Parking. So many spots, yet not affordable.
for those working in the service industry there just aren't a lot of options
I was having a conversation today with an architect who works in downtown Grand Rapids. We were discussing the new building high-rise that was reduced to 13 stories. The conversation turned to parking, and I said I thought that was an issue. He made the point that there is plenty of parking downtown. He argued that the city of Grand Rapids and Ellis has done a great job of taking single level parking lots and building them up and making them several stories adding the necessary and needed parking. I agree with that. But the argument that I hear repeatedly from service workers is that they can't afford to pay 16 18 or $24 a day to park. The architect told me he pays $100 a week to Park, well, not actually he pays $100 a week, the company he works for pays $100 a week. I asked him how many restaurants, hotels, bars or stores downtown do you think are paying for their service workers parking. For those that work the service level jobs downtown it certainly is a challenge. Perhaps there doesn't need to be more parking downtown, rather, there needs to be a better way to help move them around especially late in the evening. This should be part of the conversation.