The parking situation in Downtown continues to be awful. Here are a few observations I have made as a resident:
- At surface parking lots, the machines are rigged so you can't pay for more than one day (and if you park overnight, you need to pay for two days since the cut-off is 11:59pm). The goal is not to have you pay your way to park and be on your merry way, the goal is for you to miss the cut-off and get booted. And you never get 24 hours; as previously mentioned before the cut off is always 11:59pm.
- Valets drive way too fast. In the past month I've been nearly hit three times.
- Valets also control way too many street spaces. You can't find a decent place to park on the street after 5pm; valets have them all. There shouldn't be any street spaces downtown set aside for valets; they should be using the parking lots. Raise your hand if you think it's fun to pay a valet $10 to park your car in front of the restaurant in which you are eating.
- Why is there "no parking" set at certain meters from 7-9am and then from 4-6pm? It's not for traffic flow, as buses take up both lanes anyway and it still becomes a bottleneck. I hear you saying, "read the meter/sign before you park." This is true; however, it's inconsistent and does nothing but create a got'cha moment for an unsuspecting parker.
- Parking enforcement officers writing tickets at the 01 and the 59 minute mark of the hour. If you are parked and make any mistake with a meter, you're toast. Trust me, Bubbles from the Wire would be impressed at the lookout skills of the ticket writers.
- Many meters start on the weekends at 7am. That's right, 7 am. On a Sunday. If you crash at a friend's place or have overnight guests and sleep past 7:01 am (7:05 on a good day), you will have a ticket.
I received the ticket on the right in the Arts District, while at a late-night restaurant party. I was one of about 15 people that left the party to find their cars ticketed. Why on earth are tickets being written in the Arts District after midnight? You would think the City would be glad that people are spending money in this area, especially on a night when there are no events going on.
Throw us some sort of bone. Maybe no meters after 6pm or even 8pm. At a minimum, dial it back on weekends from the 7am fiasco mentioned above. Something...anything. As a resident, there's nothing that will make you feel more like Peter Finch in Network (as seen on right) than a boot or parking ticket on your car or that of a friend.
A few things that I encounter as a downtown resident are highlighted in the study.
- Parking is important and complex enough in its own right to warrant singular focus
- The key parking problem is not one of availability, but one of accessibility
- In highest demand areas there is (the) least “publicly available” parking
Uptown Dallas is way more active than downtown. You know what else uptown has? More available and cheaper parking spots. Almost all street spaces are free. Revenue from meters is a drop in the bucket compared to that generated by people shopping and spending money in the neighborhood.
I remain optimistic that the parking situation can improve in Downtown Dallas and the surrounding areas. For now, we remain easy pickings and pay through the nose in fines for being the early adopters of a downtown lifestyle.