the city and having city tax payers continuing to subsidize parking.
The meaningful change is already evident. Pittsburgh has been in decline for years and this situation is a prime example of why.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
Obviously we should give it some time, but if usage is permanently low, they should likely consider a price decrease.
You cannot just look at the parking. You must also look at the revenue earned (and taxes paid) by the businesses in the area. If they pay less taxes or move out of the city, that cost also must be included.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lobick View Post
Just declaring that parking rates are "outrageous" doesn't make them so.
Outrageous compared to comparable cities and that is so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
Speaking just for myself, if the City owns parking assets and then offers them for use at below-market rates, that is a subsidy of parking, and the cost of that subsidy ultimately falls on the other sources of City revenues, most notably its tax payers.
And a mall, shopping center or community outside the city provide free parking to customers. Parking is a major impediment keeping people from spending money in the city. That is why Pittsburgh has and will continue to be in decline.

Last edited by Yac; 06-09-2011 at 04:24 AM.. Reason: 5 posts merged
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Mexican War Streets
1,288 posts, read 780,696 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enough_Already View Post
Outrageous compared to comparable cities and that is so.
For example...

Honestly, it seems as though your view of this city is frozen in 1990 or so. This perpetual decline, even "decay" as you put it is simply not evidenced by the facts on the ground not to mention my own anecdotal experience and those of others.

We're all aware of the history of urban decline in this country but it seems as though you haven't gotten the memo about the urban renewal currently taking place in many cities throughout the country, including this one. It's like trying to discuss Steeler football now with someone who insists that Bubby Brister is an awful quarterback and thus the team won't go anywhere this year.
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:06 PM
 
3,808 posts, read 2,743,747 times
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I don't understand what is so hard to understand about what Brian is saying. He's not suggesting that the city should increase rates just as a way to fill its coffers; he's saying that parking rates should be set to the highest that people are willing to pay. It should be lowered or made free once enough people aren't willing to pay, which is indicated by a large number of vacant spots. It has nothing to do with whether or not you or I personally feel that it is a fair price; as long as enough other people are willing to pay, it is a fair price. I personally think paying hundreds of dollars a month for parking anywhere is outrageous, but that doesn't mean that some of the garages downtown and in Oakland don't have waiting lists! Those garages SHOULD cost more. It might price out a few people currently using them, but as long as new people willing to pay more take their place (which a waiting list suggests), it is fine.

The same goes for parking meters, when people are circling around block after block looking for a space, that probably means they'd be willing to pay more just to have a spot available right away. And overall, people willing to spend more on parking are going to spend more at their destination. It's best for the city and best for the nearby businesses.
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:28 PM
 
3,313 posts, read 1,808,695 times
Reputation: 1775
Quote:
Originally Posted by ferrarisnowday View Post
I don't understand what is so hard to understand about what Brian is saying. He's not suggesting that the city should increase rates just as a way to fill its coffers; he's saying that parking rates should be set to the highest that people are willing to pay. It should be lowered or made free once enough people aren't willing to pay, which is indicated by a large number of vacant spots. It has nothing to do with whether or not you or I personally feel that it is a fair price; as long as enough other people are willing to pay, it is a fair price. I personally think paying hundreds of dollars a month for parking anywhere is outrageous, but that doesn't mean that some of the garages downtown and in Oakland don't have waiting lists! Those garages SHOULD cost more. It might price out a few people currently using them, but as long as new people willing to pay more take their place (which a waiting list suggests), it is fine.

The same goes for parking meters, when people are circling around block after block looking for a space, that probably means they'd be willing to pay more just to have a spot available right away. And overall, people willing to spend more on parking are going to spend more at their destination. It's best for the city and best for the nearby businesses.
Though to play devil's advocate, why when it comes to public transportation the argument always is that it needs to be subsidized; it can't operate at a profit; it needs to be cheap for everyone for the public good.
Now when it comes to parking spaces, the argument switches to that it should be priced to the absolute maximum possible until it is not used without any regard to impact on businesses other than conjecture.

What would really happen if overnight every meter in the entire city of pittsburgh disappeared? What percentage of the city's revenue do they account for (after the cost of maintaining, paying enforcement officers, mailings, court officials, etc)?
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:37 PM
 
20,274 posts, read 17,277,226 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enough_Already View Post
Revenue maximizing for whom? The gain of the city will be the loss of the business owners in the city.
That is incorrect. Underpricing parking when parking is scarce is not good for local businesses. Such a policy makes parking less convenient and ends up allocating parking to people who care more about saving small amounts of money than the value of their time--not exactly the ideal market for local businesses.

What actually benefits local businesses is making it easier for them to subsidize parking for their patrons (if they think that is a good idea).

Quote:
The fact is, I have lived in Pittsburgh my whole life and I have watched the number of business downtown decline year after year and people leave the city year after year.
Just an aside, but business Downtown is booming.

Quote:
This situation is a perfect example why cities like Pittsburgh experience decay.
Actually, cities decay when they try to compete with suburbs at their own game, which has never worked. Cities thrive when they do what cities do well, and among other things that means providing dense, walkable areas full of amenities. You can't do that and have unlimited free parking as well.
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:40 PM
 
20,274 posts, read 17,277,226 times
Reputation: 2801
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enough_Already View Post
And a mall, shopping center or community outside the city provide free parking to customers.
That is possible because land in those areas is abundant and cheap, and they aren't attempting to provide dense, walkable areas.

And again, when cities try to follow that model, they inevitably fail, because you can't beat such areas at their own game. Cities have to offer something different.
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