City Council Meeting: September 8, 2009
Agenda Item: 8-A
To: Mayor and City Council
Subject: Walker Parking Consultant’s Update to the Downtown Parking Program
Staff recommends that the City Council authorize staff to return with actions necessary to implement the recommendations of the Walker Parking Study, including:
1. Adjust parking rates for on-street parking meters and off-street parking structures within Downtown Santa Monica;
2. Develop program guidelines for a centralized valet system and public access to private parking facilities;
3. Develop a program to encourage increased use of alternative transportation by Downtown employees;
4. Develop a financing plan for the first stage of implementation of the Downtown Parking Program;
5. Develop a financing plan for future stages of implementation of the Downtown Parking Program, including adjusting the Parking In-Lieu Fee; and
6. Enhance downtown parking operations, including appropriate staffing following implementation of parking rate adjustments.
The Walker Study is a follow-up to the Downtown Parking Program, a ten-year strategic plan that calls for the reconstruction of Parking Structure Nos. 1, 3 and 6 and the construction of additional parking on Fifth Street, resulting in a net increase of up to 1,712 new parking spaces to the downtown parking inventory. On December 4, 2007, Council authorized a contract with Walker Parking Consultants to analyze City parking operations and to provide an update to the Downtown Parking Program financing plan. Updating the financing plan provided an opportunity to evaluate options for enhancing the effectiveness, customer service, parking pricing and technology of parking operations in the Downtown area. It also provided an opportunity to analyze current and projected parking demand in the Downtown area in order to assess the need for additional parking in the near term.
Walker Parking Consultants
(“Walker”) and its sub-consultant Keyser Marston Associates (“KMA”) evaluated
parking operations and market conditions in Downtown Santa Monica and
competitive nearby destinations, and analyzed revenue opportunities from
parking rates, in-lieu fees, property-based assessments and other revenue
sources. This report summarizes
· Strategically increase on-street and off-street public parking rates in the Downtown core to more efficiently and effectively utilize existing public and private parking resources to meet parking needs, thereby creating greater availability of parking for visitors to Downtown;
· Use increased parking revenues to fund additional programs to support employee access to Downtown by transit, bicycle and carpooling;
· Use increased parking revenues to support shuttle service to outlying parking resources, including the Civic Center Parking Structure during parking structure reconstruction;
· Use parking revenues to enhance parking operations, parking technology, wayfinding, parking occupancy assessment and capital replacement and repair;
· Implement a centralized valet operation to access private parking spaces during off-peak periods, supplemented by agreements with office building owners to make empty spaces available to the public on evenings and weekends; and
· Regularly review parking occupancies and adjust parking rates to encourage optimal use of public parking resources.
These recommendations are coordinated with the citywide Transportation Management Strategy identified for implementation in the Circulation Element of the LUCE.
The Downtown Parking Program is a ten-year strategic plan that was
developed by the Downtown Parking Task Force and adopted by Council on May 9, 2006. The Program calls for the construction of new
In its review of the appropriate mix of retail uses on the Third Street Promenade and in the Bayside District, the Promenade Uses Task Force recognized that in order to support cinema activity along the Third Street Promenade and to preserve the Bayside District’s competitive advantage, adequate parking is needed. Recognizing the challenge of creating new cinemas on the Third Street Promenade as well as an opportunity to expand the energy of the Downtown District, the Promenade Uses Task Force foresaw the opportunity to combine the cinema strategy with the Downtown Parking Strategic Plan, suggesting that options to enhance the cinema experience “may include combining cinema development with the Downtown parking structure reconstruction and expansion program.” In February 2008, Council authorized staff to solicit proposals for redevelopment of Parking Structure No. 3 into a mixed-use project that would include state-of-the-art cinema, ground-floor retail or restaurant space and subterranean parking.
Construction of public parking facilities in accordance with the Downtown Parking Program requires an update of the Program’s financing plan to reflect current construction costs, market conditions and parking rates. The update provides an opportunity to evaluate options for enhancing the effectiveness, customer service, parking pricing and technology of parking operations. It also provides an opportunity to re-analyze growth in order to determine the appropriate number of new parking spaces.
Walker and KMA completed a five-part analysis of
In order to maximize the efficiency of the existing Downtown
1. Implement the recommended parking pricing policies to encourage improved utilization of the existing parking supply, most notably the large number of private spaces, as well as peripheral parking spaces;
2. Monitor parking occupancy rates at regular intervals for the purpose of periodic revisiting of parking policy issues, and, specifically, determining whether parking prices should be adjusted;
3. Create agreements with the owners and operators of private parking facilities in the area to encourage their use by employees and other members of the public;
4. Implement a centralized valet operation to access private parking spaces that otherwise would not be utilized by the public;
5. Use parking technology to support efficient use of public parking spaces; parking technology could include cashless revenue collection, real-time parking availability information with guidance to available spaces, multiple-space parking meters, parking meters with credit card capability, etc.
6. Use a portion of the revenue from the increased parking rates to actively fund non-single occupancy vehicle modes of transportation by employees of businesses in the area, such as subsidized passes for transit service, bicycle commuting and carpooling.
