CRC Parking Spaces at $55K Each

The Columbian is reporting that the three park-and-ride structures for the Light Rail component of the Columbia River Crossing will cost $158M to $178M (divide that by the 2,890 spaces to get the cost per space).

That’s between 18 and 20% of the $850M cost of the Light Rail project.

“The structures themselves are literally warehouses for vehicles,” said Cortright, a consultant who is on the payroll of Plaid Pantry CEO and CRC opponent Chris Girard. “They tend to create dead zones around them.”

The Vancouver City Center Redevelopment Authority has also expressed its concern about the garages’ design, and this spring called for the garages to do more to stimulate redevelopment. Mayor Tim Leavitt wrote in May to say the city council also wants to see the parking garages used for more than cars.

10 responses to “CRC Parking Spaces at $55K Each”

  1. Sheesh, can we at least get ground-floor retail out of these things?

    Park-and-ride lots are only padded into projects because the Federal Government awards higher scores to projects based on flawed methodology.

    Land near transit centers (especially near urban cores, and let’s not forget, Vancouver does have a genuine downtown) would be better used for development of activities which are used by multiple persons throughout the day — some mix of retail, office, and residential, rather than expensive storage for private automobiles.

  2. Sheesh, can we at least get ground-floor retail out of these things?

    I believe the article says that it will be included as its a city requirement. But that without the
    “multiple persons throughout the day”, it’s not guaranteed to actually be used.

  3. $55K per space sounds like a lot, but how does that compare to other garages (i.e. the Clackamas Town Center garage)? Is this a typical cost for structured parking?

  4. The obscene cost for park and ride garages is a result of bad transit planning.

    TriMet abandoned effective integrated system planning when it built its first parking structure. Back in the late seventies and early eighties, when TriMet was laying the groundwork for light rail, it designed a well connected transit system that would allow passengers fast and convenient access to multiple regional destinations.

    Light rail stations were located to provide easy bus transfers, not as sites for parking cars. The park and ride lots on the original Gresham Line were intended to be temporary “land-banks” for future transit oriented development. This concept was lost on the Westside extension.

    The Sunset Transit Center was originally designed to serve “Peterkort Village” a proposed transit oriented community as well as a bus hub, not a warehouse for cars.

    Then came the Hillsboro and Gresham P&R structures and TriMet was heading in the wrong direction. Now MAX is becoming more and more dependent on motorists than transit riders for its patronage, this in spite of the fact that most of the heavily patronized MAX stations are transfer stations with no parking facilities.

    In the Columbian’s article, Katy Belokonny, a CRC spokeswomen is quoted as saying “We are investing in a transit improvement project, and for that line to be really utilized, there have to be places that are built to give people … a place to park. Otherwise it would only be effective for those who are within walking distance, and there aren’t that many people.”

    No mention of connecting bus service.

    Obviously this is a light rail project designed by people with an auto rather than a transit orientation.

  5. Because tolling will be part of the project, I think it is reasonable to charge for parking. Most riders will be going downtown, so paying $1 per hour to park in a mega-CRC garage will enable them to avoid paying $2+ per hour downtown and the $5 toll. We should not have free parking at park and ride garages. Parking garages are insanely expensive.

  6. I differ with the idea that it is a ‘dead zone’ around park and ride , when I used to park at Gateway , my car was regularly broken in to , so it was fairly active…

  7. I’ve been under the impression that structured parking typically costs between $20,000 and $30,000 per space, but I can’t find a source for that right now. $55,000 per space sounds absurd.

    I agree that park & rides should charge to park, at least at any lot that fills up early in the day.

  8. I couldn’t find a specific stand-alone cost but the LOtP DEIS table 5.1-1 allocates $37.8 million for the so-called enhanced bus option capital costs. Of this, $9.6 million is for vehicles, $3.5 million for support facitlites (shops, etc.) and $1.8 million for unallocated contingencies. Now, the significant capital cost for this alternative is the 300 space parking structure which would have to count for most and probably almost all of the remaining $22.9 million and more than likely the lion’s share of the $1.8 million for contingencies. So we could be looking at upwards of $76,000 per space.

    Undoubtedly I’m missing something, but what could possibly absorb more than a million or two? It’s just bus service, after all, without extensive bypass lanes or exclusive guideway.

  9. Or maybe have better bus service to the LR station? I know that’s one of the reasons I don’t take the bus to the LR station — the bus takes too long and is infrequent.

  10. I think part it is a focus on attracting drivers to the lines. Vehicles at park and rides are vehicles literally taken off the road, and can be used as evidence that the lines reduce congestion. Plus, I’m pretty sure the FTA is concerned more about a project generating new riders rather than helping existing riders.

    In addition, a problem is that providing bus service, and providing enough to attract choice riders, can be expensive in lower-density areas which park and rides often serve. Most agencies don’t get any extra revenue from providing additional service to riders who already have a valid fare.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *