Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Parking at Pineapple - Departure Times Lengthening?

The recent issue of the Pelican has an interesting story about parking questions at Pineapple Square:

Pineapple Square, the mammoth downtown mixed-use project that's benefitted from a series of "good buddy" deals on city-owned land, faces a series of probing design questions this week when developers appear before the city's design review committee. [The discussion at the DRC was cancelled at the last minute]

In a memorandum from the city's new parking manager, Bob Kamper, to City Attorney Bob Fournier, Kamper provided a 20-point list of "questions and concerns" regarding the public garage proposed for the City Place portion of Pineapple Square. Under the existing agreements with the Pineapple Square developers, the city is to lease 350 parking spaces in the garage building which will span State Street. The latest proposed term is 105 years.

Among the 20 points Kamper has raised are the need for an additional traffic lane into and out of the garage. There is only one inbound and one outbound in the initial proposal and he's suggesting an additional reversible lane. "One lane in and one out is not enough," he writes in the memorandum, especially if they are to handle a total of more than 500 "public use" vehicles including those of United Methodist Church and condos in the building.

Without that extra capacity, Kamper said, users of the garage could expect "45 minute to one hour egress times as the facility has been designed," especially during special events.

We recall during discussions with Simon, including statements he made at the public hearings, that the State Street lot was worth nothing as a parking structure since the size and shape could not be designed to hold an efficient parking structure. Simon said that every car going into and out of the parking lot would have to drive past all other cars parked there.

Now it appears that the parking lot he (Simon) prefers may take 45 to 60 minutes for a driver to exit. How valued will this be?

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