Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Parking Structures Previous Next
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Christos
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Username: Christos

Post Number: 22
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 2:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

An interesting feature about detroit is that while we have dismal mass transit, we have by far, the best network of highways in the nation, if not the world. No matter where you are in the tri-county area, you can pretty much be downtown in about a half hour.

With this system in mind, its impossible to have new development in the city without adding massive parking structures. While the city does a good job making the newer ones look nice with ground floor retail, I can't help but notice a HUGE inefficiency....

Most structures are either for residential use, business use, or "pleasure" use (casino's, stadiums, etc.). This means that when its after work hours, the business structures are completely empty, while during the day the "entertainment" structures go empty.

It it me, or is this massively inefficient? I dont know what the exact solution is, but I think Downtown needs some sort of "parking authority" that would mandate affordable, safe parking be available 24/7, WITH accomodations for residents.

Doing so will not only allow for more residents and business, but allow us to make best use of our ONLY transportation resource: cars.

Any thoughts?
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 892
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 3:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Unfortunately, if you look in other cities (even those as models for transit in the great lakes such as Toronto or Chicago) and you will see parking structures that are gigantic. Most of these are built right into the buildings to provide parking for retail, office workers, or residents. Examples can be seen up and down even the most dense parts of Michigan Avenue in Chicago or Younge Street in Toronto - in some cases they are pretty blatant, and in others you really need to look closely but that is the reality of development these days.

The real inefficiency comes from those who buy cars, ride to work alone, and pay a lot of dough to park instead of taking transit. If our transit providers were seen as providing better service, perhaps this could change.

Actually you could argue that the garages themselves are wonderfully efficient when is comes to the needs of the owners. Not much upkeep; you don't have to heat them, and they can get up to $20 a day for a space. That totals to $400 a month rent ($4,800 a year assuming the spot gets used only once a day) for a spot roughly nine feet wide and 20 feet long (180 square feet). Compare $27 a square foot they get for this spot, with the $15-$25 a square foot they get for heated, secure, clean, office space.
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Milwaukee
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Username: Milwaukee

Post Number: 688
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 3:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Good post, I thought it was interesting. I would be an advocate of some type of private security firm who could patrol structures and keep them safe. Use the vacant land downtown and put structures up near People mover stations. Connect the structures with skywalks, warm, safe places to walk. This could inspire developing more buildings downtown. With all these new spaces, there will be places for the new residents to park, or for new office workers to park. The city won't need those pesky surface lots any longer, so they could be opened to possible developers.

I like the idea, it seems more realistic than all of the plans for light rail.
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Jdkeepsmiling
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Username: Jdkeepsmiling

Post Number: 159
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 3:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I agree with the inefficiency argument. Why do we have a parking garage that is ONLY used for Red
Wing games. It seems to me that you could have more multipurpose decks that are centrally located. These could be run by an authority like you suggest.

I think we also have a conflict of interest here. Many people are lazy and will only consider going somewhere if the parking deck is directly attached, see casinos as an example here. We also have people who are willing to walk a little, and I think that this faction is increasing. The key here is to educate people to the fact that getting around Downtown on foot is safe, and really not that time consuming. If we can do this we can convince people to centrally park, and walk around to the various things going on.


I also think that this idea of putting buildings on top of parking garages is one worth merit. I know some people consider this a horrible abomination, but to me it is an efficient use of space in an urban area dependent on the automobile at the present time. In Chicago many parking garages are underground, and we are heading in that direction. WE just don't have the property values yet in the CBD to justify putting parking underground. With a parking garage under the building you provide both needs, that of parking and of use density.....
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Jdkeepsmiling
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Username: Jdkeepsmiling

Post Number: 160
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 3:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I love how three of us post multiple paragraph responses all within two minutes of each other. Sometimes this forum can be great.
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Christos
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Username: Christos

Post Number: 23
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 3:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The reason why I bring this up, is because a while back I had a chance to move into the David Stott Building, but since I dont work anywhere near there, needed a convient spot to park. The nearest structure CLOSES at night so I couldn't access my car after 6.

I dont advocate scrapping the idea of light rail, but regardless of how great and efficient a mass transit system we get, it will still not move (nor have the capacity to move) as many people downtown as our highway system. Think about it though- most citys have few highways in the inner city with an outer loop. Detroit is the final destination for ALL the regional interstates and the loop connects out in the middle-ring burbs (696-275-75-94 loop).

But when I go downtown, I ALWAYS park for free as I almost always park in the Greektown Casino and take the People Mover elsewhere if I have to (though i usually just walk).

I think that this issue needs to be incorporated when talking about a regional transit plan.
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Christos
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Username: Christos

Post Number: 24
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 3:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I forgot to add, a private security firm would be good, as you would need patrols, but I think if you allowcated as certain number of spots in each structure to permit parking (for nearby businesses and residents) having DPD parking attendants patrol the structures would make more sense. The tickets they write in unauthorzed spaces, plus a small flat fee payable upon entry (a buck or two) should be able to fund these attandants.
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Dds
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Username: Dds

Post Number: 115
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 3:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

But when I go downtown, I ALWAYS park for free as I almost always park in the Greektown Casino and take the People Mover elsewhere if I have to (though i usually just walk).



It's my understanding that you need the Club Greektown card in order to get validated for the casino structure now. I think they started that toward the end of the baseball season, and throughout football season. According to their website, that is still the case, however, I know the information on most websites can be incorrect much of the time.
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Christos
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Username: Christos

Post Number: 26
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 3:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No, I parked there for the auto show and had no problem validating. I think its just like that on weekdays.
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Jdkeepsmiling
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Username: Jdkeepsmiling

Post Number: 161
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 3:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

DDS,
Was just there on Sunday and did not have to show any kind of ID. I just validated on a machine. I do know that they have some time rules, as in times that they will not validate, and rules on how long you have to be parked before they will validate.
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 894
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 3:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks Christos, I will comment on having everyone take the free parking spots at Greektown as a transportation strategy next time the long range transportation plan is undergoing public comment.
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 2093
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 3:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Actually you could argue that the garages themselves are wonderfully efficient when is comes to the needs of the owners. Not much upkeep; you don't have to heat them, and they can get up to $20 a day for a space. That totals to $400 a month rent ($4,800 a year assuming the spot gets used only once a day) for a spot roughly nine feet wide and 20 feet long (180 square feet). Compare $27 a square foot they get for this spot, with the $15-$25 a square foot they get for heated, secure, clean, office space.



20 bucks a day? Perhaps 20 bucks for a special event, but not each and every day. Don't forget to account for the drive aisles in your square footage calcs.

quote:

I dont advocate scrapping the idea of light rail, but regardless of how great and efficient a mass transit system we get, it will still not move (nor have the capacity to move) as many people downtown as our highway system.



One lane of freeway can move about 1200 cars per hour. A single rail line can move about 15,000 people per hour (depending on the mode). Economists and real estate tycoons, do the math.
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Christos
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Username: Christos

Post Number: 28
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 3:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thats not what i meant- its just that if the average metro detroiter knew that they could park for free or for very cheap, it would be one less obsticle to go downtown.
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Christos
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Username: Christos

Post Number: 29
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 3:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"One lane of freeway can move about 1200 cars per hour. A single rail line can move about 15,000 people per hour (depending on the mode). Economists and real estate tycoons, do the math."

Hmmm, interesting. Regardless, no matter how great the mass transit system, I think Metro Detroiters will always rely on cars first.
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Warrenite84
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Username: Warrenite84

Post Number: 23
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 3:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think apartments with built in parking is a great idea. There is more than one way to construct a dual use building though. The Griswold Capitol Park development has the condos on top.

With a larger site like the Gratiot, Chrysler Fwy., Mullett, and St Antoine site, you could have first floor retail, condos on the outer edge, and an interior parking garage to serve the residents, employees, and shoppers too.

The "stacked " type could have first floor retail, with parking and condos on top but be connected by a higher x level walkway to a vertical mall adjacent to it. They would be setup to allow visitors to walk in or drive in.

That would allow the parking to be multi-use with labeled spots for residents and employees.
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 2094
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 3:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Hmmm, interesting. Regardless, no matter how great the mass transit system, I think Metro Detroiters will always rely on cars first.



Well, for whom are you building the city--people or cars? The assumption that people are always going to rely on cars leads to a self-perpetuating circle of logic that essentially leads to Detroit as we know it.