These specific policies are consistent with the citywide strategies identified in the LUCE, several of which are currently being undertaken through the Transportation Demand Management Program.
Demand Analysis and Parking Rate Recommendations
Walker recommends adequately pricing parking in the Downtown area in order to improve the efficiency of the parking system as a whole, to increase the availability of parking supply for customers, to maximize the turnover of on-street parking spaces, to bring Santa Monica parking rates in line with greater Los Angeles area parking rates, and to raise revenue for additional parking improvements.
Based on the imbalances in the demand for parking that were observed, Walker recommends the following pricing strategy for both the on-street parking meters and the core public parking structures in the Downtown area:
1. Initially raise the hourly rate for on-street parking to $1.50 from $1.00 per hour and expand the hours of operation from 6pm until 10pm.
2. Replace existing parking meters with ones that accept credit cards, and then raise rates to $2.00 or more per hour.
3. Charge $1.00 beginning the second hour of parking in the City’s public structures. The first hour of parking would be free. Currently, the City offers two hours free.
4. Charge $2.00 for each additional hour in the City’s parking structures rather than the current $1.00 per 30 minutes.
5. Raise the daily maximum rate in the City’s parking structures to $9.00 from $7.00.
6. Raise the evening flat rate from $3.00 to $5.00.
7. Raise the monthly parking rate from $82.50 to $121.00 per month in the core parking structures, which is closer to market levels.
Revenue Options and Financing Potential
KMA completed cash flow projections based upon the incremental
parking cash flow that could be generated from
Other Recommended Parking Programs
In addition to the capital reserve for structural maintenance,
1. Create agreements with the owners and operators of the private parking facilities in the area to encourage their use by employees and other members of the public;
2. Use a centralized valet operation for the Downtown area to access private parking spaces that otherwise would not be utilized by the public;
3. Renegotiate the private lease of parking spaces in Parking Structure 2 to enhance public access to parking;
4. Actively fund non-single occupancy vehicle modes of transportation by employees of businesses in the area, such as subsidized passes for transit service, bicycle commuting and carpooling.
In addition to funds set aside for these purposes, increased parking revenues are also expected to support the PBAD property assessments on the parking structures, garage repairs and repainting, technological advances, shuttles to auxiliary parking locations, additional aesthetic enhancements to Parking Structure Nos. 1-6, and parking operations.
KMA reviewed the Bayside Mall Assessment District and Parking Developer Fee program. Both assessments were established in 1986 and both are scheduled to expire in 2016. The Bayside Mall Assessment was established to repay the bonds that helped to create the Third Street Promenade and nearby infrastructure improvements. The Parking Developer Fee is assessed to owners who redevelop their property and choose not to provide all of the required on-site parking. Under this program, the property is assessed on an annual basis at $1.50 per square foot of building area for which parking is not provided. Levied over a 30-year period, the annual in-lieu fee would provide between $15 -$18 per square foot of financing revenues, depending upon bond interest rates. The existing Parking Developer Fee in-lieu program is projected to have a balance of $7,568,000 in 2011. KMA projects these funds to be sufficient to finance an additional 129 parking spaces.
KMA determined that this Parking Developer Fee is far below the cost of providing structured parking, estimated by the Public Works Department at $57,300 per space, not including the cost of land. KMA suggests that an in-lieu fee program to cover 75 percent of the capital cost for a parking space with the incremental cash flow from the increased parking revenue covering the remaining 25 percent of the capital cost. Based on these assumptions, staff recommends a one-time in-lieu fee of $134 per square foot.
New Assessment District
KMA reviewed the assessment district analysis prepared by MuniFinancial for the City in 2004. The analysis assumed an annual assessment of 50 cents per square foot of non-residential space. Applying this rate to existing properties within the Bayside District generates $1.2 million annually. Applying this rate to properties immediately surrounding the Bayside District is projected to generate an additional $1.55 million annually. The combined revenue could support about $30 million in bonds and construct approximately 525 spaces. Given the recent adoption of the Bayside District PBAD, as well as the general state of the economy, garnering the votes to adopt a new assessment at this time could be difficult. It would be particularly difficult outside the parking district where most buildings provide on-site parking.
Section 5 of
With Council’s authorization, staff will return to Council with specific actions to implement the recommendations of the study, including a resolution to update Downtown parking rates. As the implementation steps move forward, Council may wish to consider broader policy issues related to parking in the Downtown, including:
· Expanding the parking district to match the new Bayside District boundaries,
· Closing the gap between expected revenues and costs to build new parking, and
· Evaluating parking requirements on new development within the parking district, including whether on-site parking should continue to be optional.
The Land and Assets Committee of the Bayside District Corporation reviewed the parking rate recommendations on July 8, 2008 and the parking operations recommendations on February 10, 2009.
On June 18, and July 23, 2009, the entire report was reviewed by
the Bayside District Corporation Board.
The Board agreed with the majority of
When staff returns to Council with specific actions to implement the recommendations of the study, staff will provide additional financial and budgetary information based on the proposed revenue adjustments and potential capital and operating expenditures.