Monday, August 28, 2006

City hall would make a great parking lot

The simple creation of a city council "downtown parking working group" is a guarantee that the perception of a parking problem downtown is going to be manufactured and promoted as an excuse for the central planning afficionados of city staff. After Coun. Bill Armstrong publicly stumped for more price-fixing regulation last week, the working group obligingly dramatized the feeble complaint that, despite an "adequate" number of spaces downtown, the lack of "prime" spaces

mak[es] it difficult for landlords to lease office space and attract new employers.
Fodder in the exercised language of the marketplace to which it is vocationally unaccustomed, the committee promptly overlooks the regulatory obstacles of pricing, heritage laws, and politically-motivated obstructions to development application permits that already exist to depress the supply of parking downtown and recommends instead entrenching a permanent and expensive dependency on municipal intervention.

From the London Free Press:
City council's downtown parking working group says the city should put aside $2.5 million a year for a parking facility.

[…] Parking recommendations include:
  • A capital fund be established with the city setting aside $2.5 million a year for land acquisition or investment in a public-private partnership and to fund incentives.
  • Delivery of 250 to 500 parking spaces within five years, either through a public parking garage, a public- private partnership or private development.
  • Incentives, including grants, 10- and 20-year tax breaks and waiving of development fees and other city fees for developers who provide public parking spaces either on nights and weekends or full time.
My personal favourite is the "option" for staff
to examine several other issues, including whether to increase the number of city-owned lots.
The expansion of an already major competitor with its own proprietary legal means to protect its revenues is quite sure not to stimulate competition in the marketplace, but will certainly maintain the market for self-serving bureaucrats at city hall.


Jay said...

Bloody simpletons.

I remember the City of Ottawa's most grandious taxpayer subsidized parking garage - located smack in the middle of a cluster of office towers, immediately adjacent to the taxpayer subsidized Transitway Station. (drive to work, no - don't drive to work, no....)

The manager of the nearby World Exchange Plaza had to hire a parking consultant to *beg* the bureautards to allow him to raise the parking rate and clear out his over-capacity lot.

MapMaster said...

The real simpletons are the elected members of council who feel obliged to choose only from the menu of regulations, laws and subsidies offered by city staff. The staff themselves know quite well how to protect their careers.

drive to work, no - don't drive to work, no....

Funny that you should mention that. Also from the Free Press:

London Transit is adding three new routes to its fall schedule in a bid to attract more riders.

"The target is for us to hit 10 per cent of all trips that are taken" in London by 2024 under the city's master transportation plan, said Larry Ducharme, London Transit Commission's general manager.

To reach that goal, London Transit will have to have about 10 million more paid fares annually than it now does to boost ridership to 28 million, he said.

How much is a 55% increase in ridership on an already outrageously subsidized service going to cost?