Monday, November 23, 2009

feeding the meters

While I admit this is anectdotal at best and most likely routine.... but of late I have noticed a bevy of new parking meters being installed. I didnt think much of it until I also read this story out of Chicago which Bram caught before I did talking about their deal to sell their parking meters.  Note the line about quadrupling of rates.  But like selling your house, if you were to put up the parking meters to market what you would expect to see is a lot of activity such as installing and fixing meters before those prospective buyers come and kick the tires. 

Keep in mind a couple things.. the sale of parking garages downtown should be a very distinct debate from any discussion of whether it makes sense to sell individual parking meters across the city.  Also note the Chicago story is interesting in a meta-news kind of way.  It is from the NYTimes but says the story was sourced from a 'nonprofit news cooperative'.  What does that mean?

Just for historical sake I will post again a link to this undergraduate thesis from a half century ago.  Nominally it's about the early history of the ACCD, but just take note how much of it is devoted to parking issues and development.  See: The Allegheny Conference for Community Development for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (warning, large file) by John David Weidlein. May 1950.  Joe A. and I have in the past both posted links to parts of a complementary film from just a few years after that:: Freedom of the American Road.  that has some focus on Pittsburgh and it's Downtown parking issues. 


Blogger The Urbanophile said...

The NYT has started publishing local editions in Chicago and San Francisco, with a couple pages of local news from the the city in question slotted in places of metro NYC news.

In Chicago this is being produced under contract with the Chicago News Cooperative, a new non-profit news org founded by Tribune refugees who were able to leverage their connections with MacArthur Foundation into a $500K grant. Whether this is sustainable long term, who knows? Another Knight funded Chicago non-profit news org just went out of business.

Monday, November 23, 2009 10:26:00 AM  
Anonymous gizinta said...

Off topic, but here's the last paragraph of a "libraries saved" story just posted on PG website:

"State legislators will then continue their efforts to get a portion of anticipated revenue from table games at casinos dedicated to libraries, he said. One percent of expected table games proceeds is expected to be $860,000, [Sen. Jay Costa, D-Forest Hills] said."

Does this mean that tables games are expected to bring in $86 million? That seems like a lot of lettuce, but then there was this item last Wednesday ...

"The state needs to get $200 million in table-games revenue to balance the 2009-10 state budget, so legislators feel pressure to enact a bill as soon as possible."

The same $200 million figure was used in a Nov. 9 story.

So which is it--86 million or 200 million?

Monday, November 23, 2009 2:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FWIW, Felix Salmon (IMO one of the best non-Pitt financial bloggers out there :)) posted an interesting analysis of the Chicago parking meter sale and concluded that, with risk valuation and the political "stickiness" of rate increases, Chicago got a good, and possibly very good, deal.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 8:46:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

a good read... although I just wonder what the analogy of Chicago is to Pittsburgh. Not only would a quadrupling of rates invoke an immense amount of ire, but I presume the increased enforcement that would have to go along to make that effective would constitute a larger affront to most folks that taking away their parking chair.

and I need to clarify something here... my observation on new meters appears to have been more for new trees going in...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 8:54:00 AM  

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