Any city that has the diversity and level of activity that Detroit seeks for its downtown, is underpinned by an extensive transit system. Otherwise, the downtown becomes nothing more than an enormous storage area for cars, with a few limited activity nodes for the people who drive them.
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Christos
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Username: Christos

Post Number: 31
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 4:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Downtown IS an enormous storage area for cars. Whenever I'm downtown, I always play a game where I will drive or walk around and count the number of structures I see. Usually you are always in an eye-shot of about three, and at least one is closed, hence my original post.

I agree that a walkable downtown district is the best way to build a city, and that mass transit is the best way to commute regionally. Detroit's population is still growing, and there are going to be a LOT more commuters in the coming years- hence the need for a regional mass transit system.

However, we already have a REALLY good system of highways, and a REALLY BIG downtown parking system. Why not make the two more efficient, and compatible with a mass transit system?

Furthermore, while mass transit should be at the top of ANY regional development plan, it is still years away (even if we start building infrastructure today) BUT we already have everything built for a more "park and ride" system- why not just tweak it a little bit until a regional transit system comes?
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 895
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 4:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The garage at my building is $20 a day. During special events I've seen places go for up to $40!

Dan, the numbers you are using are peak capacity numbers. The problem with that is

1) In Detroit we don't have rail service at that level. Therefore you are comparing apples with oranges.

2) It is much faster for people to drive to work than it is for them to take transit (for me it doubles my time).

The point I was trying to make was that in Detroit you can make more money off parking than you can for offices! Its almost as if the office space is secondary to the parking.

We're from Detroit, economics don't work here the same way it does elsewhere. :-)

Here is a source that says freeways get 2,000 cars per lane for capacity.
http://people.sunyit.edu/~lhmi/ahb40/meetings/2004-06/1985HCM.pdf
This number is very well debatable. I've seen modelers go at if for hours in heated meanings over this sort of stuff.

(Message edited by detroitplanner on January 30, 2007)
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Ndavies
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Username: Ndavies

Post Number: 2420
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 4:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

The garage at my building is $20 a day. During special events I've seen places go for up to $40!



Please, just because some visitors to the CBD are idiots and willing to pay that rate doesn't mean every one is. The City Decks are only in the $8 to $10 a day. The opera house garage is only $75 for the entire month. The First national building is $150 for the month. Don't confuse a top end price with the average price of all decks.

Detroit cannot consistently pull $20 a day for parking.
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 2095
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 4:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So let me get this straight: the method for rebuilding Detroit is to make even MORE accommodations for cars?

You know what Einstein called doing the same thing and expecting different results....
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Swingline
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Username: Swingline

Post Number: 691
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 5:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroiters often exhibit a vexing double standard when it comes to parking rates. Some of our more well heeled fellow citizens have no problem coughing up $30-$40 to park on a Saturday when they visit Manhattan or the Magnificent Mile in Chicago, but they will bitch about $8 or less to park all day M-F in Detroit.
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3rdworldcity
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Username: 3rdworldcity

Post Number: 429
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 5:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Keep the City and some bureaucratic "parking authority" out of it. If there's a need, the market will fill it.

More and more parking garages in Manhattan are being condominiumized and one close to my sister's is going for $250,000 per parking place, not uncommon. Plus maintenance etc. We get off cheap in Detroit.

Christos: I heard the Stott is going residential if financing can be arranged. If you need parking in the building where you're going to office, try the Michigan Building on Bagley by Grand Circus Park or the First National in the CBD. There are a couple of others.
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Jjw
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Username: Jjw

Post Number: 241
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 5:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

they're idiots if they drive to chicago or nyc and park their cars in town. that is why they complain about 8 bucks--they don't know any better.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 131
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 6:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If the Detroit CBD thrives again, parking will become quite expensive, as parking is always expensive in thriving large-city CBDs. If you live in (say) the CBD areas of NYC, you either pay through the nose to park, or you don't park, or you keep your car a transit-ride away from where you live.

Parking is a horrible use of CBD land because it pockmarks the area, makes it less walkable and increases auto-pedestrian conflict points. You can either make a downtown district friendly for cars or friendly for people: not both.

