Selling the garage under Philadelphia’s LOVE park is a very good idea, but if the price a garage company is willing to pay for it won’t cover the cost of rebuilding the park, there’s an easy solution: raise the parking tax.
Philly’s parking tax rate is a scandalously low 20% – half of Pittsburgh’s awesome 40% rate. Philly’s tax should be at least 40% too, since our transit system is better and our city’s more walkable. And it especially makes sense if we want our “public bads” to give us more money for actually legitimate public goods.
Why can’t we just raise the parking tax and then earmark all the revenue city gets from the newly private garage to pay for the LOVE Park upgrade?
I also don’t see why this couldn’t be applied to other city parks (and retail corridors).
I never see parking meters next to public parks here and that’s just crazy. How do you spend public money building and maintaining a nice city park, which we know adds a ton of value to the surrounding private parcels, and then not charge for parking around it? In most cases, city doesn’t even think the sidewalk is part of the park, let alone the curb parking. There is money just leaking out of these public amenities that we ought to be capturing to pay for maintenance.
Also, guess who gets to the neighborhood park by car? Not poor people! Metering all the city’s parkside curb spaces and using the money for park maintenance would be a very distributionally progressive pay-for, in addition to being good land use and environmental policy.