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Loss of Free Parking in Cultural District


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#1 Volare

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 04:41 PM

I was told Sunday while visiting the FW Community Arts Center that the huge Will Rogers parking lot will soon be turning into a 24/7 pay lot. This is due to the new parking garage that has been built between the CAC and the Science Museum. Not really sure why on earth they thought they needed a parking garage over there either- for the two weeks a year that that Stock Show is going on??? Anyway, I was dismayed to hear this as it just seems so un-Fort Worth like (and very Dallas like). I'm sure this will also not to great things to attendance at free museums like the CAC and the Amon Carter.

Just thought I would pass along the info!

#2 360texas

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 06:44 PM

Something does not ring correctly. In an open space between the Science museum and the Will Rogers building..once free parking.. should remain free parking space.

Once free.. should remain free. The public paid for the property... Once paid.. remains paid in full.

If the city builds a parking building at the public expense.. then they should charge accordingly to recover the property expenses.... once paid in full... then the parking building should be open to free parking and NOT be a revenue generating city product.

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#3 FoUTASportscaster

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 09:41 PM

QUOTE (Volare @ Feb 23 2010, 04:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I was dismayed to hear this as it just seems so un-Fort Worth like (and very Dallas like).



It isn't Fort Worth or Dallas. It is an urban thing. The real estate in urban areas appreciate to the point where parking becomes unprofitable. Fort Worth has long passed that point and subsidies for parking downtown alone are near $2 million now.

#4 gdvanc

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 11:19 PM

i love free parking. i love it, but if i know it's going to cost me a few bucks to park near my destination then i'll bring a few bucks and make it work. adapt and overcome.

it's a user fee. i love user fees - possibly even more than free parking. let those using a service or facility pay for it rather than every taxpayer. even if the real estate has been paid for and the bonds to pave the lot have been paid off, there are still ongoing maintenance costs. possibly other costs; patrol? there is also the real opportunity cost of holding onto the land rather than selling it. and there is the ongoing lost property tax revenue that results in the land being in the hands of the city.

now if they'd get the toll tag thing to work there it'd be a darn sight more convenient. maybe sell annual passes for frequent museum patrons.

#5 Thurman52

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 07:59 AM

A few fears and comments:

I worry that the city charging for parking in the lot and the new garage, will only encourage those empty lots along Montgomery to be converted into private pay lots and increase the cost of redevelopment along that stretch. I am concered about all the volunteeers at the museum they would be forced to pay to work.

The city plans on outsourcing the lot to a private company, most likely not the best for the city to do that role anyway, but they will need thier mark-up which will only increase the cost to the users, and no extra security goes with it just trying to pay off that bond for the new garage.

#6 unknowntbone

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 11:28 AM

It's progress, I guess. (he reluctantly wrote)
I grew up visiting the Children's Museum without paying. Same at the Fort Worth Zoo. Now we have to pay. And BECAUSE we pay, the facilities are nicer, the collections are better, the overall experience should be better.
As our Cultural District grows in stature it becomes even more of an 'all day' destination for visitors and locals alike. The visitors may stay a while longer and spend a few dollars more in our city. The locals not used to paying will begrudgingly pay the fee or not visit as often.
I hope the parking in the Cultural District is not operated as a 'for profit' entity, but rather to be used for the continued maintenance and development of the area.

#7 mmiller2002

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 12:45 PM

QUOTE (gdvanc @ Feb 23 2010, 11:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
...let those using a service or facility pay for it rather than every taxpayer...


Are you saying that you think tax payers won't be paying for any of that stuff with pay parking? Ha.

During the two dance recital times each year, we have to come and go to WRMC auditorium several for drop-off/pickup, costume delivery, etc. Now I'll have to pay? It stinks!!

#8 Volare

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 06:35 PM

QUOTE (FoUTASportscaster @ Feb 23 2010, 09:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Volare @ Feb 23 2010, 04:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I was dismayed to hear this as it just seems so un-Fort Worth like (and very Dallas like).



It isn't Fort Worth or Dallas. It is an urban thing. The real estate in urban areas appreciate to the point where parking becomes unprofitable. Fort Worth has long passed that point and subsidies for parking downtown alone are near $2 million now.