In Detroit, we made our downtown friendly for cars and eschewed transit. Look where it's gotten us. If we want the downtown to be great again, we have to rethink our priorities.

The existence of surface parking lots in a CBD is an indicator of a depressed area; when land values rise, surface parking becomes an inefficient use and disappears; then all parking is in decks which are per se more expensive.

Incidentally, and on a more immediately practical note, the Greektown casino will validate parking except weekday mornings. That way downtown employees can't use the casino for parking while at work. I think the restriction is 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., at least it was the last I checked. I don't know about the other two because I only go to that casino (when I go to a casino at all).
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Spiritofdetroit
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Username: Spiritofdetroit

Post Number: 210
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 8:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Christos-

You live in the Stott Building?!? Are there more apartments in there, or are you using an office space or what? I didnt know that was happening
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Tarkus
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Username: Tarkus

Post Number: 233
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 8:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ndavies, Opera House Parking is only $70 per month not $75. An even better bargain.
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Milwaukee
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Username: Milwaukee

Post Number: 691
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 10:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"had a chance to move into the David Stott Building"

He doesn't live there, but he had the chance to move in?

I'd live in the Stott!

Interesting there is no space for structures for buildings who need them. Stott could use one to boost the number of tenants, so could Guardian. Both are hurt by the parking it seems like.

I know the Guardian is doing much better but it still badly needs a structure.
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Detroitstar
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Username: Detroitstar

Post Number: 475
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 10:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

They had talked about a parking ramp on Woodward in front of the Guardian where that short class building is at. Any news on this? I saw a couple lights on in that building last weekend but it looked dark and dirty and I couldn't see anything.
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Spiritofdetroit
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Username: Spiritofdetroit

Post Number: 211
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 10:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroitstar,

According to Guardian Building management that project is a few years off, if ever.
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Trainman
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Username: Trainman

Post Number: 316
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 10:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The reason we do not have mass transit and Chicago and Toronto do is very simple and easy to understand. It's because it costs too much. We should privatize both SMART and DDOT unless they agree to provide a common set of schedules and fill their buses up with paying customers.

(Message edited by Trainman on January 30, 2007)
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Focusonthed
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Username: Focusonthed

Post Number: 794
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 12:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Entertainment parking being empty during the day? Maybe weekends.

Thousands of people park at the JLA garage on weekdays. Many used to park at the Greektown structure, before it was torn down. I haven't worked downtown since the Opera House garage was built, so I'm not sure about that.

But to say that no one parks in these garages during the day is fallacious.

I would agree that the "business-oriented" structures are mostly empty after business hours though. But that just has more to do with where conveniences and entertainment are located. Ever been in the Chicago Loop (not on State, Randolph, or Michigan) at night? It's EMPTY. I'm quite sure all the garages are too (and believe me, there's MANY of them). That's the nature of the beast.
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 5077
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 1:35 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Trainman, that is easily the most ridiculous and bogus reason/excuse I've ever heard for why other cities have transit and Detroit doesn't. You've really got to try harder if you even hope to be taken halfway seriously, here. But, I kind of get the impression that you really don't give a damn. lol If you say something enough times, no matter how ridiculous it is, it has to become truth, right?
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Christos
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Username: Christos

Post Number: 34
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 4:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just to be clear, I do not live in the Stott, nor are there any condos available or anything like that, it was just something I was considering.

Back to my original post though- what do you think of the ENORMOUS inefficiency parking structures that operate only a few hours a day?
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Trainman
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Username: Trainman

Post Number: 319
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Friday, February 02, 2007 - 10:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lmichigan,

You must live in a cave, and have no phone, no newspaper, no cable tv, no radio. You obviously have an internet connection since you post on DY.

Everyone except you and a very few others know that SMART and DDOT costs too much. This was proven at a DARTA meeting and the SMART officials admitted this fact. It was in newspapers shown using simple math. It costs $11. in Detroit and less then $3. in Chicago for the same bus service.

