By Scottsdale Pinetop
“There’s never anywhere to park.” How many times have we heard it?
It’s a traditional critique for any lively city and one that Old Town Scottsdale has been battling for years. As a new wave of people flood to Scottsdale to live, work and play, Scottsdale’s lack of parking spaces has caused headaches for businesses, residents and visitors alike. Solving Scottsdale’s parking predicament is no easy task, but the city is investigating a new way to help alleviate some of these valid concerns.
The parking issue in the Arts District is nothing new. After hearing from a number of displeased gallery owners, city staff is finally looking into the feasibility of adding an above ground parking garage near the Scottsdale Arts District on the city-owned lot on 1st Avenue and Marshall Way. And it’s taken no time for Councilwoman Klapp to express her support.
Many merchants and visitors in Old Town would say we are experiencing a “parking crisis.” While this might be a stretch in some cases, the concerns over parking are never more prevalent than during spring training season. While many galleries and local retail shops rely on the increased traffic to sustain their businesses, baseball fans can easily take up all the on-street parking by mid-morning leaving customers to take their business elsewhere. A parking garage would help alleviate that problem.
How does the city plan to pay for it? Rather than tap into the already complicated bond election, the project would potentially be funded by using a portion of the $28 million the city will receive from Museum Square. We’ve written the benefits of Museum Square a number of times. You can read more about Museum Square here and here. Some money from the sale is very likely to be earmarked for improvements to a number of non-profit groups on city properties in the area.
Between bike share, Lyft, walkability, and automated vehicles, the future of cars has never been so uncertain. With more residents utilizing the convenience of Lyft, bike-share and scooters, the need for parking in downtown Scottsdale may diminish. But it is still unclear how quickly and to what extent that will happen. For now, building a downtown garage and other parking improvements should be a priority. For the Arts District and especially the galleries on Main Street are at the car of this city’s ethos and excellence. Without them a healthy and whole Scottsdale cannot be a city at its best.