Thursday November 16, 2006

Parking meters

There are areas where parking spaces are a genuine scarcity compared to demand — anywhere near the beach, Downtown, the airport. Then there are places where that status is more dubious — Coral Gables, Sunset Place, downtown Hollywood. I think Midtown falls squarely in the latter category.

It isn’t necessarily even the money — it’s the feeling of being ripped off and made to jump through hoops. Parking in a garage is already a hassle, but making me fuck around with a ticket that needs to get validated and keeping an eye on the clock is a great way to make sure I only to to Target when I really really need to. For the life of me, I don’t see how that’s good for business.

In some areas, there might be a genuine concern that someone will park in one garage and then go somewhere else where the parking is more expensive. But in Wynwood? The only thing around there is galleries. If folks going to the galleries get in the habit of parking for free at Midtown, I’d think that would be a welcome development. I just don’t know what they’re thinking with those rates — it’s like they don’t want to make enough money to cover the expense of having the garage attendant and enforcement, but want to charge enough to be a pain in the ass.

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  1. Omni resident    Thu Nov 16, 01:22 PM #  

    Charging the public “the taxpayers” was a scheme created by Linda Haskins and Manny Diaz (City of Miami) to benefit a developer from NYC. The out of town developer gets $169 Mil in cash and incentives and the taxpayers have to pay to park… To shop at Target?

  2. madeindade    Thu Nov 16, 04:02 PM #  

    “The right to access every building in the city by private motorcar,” Lewis Mumford wrote in 1961, “in an age when everyone owns such a vehicle, is actually the right to destroy the city.”
    Paying for parking plays in important role encouraging the use of transit and managing the transportation demand on roadways. In fact, in the urban core of Miami and Miami Beach these two are absolutely critical. Contrast this with Dade’s western half where traffic gets worse paradoxically as roads grow wider and free parking is guaranteed.

  3. alesh    Thu Nov 16, 05:27 PM #  

    I admire the sentiment, madeindade. And there is an idealistic sort of truth to it, though I might add, “try getting to Midtown from the Beach by bus, and tell me it’s a reasonable option, considering it’s FIVE MILES (hint: you need to transfer at least once. I have no idea where).

    Omni~ You’re beating it to death a little, but I get the point — we paid for it once, now we’re paying for it again.

  4. Jonathan    Thu Nov 16, 09:29 PM #  

    If putting politicians in charge of parking is a bad idea why is putting them in charge of mass-transit a good idea?

  5. madeindade    Thu Nov 16, 10:46 PM #  

    I know we are getting into Transit Miami territory… but if you live north of 41st Street the J bus will take you from the beach directly to the Midtown Target. South beachers will have to transfer at the Omni. Normally, transfers are not a big deal, millions of New Yorkers go from train to train and train to bus every day – here on the other hand, you are pretty much guaranteed to step off your first bus as you watch your next bus speed off in the distance with a 15-minute wait (at least) for the next bus.
    In any case, look carefully at the passengers getting off the bus along Washington or Alton, in the coming weeks you will probably see more than a few of them carrying bags from Target.

  6. Fritz    Thu Nov 16, 11:28 PM #  

    I like mass transit. But I oppose the $200+ Mil City of Miami Light Rail Streetcar plan. I think fuel efficient buses would be much better. And bus routes can be adjsuted to meet demand. The $200 Mil streetcar will become a $300 Mil PAC Center. Overbudget and way behind schedule.

    Midtown Miami should get a few metered spaces but I agree, any spaces now will eventually become Resident only.

  7. Manola Blablablanik    Fri Nov 17, 12:09 AM #  

    madeindade, what bus to transfer with? that’s a great tip. thanks!

  8. RH    Fri Nov 17, 06:38 AM #  

    Midtown will soom become what it ought to a residential/commercial area that attracts density because people want to live there close to work but not “downtown” or even stop there on their way home..

    Next step is office space thats what we really need….

    As for parking I bought a small appartment in midtown ..parking is attached to it…

    Personally I don’t want south beach party guys to hang around there I would much rather have it developed as a retail/business/high end residential area … and i think the design district around will support that too…

    Love target..can’t wait for west elm and all the others…

  9. NicFitKid    Fri Nov 17, 07:03 AM #  

    Perhaps a sign is in order? SoBe Party People Use Rear Entrance, or something to that effect?

    Hey, SoBe party guys need big-box stores too. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to attend another wild bacchanal with Manola & Co.

  10. Backdoor Bamby    Fri Nov 17, 09:39 AM #  

    You’re right, NFK! That’s perverse discrimination! :-)

  11. madeindade    Fri Nov 17, 04:00 PM #  

    Manola, you can take any downtown-bound beach bus to the Omni and transfter to the 36 which will go up Biscayne, then west on 36th Street right to the north side of Midtown.

  12. FedUpWithWhineyLetterWriters    Thu Nov 23, 02:53 PM #  

    The NY developers of Midtown used a very traditional way to finance development in blighted areas where development would otherwise not occur.

    As it was, nothing was ever going to get built at the Buena Vista Yards. The cost of doing anything there – with no infrastructure, sewers, utilities, roads, etc. – was a complete deterrent to development.

    So the city issued bonds to pre-pay for the infrastructure with the anticipation that the increased property taxes and other income streams (such as parking fees) generated by the new development will repay the city (with interest) over time. I don’t know the details but probably 30 or so years.

    So the City gets a piece of unproductive dead space turned into a nice urban community essentially for free. And if the development is especially successful the city can even make a nice profit on the deal on top of everything.

    Most of the loud, politically inspired critics of the deal know all these facts but take advantage of the shock appeal of the “Big Evil $169 Million Give-away” line as the basis for an endless series of whiney and dishonest letters to the editor and op ed pieces which are more an infantile cry for attention than an effort to elucidate.

  13. Fuentes    Fri Nov 24, 08:30 AM #  

    totally agree!!! go midtown…i really like this town and this area is gonna’ become so cool..

  14. oldswish    Fri Nov 24, 12:07 PM #  

    Re: Fed Up,
    Do you really believe Midtown would not have been developed if the city had not granted them the 170 million dollar tax break?
    The infrastructure cost 25 million. Believe me, someone would have developed Buena Vista with or without the giveaways by Diaz Inc.
    (And who do you think Diaz represents, the citizens who pay him $150K per year or the developers who filled his election coffers with 1 million dollars and Haskins with over 700K—which BTW was an expensive election to lose, but at least the citizens spoke up.)

  15. alesh    Fri Nov 24, 01:33 PM #  

    It’s a tough situation. Of course it would have been developed anyway; the question is whether the $169 mill was worth the difference between what we’ve got and what we would have gotten otherwise. Of course we’ll never know that.

    Politicians make deals like this this all the time, for better or worse. Check out Crosswinds.

  16. Wynwood resident    Sat Nov 25, 01:00 PM #  

    Of course, the 55 acres was going to be developed. Re The $169 Mil taxpayer giveaway. Did you know the developer is trying to sell out? Yes, for 32 of the 55 acres? Yes, he wants over $300 Mil for a non-controlling interest? Think he will return the taxpayers $169 Mil at closing?

    Interestingly, the Midtown developers and its attorneys were huge campaign contributors to Linda Haskins. She, and Manny Diaz, promoted the taxpayer giveaway and the voters just crushed her at the polls, despite her spending over $150 per vote. Over $700,000 total… The winner only raised $180,000. Guess the voters were not in favor of a “tax and spend” candidate?