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Empire editorial: Flesh out parking plan

Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2006

City planners who want to ease downtown Juneau's parking woes have a good idea, but one that needs some strict guidelines before it is enacted.

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The city's staff proposes a fee of up to $10,000 in lieu of each parking space that a business would otherwise be required to provide. Current rules say a business must create one space per 200 square feet.

The fee could go toward perimeter parking, for a shuttle system, or both, for instance. A frequent shuttle that serves parking facilities without leaving riders out in the rain could reduce the need for downtown parking. One that primarily serves tourists who don't have cars would not make much sense. Voters have already supported a downtown parking garage, too, but with scarce land downtown there's only so much garage space that makes sense.

Downtown Juneau needs creative solutions, and the fee proposal is a start. It shouldn't just become a city fee, though. The next step should be to craft one or two projects to which the money could be applied.



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