It's a common fact. So, look up the Federal Transit Database (FTA) statistics which are public. These statistics are on the internet and you can get them by using search engines such as google.
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Scs100
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Username: Scs100

Post Number: 409
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, February 02, 2007 - 11:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Trainman, I can agree with your statistics. However, I can't agree with your reasoning as to why we don't have mass transit. It doesn't matter if one bus service costs more than others around the country. Maybe people who DON'T have bus service would like transit (commuter/light rail). Heck, I would prefer light rail to buses (even though it would mean a longer walk for me). If we don't get different forms of transportation, we are essentially shooting ourselves in the foot. What happens when SMART's or DDOT's fleet gets totaled and for some reason they can't replace it? You tell me.
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Erikd
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Username: Erikd

Post Number: 801
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, February 03, 2007 - 5:39 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Parking is a horrible use of CBD land because it pockmarks the area, makes it less walkable and increases auto-pedestrian conflict points. You can either make a downtown district friendly for cars or friendly for people: not both.



Professorscott,

This is not an either/or issue. Unlike man, all parking spaces are NOT created equal, and we need to recognize this fact.

The underground parking garage at GCP does not pockmark the area, or make it less walkable.You can't equate the GCP garage with the crappy surface lot between the State and Fox theatres.

The Merchant's Row parking garage has ground floor retail, and it doesn't pockmark the streetwall or discourage foot traffic. You can't equate the MR garage to the hideous surface parking abortion on Madison that resulted from the destruction of the ML.

The underground parking garage at 1KS doesn't pockmark the area or discourage foot traffic. Even the large above-ground parking structures at 1001 Woodward and Compuware have ground-floor retail and an attractive design to help preserve and/or expand the streetwall, promote pedestrian activity, and fill parking demands.

These parking structures are just one part of a large office/retail development, and you can't equate them to a crappy downtown surface parking lot.

You CAN make downtown attractive for pedestrians and mass transit and still have parking spaces.
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 925
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Saturday, February 03, 2007 - 8:40 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Eric D, both of your argument and PS's are not really far off. The professor does have some valid points about the auto/pedestrian conflicts. Ideally the central city should have no parking.

However that the ideal is not realistic, not even in cities where there is a great deal of pedestrian life, large structures exist.

You're certainly right about developing the parking so that it does least harm to the pedestrian and stimulates economic activity at the street level. Just as PS is right that if you don't design things right the pedestrians will be overwhelmed by the car and it won't be a safe environment for either.

Trainman is correct in his assertion that duplicative service leads to unneeded costs and that those costs should instead be put towards improving the current system instead of running half empty SMART buses followed shortly by half empty DDOT buses. Further economies of scale can be achieved by reducing the number of busyards or having an agreements between SMART and DDOT to help fix each others buses. We do have a lot of extra capital and operating costs that many places do not have.

DDOT and SMART act like siblings that fight over the same toys. It has to stop.
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Rfban
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Username: Rfban

Post Number: 33
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Saturday, February 03, 2007 - 10:07 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm not so sure. SMART and DDOT really don't invade each other's territory that much, there is overlap but the competition is slim. Travelers who take DDOT intend on going to a detailed location in the city proper. SMART is intended to get people in and out of the CBD fast and only on major thoroughfare, as well as move people around the Metro. It seems to me that both bus services operate different tasks.
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Trainman
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Username: Trainman

Post Number: 322
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Saturday, February 03, 2007 - 2:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It was shown by SEMCOG that without an improved bus system that light rail will cost too much.
I'm very much in favor of an enhanced bus system but we need a common set of time tables. Railroads use the same set of time tables and rely on coordinating with the trucks and all other transportation providers to save money.

On Michigan Ave, SMART and DDOT should work with SEMCOG and MDOT to remove cars from I-94 and the Lodge. I'm sure that if we use multiple tax mechanisms and more support from the business community that Livonia will want SMART back and I'm sure more communities will want to opt. in.

The statistics not only show that the vast majority want mass transit in this area but are also willing to pay higher taxes. I think that if we vote in higher taxes that we should all do more to help lower the per-passenger costs and work to give the taxpayers the service they deserve to have and keep.