I disagree regarding Ft. Worth versus whatever big city you choose- Dallas is a good example. I go to Dallas very rarely, but when I go, it seems every bit of parking downtown is pay parking 24/7/365. My personal experience is with street parking near the Dallas convention center.

When Ft. Worth revitalized downtown one of the important parts of that revitalization was the free parking downtown on nights and weekends. Folks aren't going to drive downtown to see a movie if they have to pay to park. If that's the option, they'll just hit the theatre in the suburbs with acres of free parking.

Now we aren't talking about downtown Ft. Worth, but we are talking about one of the jewels of Ft. Worth- the Cultural District. Now there are still other free options in the area- the street in front of the Kimbell and all the associated lots between Kimbell and The Modern. Can we expect the city to begin digging post holes for pay meters in front of the Kimbell soon? (That would be mighty attractive!!!)

Because that's what they are doing by converting the surface Will Rogers lots to pay lots. Lets face it, the only reason they are doing that is because otherwise no one would park in that shiny new garage if there is a free lot across the street. So why on earth did they build the garage??? To handle overflow parking during the Stock Show? All the Will Rogers lots are pay lots during the stock show anyway. I just don't see any need to make those pay lots 24/7/365. It starts a dangerous trend.

#9 Fort Worthology

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 10:41 AM

I agree with FoUTA - this has nothing to do with "Dallas vs. Fort Worth." Providing free parking blows a *ton* of money all across the US, not to mention sucking up a lot of land and encouraging more people to drive (leading to more congestion, poorer air quality, further dependence on fossil fuels, etc.). I get that this is an unpopular point of view in Fort "parking should always be free" Worth, but so be it. Times are changing. Considering the congestion that can result from events around WRMC, I don't blame them at all for wanting to start charging for the parking. If the cost to store a huge hunk of metal somewhere while you visit Venue X is really that big an impediment, park on the street somewhere and walk a few blocks (it's a beautiful area if you ignore all those parking lots - enjoy it). Or consider the #2, #7, #10, or #57.

(To answer the "why the garage?" question, I would imagine it was because they A) wanted to provide more parking in an area that is often overrun with cars, and B ) enable the *eventual* redevelopment of some of those lots, which would be a positive for the area. I have no inside knowledge of that, though.)

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#10 mmiller2002

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 12:28 PM

QUOTE (Fort Worthology @ Feb 25 2010, 10:41 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I agree with FoUTA - this has nothing to do with "Dallas vs. Fort Worth." Providing free parking blows a *ton* of money all across the US, not to mention sucking up a lot of land and encouraging more people to drive (leading to more congestion, poorer air quality, further dependence on fossil fuels, etc.). I get that this is an unpopular point of view in Fort "parking should always be free" Worth, but so be it. Times are changing. Considering the congestion that can result from events around WRMC, I don't blame them at all for wanting to start charging for the parking. If the cost to store a huge hunk of metal somewhere while you visit Venue X is really that big an impediment, park on the street somewhere and walk a few blocks (it's a beautiful area if you ignore all those parking lots - enjoy it). Or consider the #2, #7, #10, or #57.

(To answer the "why the garage?" question, I would imagine it was because they A) wanted to provide more parking in an area that is often overrun with cars, and B ) enable the *eventual* redevelopment of some of those lots, which would be a positive for the area. I have no inside knowledge of that, though.)



Geez, everything's about discouraging driving, isn't it? FW did not build that garage and charge for parking to discourage people from driving. That thought never entered the planner's minds. They want more people to drive there and pay.

A lot of families that visit the museums may not be able to spend extra money on parking. No one here I'm sure. It's a cheap family-fun time to drive there, park free, and enjoy the FWMSH or WRMC events, amny of which are free or cheap.

You know what else, the neighborhood west of WRMC will now be filled with parked cars, lowering their home values, I bet.

#11 360texas

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 04:50 PM

How about each of the Museum destinations increase their destintion fee to cover a parking validation a stamp discount. That way... when paying for the entrance fee in with the Fort Worth History and Musuem you leave the parking space you park free. Good idea for determining which venue is attracting the tourist trade. Great for the local Mom and children for a great afternoon educational trip !

