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Pershing Parking Rate Change Passes Committee

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, April 01, 2009, at 04:09PM
Pershing Square Eric Richardson [Flickr]

A motion intended to encourage use of the Pershing Square garage by those coming Downtown for nightlife passed through a Council committee this afternoon. The facility currently offers a flat rate of $6.60 for those entering after 5pm, but after 1am a new $15 charge is tacked on. The current proposal would extend the reduced rate until at least 2am.

While the original motions asking for the reduced rate to be extended requested 4am as the new cutoff time, the Recreation and Parks department has asked that instead just an additional hour be added. In its report, the department cited the General Services department as saying it could cost $150,000 to extend the rate to 4am. General Services operates the garage for Recreation and Parks.

After questions as to where that dollar figure had come from, Councilman Tom LaBonge presented a between-the-lines reading of the report.

Here's what it says here in the report: ... The change would increase costs to Recreation and Parks parking operations for staff, maintenance and security and supervision in order to handle a potential increase in customers. GSD provided Recreation and Parks an estimate of $150,000 annually to implement the extended rate until 4am. They chose this number for no significant reason, other than the fact it was a round number.

After a pause for laughter, LaBonge asked, "Madam Clerk, what's today's date? Ok, it's April 1, so I just read a little bit into it."

Historic BID head Russell Brown suggested that perhaps 2:30 or 3am would be more appropriate times, but said that 2am represented a good change from the current system.

The proposed change was spurred by a 2006 motion by Councilman Jose Huizar, who wanted to make the garage a more welcoming parking location for Broadway theatre-goers. That goal has since been pushed forward by the Bringing Back Broadway effort, which is spearheaded by Huizar's office.

Implementation of the rate change must be done by Recreation and Parks, and no timeframe for the switch has yet been set.

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