>Phoenix area town seeks federal funds for useless parking garage

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According to this article, Gilbert, AZ is considering seeking federal stimulus funding for a parking garage.  The Gilbert, AZ garage is projected to cost $7.5M for 350 spaces (not sure if that’s total or marginal) but that’s $21,400 per space.  Article states that their downtown “needs more parking”.  Here’s an aerial view of the site mentioned in the article.

I think before we use federal funding to buy a garage for this low-density site, we should probably figure out how much parking is worth to the people driving, by pricing or managing the parking they have already.  I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m willing to bet that the parking is not going to be worth more than the $200 per month you’d need to build such a parking garage (based on amortized construction costs and operating costs).  If the small downtown shopping area is popular enough, people should be willing to chip in a couple of bucks to park there in exchange for knowing there will be a space available when they arrive.

Update:  Commenter Mark points out that the town is over 200,000 people, so I’ve edited the title which used to refer to Gilbert as a “small town”.  It’s still officially a town, and from the look of the aerial view, still low density.

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About perkinsms

I'm an engineer and father interested in transit, parking and economics.
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7 Responses to >Phoenix area town seeks federal funds for useless parking garage

  1. Dave Murphy says:

    >Wow… this is infuriating. Arizona strikes me as particularly bad for urbanism. You can’t go around the corner without getting in your car in that state.

  2. K says:

    >This is one of those stories where I really hope there is another side that helps it make a little more sense.Happy Holidays.

  3. Michael says:

    >Thanks for your comments, I can see if I can call over to Gilbert, AZ and see if anyone is willing to discuss. I think there was also a congressman mentioned in the article and I could call his/her staff.

  4. Mark says:

    >I agree federal funds are inappropriate (they should pay for it themselves if they need something), but 207,000 isn’t exactly a ‘small town’.

  5. Michael says:

    >I updated the title. From the aerial view, it looks pretty low density, but I guess it’s pretty extensive in land area and it’s pretty high density for single-family home suburbs.Thanks, Mark.

  6. Geoff says:

    >You are correct about the land density usage and the single family homes. I have been to Gilbert and the buildings are low density and the many single family homes are a suburb of Phoenix.

  7. Mark says:

    >Well, PART of Arizona tried to give you a Christmas present…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/METRO_Light_Rail_(Phoenix)

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