Hmm guess that means that.. the least visited venue pays for the parking building. LOLLLL what works really does work. Is that called competition ?

Have a stamped parking coupon' ?

Gotta think about this concept.


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#12 FoUTASportscaster

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 05:34 PM

QUOTE (Volare @ Feb 24 2010, 06:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I disagree regarding Ft. Worth versus whatever big city you choose- Dallas is a good example. I go to Dallas very rarely, but when I go, it seems every bit of parking downtown is pay parking 24/7/365. My personal experience is with street parking near the Dallas convention center.


Yeah, every lot is pay parking, except the private lots for individual business.

QUOTE
When Ft. Worth revitalized downtown one of the important parts of that revitalization was the free parking downtown on nights and weekends. Folks aren't going to drive downtown to see a movie if they have to pay to park. If that's the option, they'll just hit the theatre in the suburbs with acres of free parking.


That's a misnomer and an often cited yet statistically unproven link. Lots of money was money was invested in downtown Fort Worth and that is what made it attractive. If downtown Fort Worth instituted paid parking, the movie theater would do just fine because there is an atmosphere at that theater that exists no where else.

#13 FoUTASportscaster

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 05:37 PM

QUOTE (mmiller2002 @ Feb 25 2010, 12:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Geez, everything's about discouraging driving, isn't it? FW did not build that garage and charge for parking to discourage people from driving. That thought never entered the planner's minds. They want more people to drive there and pay.


If it went through a planning department, I guarantee you it did. I speak as a planner on that one.

#14 Volare

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 08:21 PM

QUOTE (FoUTASportscaster @ Feb 25 2010, 05:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yeah, every lot is pay parking, except the private lots for individual business.


It's not just the lots, it's also the meters- no free parking in Dallas on nights and weekends. To see how well that is working out, check this link.


QUOTE (FoUTASportscaster @ Feb 25 2010, 05:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That's a misnomer and an often cited yet statistically unproven link. Lots of money was money was invested in downtown Fort Worth and that is what made it attractive. If downtown Fort Worth instituted paid parking, the movie theater would do just fine because there is an atmosphere at that theater that exists no where else.


The article posted above would seem to fly in the face of your theory.

#15 Volare

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 08:31 PM

Another recent interesting take on the Dallas Parking situation from Unfair Park


"We have a dead -- a D-E-A-D -- downtown. And one reason for that is because people don't want to come down and have to hustle to get a parking meter." Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway


Now admitedly we've gotten a bit far afield from our initial discussion of the surface lots at Will Rogers, but I certainly fear that meters can't be far behind in the FW Cultural District if all the lots turn into 24/7 pay lots.

#16 FoUTASportscaster

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 09:33 PM

What does that have to do with downtown Fort Worth? Downtown Dallas is not an attractive place to shop and be among people. I know, I live in it. Downtown Fort Worth is a better. It has a better mix of uses in a better designed urban area with little modernist design principles that destroyed the urban fabric. Downtown Dallas is chock full of fortress office towers, large swaths of surface parking and disjointed uses.

Only Sundance Square is free, the rest of downtown, which still has activity, is not. Also, parking is not free, whether you pay for its use or not. It takes place on land or in garages, taxable land or buildings and sooner or later, increasing land prices mean either A) development or cool.gif higher parking rates, usually both. That is already happened in Fort Worth. The city is paying near $2 million for its program. That cost has grown 4-5 fold in a decade. Increasing exponential cost means sooner or later, this unsustainable program will have to be cut, or another program will. The city is not seeing an exponential increase in its return on the "investment."


As an aside, trying to find out what is wrong with downtown Dallas is not an easy chore, and it certainly isn't one problem, paying to park. Paying to park isn't top ten on the list of what ails downtown Dallas.

Also, an article asking people if they like to pay to park isn't the be all end all. Do a Google Scholar search on free parking and you will come across research done by guys like Donald Shoup. "You'll have a different take on "free" parking.

