Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Tue, July 23

Editorial: No more reasons to avoid parking garage

Courier file<br>A fireworks show concludes festivities at the grand opening of the new parking garage on Granite Street in Prescott back in June 2005.

Courier file<br>A fireworks show concludes festivities at the grand opening of the new parking garage on Granite Street in Prescott back in June 2005.

Prescottonians love to walk and hike. We see them out with their dogs strolling through their neighborhoods or around the courthouse plaza. Many of us think nothing of scaling Thumb Butte or Granite Mountain or trekking the trails around town.

So, if we aren't afraid to use our legs, why are we not taking advantage of Prescott's downtown parking garage on Granite Street?

That garage has been standing since 2005, and it sits half empty much of the time.

On a recent holiday weekend, downtown streets were literally clogged with cars, probably scouting for parking spaces around the courthouse plaza. If they had gone around the block to the garage, they would have found plenty of room, even during the height of afternoon activities.

Earlier this month, the Prescott City Council nixed the idea of parking meters downtown after they balked at the idea of spending $1 million to install them. The topic had come up at the suggestion of one councilman who thought meters would encourage people to use the parking garage, but the proposal flat-lined almost immediately over the cost.

So, the City Council is back grappling with how to get people to avail themselves of the parking garage rather than take up an on-street space, watch the clock and dash to their cars when the two-hour limit is up to either move them just enough to hide the chalk marks on their tires or scrub the chalk off. That's easier than parking in the garage?

The council heard the count on available parking spaces during a workshop this past week: 1,088 on-street, 500 in the garage and several hundred in public off-street lots, all free. Many allow a full day of parking. Some have two-hour or 30-minute time limits.

Parking in the garage is free, except for just 30 days out of 365, and that's when special events are taking place downtown and it costs $5 to park there. That's hardly pricey.

Come on folks, head for the garage, especially those who circle until they find an open space and those who want to save a few steps to get to their jobs.

Think of it as good, healthy exercise.

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