Friday July 7, 2006

Parking at Miami Performing Arts Center has a PL4n!

parking garage 2-4 blocks, lots 1-3 blocks away

OK, folks, the plan is here: 1697 parking spaces on four lots and one garage (plus 751 valet spaces), all within “one- to three-block radius” um, no sorry, I’m looking at your little graphic (shown actual size; I guess we don’t need to see whatever that legend is), and the far end of the garage looks a little farther out then three blocks. But let’s be serious: you don’t walk ‘as the crow flies’ when you’re going to the opera: you have to stick to the sidewalks. I had a little extra time, so I imported a Google Maps image into Illustrator, and traced out a walking route from somewhere at the far end of the garage to the entrance of the opera house:

walking from garage to mpac

Then I straightened out the route and compared it to the legend. As sketched, it’s 2,496 feet, or just shy of a half mile. No big deal on a nice day, but try it dressed up on a muggy October Miami evening. I actually suggest the valet, which at $20 is only $5 more then the spot in the garage; standing around in the hot air is preferable to schleping a half mile. By the way, Here’s a link to MPAC’s flash-based parking widget. Personally, it doesn’t quite work in IE or Firefox for me, but others may have better luck.

For extra fun, let’s count the ways in which the Herald article blows it:

  1. Swallows the “three blocks” crap hook, line, and sinker—right out of the gate (metaphor whiplash, sorry).
  2. “announced this week that they have secured about 2,500 valet and self-park spaces” Opportunity missed to break out a calculator: it’s actually 2,448 spaces
  3. “a sell-out crowd at the center, which has a capacity of 4,820” Let’s not bother to point out that that means 1.97 seats for every parking space.
  4. “Center leaders acknowledged the need for nearby parking garages more than 10 years ago while planning the state-of-the-art center, which is $102.1 million over budget at $446.3 million.” Good enough, though the original budget was $255 million, which puts the current total more like $191 million over budget.
  5. “Though the center will miss the opportunity to profit from parking fees from its own garages, Hardy said the new plan won’t burden the budget, either.” I guess you can’t “LOL”s in a newspaper article, so we’ll let this one go.
  6. “The Performing Arts Center is likely to be completed in early August.” Wrong.

Update: Another Herald article offers a dry look at MPAC prices.

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  1. Gus    Fri Jul 7, 09:49 AM #  

    Excellent article! I like your attention to detail.



  2. gansibele    Fri Jul 7, 10:30 AM #  

    “No big deal on a nice day, but try it dressed up on a muggy October Miami evening. ”

    Or in a rainy July one.

    I like the Metromover suggestion though – it’s what I do when I go to the Arena.



  3. Manola Blablablanik    Fri Jul 7, 01:22 PM #  

    Not only that, but try walking 1/2 mile in heels!

    Parking widget: cursor needs to go in the green area above the map, in Safari & Camino.

    However, I think maybe it just isn’t working, period, or isn’t completed.



  4. Miami Harold    Sat Jul 8, 10:03 AM #  

    Picky picky picky.
    It’s not like this thing cost a lot of money or something.



  5. Albert Harum-Alvarez    Mon Jul 10, 08:15 AM #  

    Don’t you think we need a Transit Pyramid?

    ...you know, like the Food Pyramid, where the most important staple foods are at the base, and sweets are at the top? If you think for a moment about what would be at the base of the Transit Pyramid, it becomes apparent what Miami’s problem is: walking our streets.

    Every trip, whether in a car, bus or train, begins and ends with walking or wheeling in a wheelchair. It’s the quality of that first and last leg of the trip that makes all the difference. Even after every planned Metrorail line is completed, if the station leaves you in a miserable place for walking, folks won’t use transit.

    The missing piece in Miami’s transit problem is the fabric of pleasant walkable places strung between you and your transit stop. What are we missing? Sidewalks. Street Trees. Interesting places lining the streets. Until we have that missing piece, our Transit Pyramid will teeter on stiletto heels.