#17 mmiller2002

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 12:24 PM

I go downtown more because the parking is free. I would go a lot less if i had to pay $5+

I always thought that the free lots were private Sundance Square Inc. properties kept that way to lure business. It sure has worked well for them.

Free street meters after 6 and weekends are common in mid size cities, aren't they?

#18 JBB

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 01:06 PM

I'm surprised no one has asked this: Who goes to a tourist attraction, be it a museum, amusement park, or sporting/cultural event, without expecting to pay for parking? The museums in the Cultural District have been the exception, not the rule.

#19 FoUTASportscaster

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 05:00 PM

http://www.streetsbl...parking-policy/

#20 FoUTASportscaster

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 09:41 PM

http://theoverheadwi...king-bombs.html

http://theoverheadwi...urban-form.html

#21 JKC

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 11:24 PM

Free parking is a top reason why SSQ has been successful. And that is absolutely proven not just in FW, I've tried it both ways. I have been responsible to manage or negotiated 5 different downtown theater leases in as many cities and every one of them required free parking in order to get the lease done. This is because theater operators realize that as long as there are competing theaters with free parking in the market, you cannot be successful charging for parking. The notion that the theaters would do just fine if parking were suddenly at a charge in a city such as FW is unfortunately incorrect (I say unfortunately because it would be great for developers if they were able to get parking revenue). That comes from actual experience. Further, less than 20% of the free parking in SSQ has public incentive, the rest is privately supplied by SSQ (and that is very expensive).

Free parking is a reaction to the market. As long as there are suburban form retail options all around and in the very near suburbs, free parking will be required downtown too. Further, with no public transportation to get to the urban areas without a car, it is silly to think we can change by just charging for parking. Customers will just go elsewhere where they can park free.

I am not really against working toward less free parking downtown, just concerned with the order in which it is accomplished and economic realities along the way.

#22 Volare

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 12:42 PM

I see that this issue got a little local press too:

http://www.fwweekly....c...&Itemid=374

I've cooresponded with my City Council member as well as with a city worker named Kirk Slaugther (not sure of his position or title as he did not include in his email.) What's I've found is this: The garage costs around $27 million dollars. The city is contracting with an outside company to operate the lots. The cost for this parking operation is $1 million per year. The costs will be paid by the parking receipts. The term of repayment on the $27 million bond is 25 years. So in 25 years we will pay an outside company $25 million in order to pay down $27 million in debt. All to pay for an unnecessary parking structure. Something smells, and I don't think it's the Stock Show.

#23 FoUTASportscaster

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 10:29 AM

QUOTE (JKC @ Mar 8 2010, 11:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Free parking is a top reason why SSQ has been successful. And that is absolutely proven not just in FW, I've tried it both ways. I have been responsible to manage or negotiated 5 different downtown theater leases in as many cities and every one of them required free parking in order to get the lease done. This is because theater operators realize that as long as there are competing theaters with free parking in the market, you cannot be successful charging for parking. The notion that the theaters would do just fine if parking were suddenly at a charge in a city such as FW is unfortunately incorrect (I say unfortunately because it would be great for developers if they were able to get parking revenue). That comes from actual experience. Further, less than 20% of the free parking in SSQ has public incentive, the rest is privately supplied by SSQ (and that is very expensive).

Free parking is a reaction to the market. As long as there are suburban form retail options all around and in the very near suburbs, free parking will be required downtown too. Further, with no public transportation to get to the urban areas without a car, it is silly to think we can change by just charging for parking. Customers will just go elsewhere where they can park free.

I am not really against working toward less free parking downtown, just concerned with the order in which it is accomplished and economic realities along the way.


Oklahoma City kinda makes your whole post invalid. They have done a wonderful job with their former industrial warehouse area. In subsequent projects known as MAPS, they have rehabbed and refurbished blocks of underutilized and vacant turn of the century warehouses into residential, office and retail spaces. They have added a minor league ballpark and an NBA arena and team. A touristy type of canal similar to San Antonio runs near all of bricktown. The next phase will focus on streetcar lines. There has been new urban construction which includes...a brand new urban movie theater. All of it done without free parking.

