Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Parking Rates & Housing Needs

In Phoenix, Light Rail has pushed more businesses to core areas and pushed parking rates up.

While they remain among the lowest in the nation, monthly parking rates in Phoenix grew faster this year than in any other major metro area in the country. A new annual report on parking rates from Colliers International says the median unreserved monthly parking rate in Phoenix is $65. That’s up 24 percent from last year’s survey, while the national average declined 1 percent. Two years ago, the average in Phoenix was just $35 a month.

The strange thing is the light rail is causing more people to drive downtown. Perhaps downtown parking fees should be harvested as value capture, since there seems to be some sort of causation according to the article.
“With the light rail’s capability of moving more people in and out of downtown, we are beginning to see entertainment venues and businesses shift from the Camelback Corridor and other metro areas to downtown Phoenix to take advantage of light rail traffic,” Miscio said. “This shift is also driving more auto traffic into downtown, increasing parking garage usage and rates during both the daytime and evening.”
Though businesses moved, development has been slow in Phoenix, for obvious reasons. But while the line connects destinations, according to local developers it's lacking in housing density, which is another likely reason that more people are driving and parking rates are higher. It's times like these that looking at value capture possibilities to pay for more transit and related infrastructure is probably a good idea. Especially since there is likely to be a residential building uptick if there is a lack of options along the line.


Anonymous said...

This is when guys like O'Toole & Cox, start to complain that light rail hasn't helped to reduce traffic congestion.

People don't go there any more, it's always busy.

kenf said...

O'Toole and Cox are correct on this. Transit will almost never help congestion. For every car it takes off the road, another will come to take it's place. Just like adding lanes won't help congestion, it will just attract more cars. Think induced demand.

We build transit to give people mode choices, and a way to avoid congestion.

Anonymous said...

Agreed... Somehow too many policymakers (and citizens) in the U.S. have gotten into their heads that transit is about diverting traffic out from cars. While this might happen in certain circumstances, transit is about quality of life, more choices, and facility of moving around. The only way you stop car congestion is by removing roads.