If those who clog the freeways going downtown give SMART and DDOT a chance, then transit officials will be able do more to get the support they need from all levels of government including city hall. At least in my opinion. I need comments on this because I still want to improve mass transit as it will improve the quality of life of our area and if Livonia voters see this then they will want the SMART buses back in my opinion.
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 933
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 04, 2007 - 9:15 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Rfban, check out and compare the maps of the routes. You will see a great deal of overlap; particularly along the major arterials. Nothing is more brutal to a bus rider than standing on a corner and not getting picked up when a bus comes by that is not an express or limited bus.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 142
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 04, 2007 - 11:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

When was it ever shown by SEMCOG that "light rail will cost too much"? Are you talking about the Detroit to Ann Arbor corridor, which in modern times is vastly too long for light rail? Or Woodward, where it has never been correctly studied?

Sorry about the confusion over my earlier post on parking. What I meant specifically was surface parking; I should have been more specific. Parking decks, especially if they have pedestrian-use street-facing space (such as retail) are very useful in all downtowns.

Trainman, MDOT is doing a spectacular job removing cars from the Lodge even as we speak, and doesn't need anyone else's help. Actually they do some kind of major and disruptive freeway work just about every year; and unlike every in every other big city region, we don't have much of an option except to find another already-crowded route (or take a bus which goes even slower on those same routes).

I always wonder how some of our fellow correspondents would feel about living in a bit city with an inadequate road network and no expressways whatever. That's what Detroit looks like to a transit user (like the young adults who flee this region to live everywhere else).
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Detourdetroit
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Username: Detourdetroit

Post Number: 260
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 11:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

parking=worst/lowest urban use.

did the snake offer adam and eve a curb cut?

sometimes I wonder if the beginning of the end for urbanity was when we allowed cars to penetrate the lot line?
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 152
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 11:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detour,

It was when we decided that providing for cars was more important than providing for people, a mistake we continue to make to this day.

An acquaintance in Port Huron wants to open an ice cream parlor with about 20 seats just outside of downtown. Clearly this is a walk-up type of business. She has to go to a Zoning Board of Appeals meeting to try for a variance, because in this small city with a dying downtown, the zoning regulation requires her to provide 21 off-street parking spots for this type of business, an impossibility.

Cars are more important than people. That's why our cities are dead and dying.
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 942
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 11:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Trainman, how are Michigan Avenue buses going to help during the Lodge reconstruction?
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Detroitstar
Member
Username: Detroitstar

Post Number: 482
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Tuesday, February 06, 2007 - 12:48 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I was at the corner of Michigan and Griswold this afternoon. For the first time I noticed the backside of the 1001 Woodward Garage. Why is the back side covered? I assume it for the possibility of a tower being built on that backside someday? Just seems odd that it is filled in right now. Is this normal in an urban environment?
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Lmichigan
Member
Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 5097
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 06, 2007 - 3:53 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I noticed this with an 8-story parking garage that went up here recently in downtown Lansing on a tight sight, and I simply think it's to try and contain the noise and fumes from leaking into neighboring buildings.
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Trainman
Member
Username: Trainman

Post Number: 330
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, February 06, 2007 - 8:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Click here to learn how the buses on Michigan Ave can be used to help people avoid the Lodge. Our main roads leading into downtown Detroit were design to work as one system.

http://savethefueltax.tripod.c om/theplan.html
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Focusonthed
Member
Username: Focusonthed

Post Number: 822
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Tuesday, February 06, 2007 - 8:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sorry, can't see it in there. It's a valid question. Michigan Ave. goes nearly the complete opposite way. Grand River would be marginally useful, but if you wanted to get Lodge traffic, you'd be best to use Southfield to Grand River to Jeffries. Or 8 Mile to Woodward. But these people are probably already driving these detour routes, which, aside from the Southfield, are largely uncongested. So....my guess is they'll keep driving since this project is only temporary.

In my experience, people will gut something out when it's temporary, rather than permanently changing their ways.
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Nyburgher
Member
Username: Nyburgher

Post Number: 27
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 6:33 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Has anyone in Detroit read the death and Life of great American cities? I don't think that there is any plausible, economic way to have the kind of convenient, 24 hour city type downtown based on cars. If Detroit did it, It would be a first in human history. The point about the definition of insanity applies here.

The parking structures themselves are a major destructive force in the city. The idea of burying them is interesting but not economical.

People in Detroit need to start making a tight city that works for people who want to live there and give ffffggggg finger to the people who don't. It wasn't planned out that way on purpose but NY's urban design pretty makes life very hard on drivers and that has worked well for them.

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