Now the qualifying point you made is that as long as there is free parking in the burbs and immediate areas, the downtown area will have to do so as well. In this particular case study, making the case that OKC is a bastion of large urban swaths is a bit of a stretch There are lots of free lots and movie theaters just outside of downtown al the way to the (sub)urban edge. The thing that downtown OKC has (and downtown Fort Worth) is the attractiveness and uniqueness of its downtown core that can not be matched anywhere else. That is why people will pay to park (or in radical cases walk from their residence or take transit). Going to a strip mall or stand alone theater along the highway does not provide the same thing.

#24 360texas

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 10:52 AM

Maybe in Oklahoma City that works.

Long time Fort Worth business 'Joe Daiches Credit Jewelers' -->> leaving the downtown area.

They are moving to 3008 Alta Mere on the West Side of Fort Worth.

Sign on their building sends a message to the general public that businesses really do like free parking.

http://www.fortworth...amp;#entry60003

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#25 FoUTASportscaster

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 06:52 PM

But downtown already has free parking, so that can't be it.

And are you really suggesting that OKC is more urban-minded than Fort Worth?

#26 AndyN

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 08:42 AM

I don't think the free parking around SSQ really helps Daiches. They are squat in the middle of one of the most competitive metered parking areas in the city - in the middle of the courthouse, county offices and jails. I have looped that courthouse more than a few times looking for any space, and I was willing to pay.
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#27 JBB

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 09:54 AM

Comparing the Daiches situation to the one in the CD is apples to oranges. With the CD, we're talking about lots that have been free for years converting to paid parking. As Andy points out, Daiches has likely been dealing with a lack of free parking in that area of downtown for all 80 years of their existence.

#28 Volare

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 02:30 PM

Actually, in the CD we're talking about lots that were paid for by taxpayers years ago being converted into a revenue source to pay for a rather unneeded parking garage. What's even more unbelievable as stated in the FW Weekly article, is that the city is no longer splitting the revenue from the lots 50/50 with the Stock Show, they are giving the Stock Show ALL of the revenue during the Show. So a city owned and taxpayer financed facility is going to be generating profits for a private entity. This situation demonstrates an appalling amount of graft and corruption that I'm surprised doesn't seem to concern too many here.

#29 vjackson

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 03:16 PM

QUOTE (Volare @ Mar 25 2010, 03:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm surprised doesn't seem to concern too many here.

I'm not: It seems Fort Worth is very status quo. I've never seen such passive taxpayers as those in FW and Tarrant Co. I said years ago, that if the TCC campus disaster was in any other city it would have been national news. Dallasites yell about everything, FWorthonians seem to yell about nothing... surely there's a happy medium. If what you say is true (and I'm sure it is), it is simply appalling!!

#30 360texas

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 04:00 PM

Maybe your findings should be directly email forwarded to the Mayor and confront the City Council with this issue.

Ideas ?

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#31 Volare

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 04:36 PM

They aren't my findings. Credit Dan McGraw at the FW Weekly. And I'm sure the Major and City Council had to sign off on the deal! A little excerpt from the article:

Prior to 2006, the city and the stock show split the revenues from the $6 parking charge levied during the event. But that year, the stock show's contract with the city was renegotiated, and the stock show now keeps every penny in parking revenue. Their lease runs through 2023, and the fees that come from the parking garage will stay in the hands of the stock show for that whole time.


#32 Volare

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 08:25 AM

Received an email from the Science and History Museum President. In it he announces that the new parking fees will go into effect May 1st. He also mentions in his letter "For the short-term, street parking on Will Rogers Street and Van Cliburn Way remains free; however, the City has announced plans to install parking meters on these streets in the near future." Classy shakehead.gif

More details of this ridiculousness can be found here:

http://www.culturald...ickandpark.com/

#33 David Love

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 10:23 AM

I would expect them to adjust the charges depending on the event or event timing, or at least I'd hope they would.

Better Business Bureau:  A place to find or post valid complaints for auto delerships and maintenance facilities. (New Features) If you have a valid gripe about auto dealerships, this is the place to voice it.


