Blog Archives

Downtown Phoenix Parking Study Survey and Symposium

The City of Phoenix is currently conducting a study to implement new parking meter technology in the downtown area.






The City of Phoenix is currently evaluating new technologies for its own downtown street meter system. They are interested in your opinion of existing conditions, as well as various parking meter features. Please take the 8 question survey at this link:

Parking Meter Survey

Stakeholder Symposium

The stakeholder symposium is an opportunity for Downtown Phoenix business owners, residents, and employees to see some of the new technology types and provide feedback on the type of features and options that would be most beneficial to their daily interaction with the downtown.

This evenis drop-in. Feel free to come by anytime, talk to members of the project team, and provide us feedback for the future of your community. Refreshments will be provided.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011 1:00pm – 7:00pm

Downtown Phoenix Ambassadors Office, 101 N. 1st Avenue | Suite 190 | Phoenix, AZ 85004

Brett Wood, P.E.
Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.

Flyer (pdf)

City of Phoenix Services Affected by MLK Day on Jan 17th

[Source: City of Phoenix Press Release]

City of Phoenix offices will be closed Monday, Jan. 17, in observance of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Here’s how city services are affected:

  • Transit: Buses and METRO Light Rail will run on a Sunday schedule.  Dial-a-Ride and DASH will not be operating.
  • Solid Waste: There will be no collections Monday. Monday collections will move to Tuesday and Tuesday collections will move to Wednesday.
  • Transfer Stations: The 27th Avenue and North Gateway stations will remain open.
  • Libraries: Burton Barr Central Library and all branch libraries will be closed.
  • Parking meters: They will be free.

Downtown Phoenix’s parking meter program to be reviewed

[Source: Lynh Bui, The Arizona Republic]

City wants to generate maximum income

The 2,600 parking meters in Phoenix generate about $2.1 million annually for the city each year.

To make sure the meters are in the right place and to see if they are generating the maximum income for Phoenix, the city will conduct a study of the parking meter program starting next year, said Thomas Godbee, deputy street transportation director.

The city is looking to hire a consultant to review the meters in downtown Phoenix, near the state Capitol and other areas to study three main issues:

  • Location: Certain places, such as around the state Capitol, already have free parking available, so the parking meters that are in low demand could be removed, Godbee said. Meters could also be added to areas where traffic is higher.
  • Hours: In early 2009, the city extended the hours that parking meters would be in effect from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

“We’ve gotten a couple of complaints so we want to see how it’s working in a couple of areas,” Godbee said.

  • Payment: The city will examine whether the types of meters should be changed. Options could include replacing meters with pay stations or models that accept debit and credit cards to generate more revenue for the city and make it more convenient for drivers.

“If someone puts a quarter in a meter and parks two hours, they might not get a ticket, but we’re not getting the turnover in the parking space,” Godbee said.

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PARK(ing) Day is returning to downtown Phoenix

PARK(ing) Day is returning to downtown Phoenix on Friday, September 17th. Building on the success of last years efforts, several community members, neighborhood leaders and urbanites have gathered together and are ready to step up to the curb, put a quarter in the meter, and transform curbside metered parking spots into temporary public parks.

When they do, they will join artists and activists all over the globe for PARK(ing) Day 2010. This annual, one-day event promotes green and public spaces in the urban core.  It helps people rethink the way we use our streets and creates diverse conversations about how we can make sustainable cities. This concept of PARK(ing) Day is that putting money into a parking meter is like renting a public space.

Since its founding in San Francisco in 2005, PARK(ing) Day  has blossomed into a worldwide grassroots movement: PARK(ing) Day events have included more than 500 “PARK” installations in more than 100 cities on four continents, including PARK installations in South Africa, Poland, Norway, New Zealand and South Korea.

PARK(ing) Day is an opportunity to create community, engage the public and begin a dialogue on topics ranging from city parks and public space to the environment to mobility options and community improvement projects. Well-known urban activist and author Jane Jacobs wrote in The Death and Life of Great American Cities that, to create a safe, prosperous and worth living in, one must start with “lively and interesting streets.”

All Phoenicians are invited to get creative and join the effort—for an hour or two, or all day if you’d like. All you need to do is come up with ideas for a ‘temporary park,’ gather items to fit that theme, invite your friends to take part, and show up ready to be part of the movement.

So far, several groups have confirmed their participation.  The University of ArizonaCollege of Medicine, the Downtown Phoenix Partnership Ambassadors, an Arizona State University “Art Action” team and the Arizona Democratic Party  will be setting up their own spots in downtown Phoenix.  On Adams St, between Central and 1st Aves, a group of urban advocates will be joined by  the CO+HOOTS co-working crew.

Most groups will be setting up their spots first thing in the morning (7-10am), to avoid the mid-day heat, so feel free to stop by on he way to work!

Find Out More

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Steeper parking fines irk downtown Phoenix drivers

[Source: Jason Barry,] — The City of Phoenix has increased the price of its parking fines.  Last year, the city increased the cost of its parking meters from 60 cents an hour to $1.50.  Now, the cost of a parking ticket has nearly doubled.  “I thought it was high to start with,” said Phoenix driver Phil Himel.  “Doubling it seems unfair to the common person that comes down here.”

“I don’t think the punishment fits the crime in this situation,” said Tess Konomos of Flagstaff.  A typical parking ticket in downtown Phoenix used to be $31.  Now it’s $57.  The price for paying that ticket early used to be $16.  Currently it’s $37.

