It is not secret that downtown Fort Worth has become an up-and-coming scene for new restaurants and plazas, which has helped draw thousands of residents and tourists around the country. Places like West 7th and Sundance Square, once regarded as western and in need of renovation, have stepped up to the challenge in providing a dynamic public space where visitors can eat, relax, and be entertained.
While the recent renovations have provided positive responses, one of the most conflicting and perhaps tedious problems that have emerged is parking. The intersection between an available parking spot that is free or costs at most a couple of bucks has become a bother to some.
The West 7th Approach
For those who do not want to pay for parking, the way West 7th deals with its parking services may be a solution. Those who have dined at Terra Mediterranean or enjoyed a movie at Movie Tavern West 7th Street have probably parked in one of the street’s parking garage. The parking garages, run by “Vestar”, allow customers to park their vehicles for free as long as their parking ticket is validated – otherwise it can cost an undesirable fee.
This has been a method for parking garages to be offered to customers only, deterring anyone who does not go to one of the parking garage-approved destinations.
Parking to Walk
Another option seen around the downtown is that of parking one’s vehicle several blocks away from their destination in a parking lot or using a parking meter. Although less desirable than parking in front of the restaurant or place that someone wants to go to (for obvious reasons), many have opted for this option in order to avoid the uncertainty of parking at a wrong spot and having their vehicle towed, which could cost over $300.
A similar approach has been to park several streets away from a destination and requesting an Uber of Lyft. What would otherwise be a $20 parking fee at one of downtown Fort Worth’s parking lot could cost under $5, a savings of around $15.
What Would You Propose?
If one of the city’s architects or developers asked you what your solution for the parking dilemma is, what would you respond? Are you committed to allow a solution that allows customers to park for free, or would you propose a parking rate that is fair and reasonable? Offering a free parking option could create an increase in customers who’d otherwise avoid dining in a place where they have to pay just to park. However, someone concerned with how public funds are distributed may opt for a fair parking fee subject to few restrictions.
Then again, what “fair” and “reasonable” means would depend on a personal basis due to different notions of what these rates could be; what could be reasonable for one personal could be absurd for another. If the solution appears to be difficult to decide, that’s because the issue is a tricky one to solve. However, it does have a solution. What would your solution be?