#34 hipolyte

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 10:27 AM

INMHO this is designed to be exclusive, and it will work. I am used to dropping by the CD on a fairly regular basis, an hour here, a half hour there, as time permits.
That will cease, just like I seldom go downtown to drop in on specific shops anymore.
"Two bits will keep the riffraff out".

#35 JKC

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 07:32 PM

QUOTE (hipolyte @ Apr 26 2010, 11:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
INMHO this is designed to be exclusive, and it will work. I am used to dropping by the CD on a fairly regular basis, an hour here, a half hour there, as time permits.
That will cease, just like I seldom go downtown to drop in on specific shops anymore.
"Two bits will keep the riffraff out".


Hmm, just like you don't go downtown? Why, if you don't mind me asking?

#36 JKC

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 08:24 PM

QUOTE (FoUTASportscaster @ Mar 24 2010, 11:29 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (JKC @ Mar 8 2010, 11:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Free parking is a top reason why SSQ has been successful. And that is absolutely proven not just in FW, I've tried it both ways. I have been responsible to manage or negotiated 5 different downtown theater leases in as many cities and every one of them required free parking in order to get the lease done. This is because theater operators realize that as long as there are competing theaters with free parking in the market, you cannot be successful charging for parking. The notion that the theaters would do just fine if parking were suddenly at a charge in a city such as FW is unfortunately incorrect (I say unfortunately because it would be great for developers if they were able to get parking revenue). That comes from actual experience. Further, less than 20% of the free parking in SSQ has public incentive, the rest is privately supplied by SSQ (and that is very expensive).

Free parking is a reaction to the market. As long as there are suburban form retail options all around and in the very near suburbs, free parking will be required downtown too. Further, with no public transportation to get to the urban areas without a car, it is silly to think we can change by just charging for parking. Customers will just go elsewhere where they can park free.

I am not really against working toward less free parking downtown, just concerned with the order in which it is accomplished and economic realities along the way.


Oklahoma City kinda makes your whole post invalid. They have done a wonderful job with their former industrial warehouse area. In subsequent projects known as MAPS, they have rehabbed and refurbished blocks of underutilized and vacant turn of the century warehouses into residential, office and retail spaces. They have added a minor league ballpark and an NBA arena and team. A touristy type of canal similar to San Antonio runs near all of bricktown. The next phase will focus on streetcar lines. There has been new urban construction which includes...a brand new urban movie theater. All of it done without free parking.

Now the qualifying point you made is that as long as there is free parking in the burbs and immediate areas, the downtown area will have to do so as well. In this particular case study, making the case that OKC is a bastion of large urban swaths is a bit of a stretch There are lots of free lots and movie theaters just outside of downtown al the way to the (sub)urban edge. The thing that downtown OKC has (and downtown Fort Worth) is the attractiveness and uniqueness of its downtown core that can not be matched anywhere else. That is why people will pay to park (or in radical cases walk from their residence or take transit). Going to a strip mall or stand alone theater along the highway does not provide the same thing.


Oops, I just noticed your post earlier (I guess I am not too good at keeping up).

Your Bricktown information in not correct, there is parking validation for retail, restaurant customers in Bricktown. The Harkins Theater has a two-hour free parking validation there (a provision required in the deal just as I pointed out as the norm in my first post). In the beginning, some restaurants actually began paying the parking validations themselves somewhat out of desperation. Further, the Bricktown Association management visited our offices here about four years ago to ask for ideas on how to expand free parking (spaces and hours), due to poor sales and the retailers' perception that parking fees and availability are the culprits. I like that development but it is suffering exactly the dynamic I have suffered in six cities that I operated similar projects in before coming here. There is no comparison whatever between a strip mall and a downtown entertainment district such as these two, the customers are coming for totally different reasons. This is why foundation retail exists in strip centers and malls in most cities and not in the CBD's (off topic I know...).