Mark Garcia said he had no idea the tickets were so expensive until he looked at the one on his windshield Wednesday.  The Phoenix man claims he was stuck in court for a traffic ticket and couldn’t come down to feed the meter.  “Especially with layoffs and everything, this is not the time to be raising prices,” Garcia said.  “Especially, with the economy down like this.”

City officials said the decision to raise the parking fines will generate an additonal $600,000, money the city needs to help reduce its budget deficit.  Garcia said it’s just another way to take advantage of folks who drive downtown.  “It’s way too much,” said Garcia. “It’s crazy”  [Note: View the KPHO video segment here.]

Local Phoenix networking group holds forum on “what’s wrong with downtown?”

This past November, local networking group, Radiate Phoenix, hosted a forum between bloggers, neighbors, and business owners on what’s lacking in the area.  Videographer Kelly Rogers made their voices heard.

As Phoenix faces “economic emergency,” mayor floats idea of temporary tax hike

home_balloons[Source: Scott Wong, Arizona Republic] — Saying Phoenix is facing an “economic emergency,” Mayor Phil Gordon this week floated the idea of a temporary sales-tax increase to keep already diminished services from being cut further.  Phoenix recently raised fees and rates for things such as parking meters and trash pickup. But Gordon’s comments, during a City Council meeting, marked the first mention of a sales-tax hike — or “emergency economic surcharge” — that the council could approve to stave off service cuts.

“It may take that to get us through the economic crisis,” Gordon told fellow council members and staffers.  “We have to ask residents: Do they want these draconian cuts?  Do they want to be understaffed in fire and police?  I, for one, think our residents would want to continue the way of life in this city.”  [Note: Read full article at As Phoenix faces “economic emergency,” mayor floats idea of temporary tax hike.]

Park(ing) Day Phoenix: from car spaces to people places, 9/18

pd2009_poster_commemorative_previewPark(ing) Day is coming to downtown Phoenix on Friday, September 18, as community activists, neighborhood leaders and urban planners throughout the city step up to the curb, put a quarter in the meter, and proceed to transform curbside metered parking spots into temporary public parks. PARK(ing) Day is an annual, one-day, global event that promotes the importance of green and urban public spaces.  It is intended to help people rethink the way we use our streets and creates diverse conversations about how we can make sustainable cities.  This concept of PARK(ing) Day is based on the idea that putting money into a parking meter is like ʻrentingʼ a public space.

Jane Jacobs, in The Death and Life of Great American Cities wrote that, in order to make a city safe, prosperous and worth living in, one must start with “lively and interesting streets.”  With this end in mind, Park(ing) Day PHX is an opportunity to create community, engage the public and begin a dialogue on topics ranging from city parks and public space to the environment to mobility options and community improvement projects.

The Park(ing) spaces will be located adjacent to ASU Downtown, on 1st St. between Polk St. and Fillmore St. between 7 and 9 a.m.

PARK(ing) Day was originally created in 2005 by Rebar, a San Francisco-based art and design studio, as an experimental exploration in repurposing public space. Since then has been creatively adapted and sparked imaginations around the world.

For more details on Park(ing) Day in general, click here.  Please contact any of the co-organizers for information on the Phoenix event: Kathryn StewartYuri Artibise, or Tony Arranaga.

Downtown Phoenix parking costs soar, but can light rail compete?

[Source: Sean Holstege, Arizona Republic] — The price of parking in downtown Phoenix grew faster than in any major U.S. city, according to a recent industry report.  The median cost of an unreserved monthly parking space was $65, up from $35 two years ago, reports real estate consulting firm Colliers International.  Phoenix rates are still low, on par with Fresno, California and Columbia, South Carolina.

Charles Miscio, senior vice president of Colliers in Phoenix, tells the Business Journal that the Metro light rail and newly expanded Phoenix Convention Center have helped drive up parking rates – 24 percent in monthly rates and 12 percent in daily rates.  He says the trend will continue.  “With the light rail’s capability of moving more people in and out of downtown, we are beginning to see entertainment venues and businesses shift from the Camelback Corridor and other metro areas to downtown Phoenix to take advantage of light rail traffic,” Miscio said.  “This shift is also driving more auto traffic into downtown, increasing parking garage usage and rates during both the daytime and evening.”

Three years ago I wrote a piece explaining how low parking rates can undermine light rail.  Metro is trying to attract riders who chose to take the train over driving their personal car.  By the economic laws of supply and demand, cheap and plentiful parking those riders can get to work cheaper in their cars.  Metro can’t compete.

A downtown office worker who drives a car that gets 20 mpg now pays $70 a month to commute one mile, not counting upkeep or insurance.  That’s significantly more than Metro’s Platinum Pass at $55 a month.  Had Metro been in service two years ago, that same commuter would have paid $40 a month to drive – less than the $45 cost of a monthly pass.

Now the tables seem turned, with rail being the cheaper, but necessarily more convenient option.  It’s a little more complicated because many downtown employers offer deep discounts on parking and transit.  And cost isn’t the only factor in deciding how to commute.  But it will be interesting to see how the competition plays out.  Will parking garages charge less to capture some of the rail riders or will more people turn to the trains?  [Note: Read the full blog entry at Downtown Phoenix parking costs soar, but can light rail compete?]

Parking meter fees go up in downtown Phoenix

In this Cronkite News Service report, parking meters in downtown Phoenix will be expanding their hours and their prices.