Parking Whine

March 28, 2006 at 1:28pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

A lot of Lincolnites complain about the “parking situation” in Downtown Lincoln: there isn’t enough parking, the parking isn’t cheap enough, the available parking isn’t in the right places, and so on. There are plenty of reasonable arguments to be made along those lines. But then somebody like William R. Stone, Jr. comes along and makes the parking whiners really look silly:

The next to the last time I was downtown (about five years ago), I picked up a ticket and ended up paying a fine for my trouble. I vowed at the time not to go back until there was parking downtown like there is at every retail outlet and office in every other part of Lincoln.

Unfortunately, I had to go downtown recently. I plugged the meter for 90 minutes, got back in about two hours and picked up another ticket. So I’m returning to my original plan, but I suppose five years from now I’ll probably get stuck again.

I almost had to go back just last week when I couldn’t get some sheet music I needed from The Violin Shop on 17th Street, and the owner said Dietze had it downtown, but fortunately he also gave me the name of a store in Omaha that could send it, and postage is less than $10 so …

See you all in five or 10 years. You really know how to make a guy feel welcome.

Let me summarize: Mr. Stone knowingly violated city ordinance on two separate occasions. Mr. Stone was punished for those violations. Mr. Stone whines, arguing that his shortcomings—namely, his inability to choose a parking spot that will keep $10 in his wallet—are somehow the city’s fault, not his own. Whatever, Mr. Stone.

There are many ways that parking Downtown could be made more friendly and accessible to various interest groups, and there are lots of good alternatives worthy of a community discussion. But folks like Mr. Stone—and there are bunches of them—do nothing to improve the situation. In fact, Mr. Stone has done little more than make himself appear mathematically incompetent. I’m certain that wasn’t his intent. But what was? Presumably he wants to improve the situation, but he does nothing to make his case. Mr. Stone, if you’re out there, I’d like to hear your ideas. I’ll even give you as much space as you need. Drop me .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and we’ll chat. (And assuming that I never hear from Mr. Stone, anybody else who wants to write up their ideas is free to contact me as well.)

For everybody else, what one or two things would you do to improve parking Downtown?

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The Comments

beerorkid March 28, 2006 at 3:10pm

well living near and working downtown for the past 8 years I have learned how to cope.  I have also learned the ropes.  Chalk marks on the tire, a pocket full of quarters, alley parking, etc..  Sure I paid a few well deserved tickets, but I knew the rules and broke them.  Can’t bitch much about that.

I now commute daily by bike.  I have not had a ticket for quite some time.

I think parking really sucks downtown though.  validation is nice, but no mater what it is gonna cost ya.

I was in KC a while ago and the lifepartner wanted to go to the shopping district.  It was right after thanks giving so it was crazy.  I pulled into the FREE public parking garage and was walking the district within minutes.  Now sure KC has some money, but the whole area was packed and I found a free spot anumg the many that were still available.  Our city is trying so hard to make downtown the place to be.  But, 2 hour meters and $6 parking sucks, and I see why people do not care for it.

The prices at the meters is not all that bad though.  Try an Omaha meter and you will know what I am talking about.  The hours are fair, although would not mind free saturdays.

Meh… ride your bike.

Cedric March 28, 2006 at 6:02pm

Beerorkid has a point-but as someone that lives talmost DT and works there, the biking to downtown could use some improvement from both bikers and drivers/city. Bike trails that are there for the sake of bike trails but don’t go anywhere? Thats not real helpful. Busses with bike racks on them or locked stands at the bus stops that aren’t downtown would be nice-snag some of the commuters on bikes that can’t ride he complete trip for whatever reason.( I tried to commute from AirPark a couple of times and really wished there was a way to carry my bike at least as far as partway up NW 48th) I start a new job out past Pine Lake and S 14th on Monday and welcome any tips from Lincoln bike commuters as to the best way to get out there, or if its feasible! The bus only goes halfway to where I need to go.

Neal March 28, 2006 at 6:44pm

Mr. Stone is a moron, that’s true.

I moved out of downtown after Dec 2000’s big ol’ snowstorm…the city wouldn’t clean 8th street so my little car couldn’t move because the snow was too deep. So I kept getting tickets. Then when they did clean the streets, they piled up the street snow behind my car, so I still couldn’t back out. Then while I was away taking a final, and thus not able to keep up on the 2 hour meter, they had someone move the huge pile of snow so they could tow my car.

There’s a certain level of dedication to the utmost dickishness that I think inspires an extra degree of hatred in the parking police.

A few years back, the LJS did a story on the city’s parking division…about how it costs about $500,000 more annually (to pay the parking cops, the vehicle costs, and gas) than it brings in (by way of meters and tickets), but it’s apparently a justifiable expense because it keeps traffic moving through downtown (that’s what those 2-hour-and-less meters are so good at, of course).

I assume beerorkid is talking about the Plaza, and the Plaza is always packed and there’s always parking available. They have figured out that the investment in comping the parking garages brings people to the area.

beerorkid March 28, 2006 at 7:28pm

cedric,

the trail you need has not been built yet.
http://www.gptn.org/2004-GPTN-Trails-Map.pdf
it is called the jamaica north trail.
http://www.gptn.org/jamaica.htm

yup it was the plaza

And now that they have the parking cops out at all hours they be getting a bunch of peeps at the bars for illegal parking.

It is a shame that parking sux so bad DT.  Sure there are garages, but it costs.

I like the way you summed up the story though.  The guy is bummed cuz he got caught, LOL.  And if it costs more to enforce than it brings in WTF?  If DT is so important change things so more will enjoy it.

beerorkid March 28, 2006 at 10:47pm

oh man you have to read the comments on the JS page (link up above (comes along))

they are awesome

Michael March 29, 2006 at 4:01pm

Cedric,

I use the Rock Island Trail to get from 27th and Capitol Parkway to 14th and Old Cheney. It extends beyond that now, as far as Pine Lake, though it can hardly be said to be “direct”.

I get from where I live at 31st and R to to the Rock Island trailhead by riding on the street. If you’re downtown, you could take [the trail that goes downtown—Billy Wolff?] to get to the Rock Island.

At 14th and Pine Lake, you run out of trail. How far past Pine Lake do you need to go? I’d probably just ride on the road. It’s wide enough…

beerorkid March 29, 2006 at 4:11pm

or you could always take a trip through wilderness park wink  It drops you out on 14th just south of pine lake rd.

Man that would be awesome to take wilderness to work every day.  They hiring?  he he

Cedric March 30, 2006 at 8:24pm

Thanks for the trails heads up. Ill have to pull the maps and see what I can see. I am going about 6 blocks south of Lincoln SW-Libra/Aries drive. TerraScan if anyone is interested. (no, I don’t think they are hiring anymore unless you do VB/C++/PHP/ASP, etc.)

Thanks for all the input. Ill go look at the maps provided and see what I can see.

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