While the tolerance for paid parking certainly varies from one city to another, it hurts sales and perhaps worse, leasing. I managed Arizona Center in downtown Phoenix most recently before moving to FW and in that case, I actually started charging for parking when it had previously been free. That was a disaster. Since the retailers reported sales to our office monthly, I was able to watch the change first-hand. It was a dramatic and obvious drop in sales that began nearly to the day but certainly in the same week as customers learned of the changes. My previous company was a bit stubborn so I had a great deal of unnecessary turnover and the backfill was so difficult we converted significant retail space to office. We ultimately retreated.

#37 Volare

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 10:00 PM

QUOTE (JKC @ Apr 28 2010, 09:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We ultimately retreated.


So how do we get FTW to retreat before they screw up a crown jewel of our fine city?

Good article in tomorrow's Star-Telegram.

#38 Volare

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 08:24 AM

Parking meters have now been installed on Will Rogers Rd between the Amon Carter Museum and the Kimbell Museum. I'm sure their aesthetic will fit right in with Piano's addition. <_< And you better make your museum visit snappy, as the meters have a 1 hour limit! (Free after 6 pm and on weekends) I'm sure Amon Carter is up to about 1000 rpm now in his grave...

Anyone see how they have implemented these pay parking lots? Lots of barricades and min wage workers camped out at every entrance to take your money. The little booths for the workers aren't air conditioned, so most of the time you see them sitting outside in a chair adjacent to their huts trying to catch a bit of shade. It all looks sooooo trashy. Fort Worth should be ashamed... I can only imagine what this has done to the attendance at the museums.

#39 mmiller2002

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 11:29 AM

I noticed that. Trashy is a good description for those crappy little wooden huts.

#40 Art Cooler

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 05:19 PM

I can only imagine what this has done to the attendance at the museums.


Our parking lot now more accurately reflects our museum's attendance (Amon Carter) when we have a good draw, and also when we don't. Actually good to see more cars more often in the lot than when our patrons had free alternate parking choices. Not that I welcome the pay parking...harder on the staff and patrons, I agree.

#41 Keller Pirate

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 08:04 PM

I see the Zest Fest, that used to be held during September, has moved to Irving and will be the last weekend in January at the new Irving convention center. I wonder if the pay parking had anything to do with them leaving Ft Worth. I suspect rooms are going to be tight in Irving the week before the Super Bowl. Ft Worth in September was way better, in my opinion.

#42 Volare

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 03:06 PM

During the City Council Pre-meeting of December 7, 2010 the President of the Museum of Science and History stated that the attendance of the new museum is lagging their expectations. Given the outsourced $27 million parking garage that sits 90% empty 90% of the time, I can't say I'm at all surprised. But Councilman Burdette apparently was concerned and surprised! What a joke.

#43 mmiller2002

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 12:40 PM

Its annoying. Several times a year, my kid has a performance at the auditorium. That means 2-3 trips for tech, dress, and the performance, many times carrying costumes and stuff for the studio. I'm not paying $5 to drop her off!

#44 Brian Luenser

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 01:28 PM

I admit, I do not use the new parking very much. (5 times so far?) But it is really nice.

I kind of look at the cost like this. We needed parking. Nice parking. It is expensive. It has to be paid for by somebody. Might as well be by those that use it. I like user fees. Something fair about them. I also look at it like this... when thousands of people come from all over Texas to pack the garage in conjunction with a gun show, we are paying for our garage. I like that.
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#45 Volare

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 06:58 PM

We really only needed parking about 10% of the time. The rest of the time, the vast and free parking lots adjacent to the museums were perfectly adequate. And when the Stock Show or Gun Show was in town, they converted the parking lots to pay lots anyway, and generated revenue for the City. And that is fine with me too. But now we've turned vast acres of formery free parking into pay parking 24/7/365. We've put in parking meters (!) between the Amon Carter and the Kimbell. We've outsourced the administration of said parking lots and garages to an outside company for the sum of $1 million per year. And the kicker is we've given up ALL CITY REVENUE from the parking during the stock show. I know, I'm kinda beating a dead horse, but I think there is a better way forward, and I think it starts with making those vast parking lots free again for the 90% of the time that the Gun Show and Stock Show isn't in town...

#46 longhornz32

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 09:26 PM

I'm reminded of why Cool Hand Luke is one of my favorite movies....

#47 mmiller2002

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 12:57 PM

I admit, I do not use the new parking very much. (5 times so far?) But it is really nice.

I kind of look at the cost like this. We needed parking. Nice parking. It is expensive. It has to be paid for by somebody. Might as well be by those that use it. I like user fees. Something fair about them. I also look at it like this... when thousands of people come from all over Texas to pack the garage in conjunction with a gun show, we are paying for our garage. I like that.



I didn't need "nice" parking.

Its not that nice anyway with those crappy looking little wooden shacks all around. They need a $1 ~ $5 rate scale for some situations


PS, Can I apply the user fee approach to streetcars? ;-)

#48 Brian Luenser

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 01:37 PM


I admit, I do not use the new parking very much. (5 times so far?) But it is really nice.

I kind of look at the cost like this. We needed parking. Nice parking. It is expensive. It has to be paid for by somebody. Might as well be by those that use it. I like user fees. Something fair about them. I also look at it like this... when thousands of people come from all over Texas to pack the garage in conjunction with a gun show, we are paying for our garage. I like that.



I didn't need "nice" parking.

Its not that nice anyway with those crappy looking little wooden shacks all around. They need a $1 ~ $5 rate scale for some situations


PS, Can I apply the user fee approach to streetcars? ;-)


Fort Worth has a fortune in the Arts District. It is a "World Class" arts center. We could not build a "Lean to" or some crappy parking for that neighborhood. We did need "Nice" parking, in my opinion. And charging $5. for parking generally used very infrequently is sure different than charging $5. to return a book at the library. I think it is a beautiful garage and perfect for the purpose. And it needed to be that size for the future. What a shame it would have been to build a 3 story garage only to need a 6 story garage in 4 years.

And bring on the street cars if it is paid for by the riders. (The Moon will have already crashed into the Earth by then)
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#49 Volare

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 10:33 AM

On the Council Docket for today (12/14/10). Looks like they really are intent on killing museum attendance:

On April 6, 2010, (M&C G-16886) the City Council authorized the adoption of paid parking for surface and garage parking at the Will Rogers Memorial Center (WRMC parking system). The adoption of paid parking at WRMC has led to an increased demand for on-street parking within the Fort Worth Cultural District (Cultural District). Note that the Cultural District is defined as the area bounded by University Street on the east, Camp Bowie Boulevard on the north, Montgomery Street on the west and by the West Freeway Service Road on the south.

To address the demand for on-street parking spaces in the Cultural District, it is recommended that Chapter 22, Article VI, of the City Code be amended to allow the time of operation for parking meters in the Cultural District to match the needs of the WRMC event schedule. Currently, Section 192 (a) through © of Chapter 22, provides that on-street parking is free on weekdays from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. as well as on Saturdays, Sundays and certain City Council designated parking meter holidays.

It is proposed that Section 192 of Chapter 22 be amended to change the the hours of operation for the parking meters in the Cultural District to be everyday from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. The amendment would only apply to the parking meters in the Cultural District. This change will provide 30 hours of additional metered operation time within the week and 32 additional hours on the weekend for each of the 34 metered spaces. Currently, on a typical Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the 34 metered spaces serve only about 34 cars which results in longer stay times per car and a very low turnover rate. The change will encourage more short-term stays which will allow the 34 spaces to serve as many as 250 cars per day (especially during big weekend events) and would bring a six-fold increase in usage. Currently, the City has parking meters in the Cultural District on Will Rogers Road between Camp Bowie and Lancaster Avenue. At a later time, the City may add additional parking meters in the Cultural District if the demand for on-street parking continues to be an issue.

The Department of Public Events manages WRMC. WRMC is located in the area between Lancaster Street on the north, Montgomery street on the west, Harley street (including the South Harley Lot) on the south and University street on the east. WRMC is located in COUNCIL DISTRICT 7.

#50 UncaMikey

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 11:48 AM

... encourage more short-term stays...

This is evil. "Let's rush in and see the Michelangelo!" And the Café Modern will have to offer fast food, LOL.

I am sure this is all a result of a backroom deal among the powerful who run the city. It's the Fort Worth Way.




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