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Monday, January 06, 2014

Why you can't find parking

I'm wondering about these little Car2Go cars you see all over the village. I know it's a great concept, but are there too many just sitting around taking valuable parking spaces? We're a small village with limited parking, which has always been an issue here, especially street parking, and it seems that these small cars take up so many spaces, especially on weekends, when the Grove is the busiest.

I counted up to 15 cars in parking spaces on Saturday morning, there probably are more since I didn't drive up and down the whole Village, but these three cars are on Grand Avenue and there were three more parked across the street. That's six near the Mayfair.

There were a couple more on or near Matilda Street, one by the post office and three more on McFarlane down to the horseshoe at the end. Are we being used as a dumping ground by Car2Go? For the handful of people that might use these cars, the ratio is way off. It reminds me of when the taxi's used to do that up and down Virginia Street. That was put to a stop after many complaints. 

The turn over is not that quick, I've watched this over the past few months. On Saturday morning at 7:30 I took the very top photo. And then at 8 pm, this photo was taken; all 15 cars were there over 12 hours later,  not one car was moved. On Sunday morning, every single car was exactly where it had been Saturday morning, possibly Friday night, and on Sunday night, the cars were still not moved. That's 48 hours of blocked parking spaces which is about 10% of our street parking in the village.

I've asked people about it and it's crossed everyone's minds, so I'm not the only one wondering about this. Most people want them gone. They have said this, "I would like to see them gone." This comes from business owners and residents.  One suggested they have their own little parking area that they pay the Grove for. Right now they pay the Miami Parking Authority and we get nothing in return, just lack of parking for visitors.

It's one thing to use the parking space like Car2Go is doing, but to have so many cars taking up spaces without any customers attached to the cars is a bit much. What if we all parked our cars in valuable spaces and abandoned them? These cars took parking spaces away from people all weekend. Someone asked, "what's the difference, other cars would be there anyway?" Well, I think the other cars would carry people who are here to spend time, spend money and then leave. Not set up shop for their fleet of cars all weekend and keep people from parking.
I know there are garages, but people want street parking, we have gone over this for years. People prefer the metered parking.

Maybe they can put the cars in certain spaces like they do with the rent-a-bikes that are left in racks, instead of parking spaces that people need. Or maybe they can just reduce the amount of cars. If 15 cars are going to sit around all weekend, why not make it five? Or three? One business owner suggested three for the village when I asked. Maybe that's the perfect number.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's unlikely that people who actually rented those vehicles parked them there like that. More likely that the company has them purposfully parked in areas where it's high traffic and high visibility as a form of free advertising.

To be honest, I see them parked all around the high traffic tourist areas but hardly ever do I actually see them being driven. Not surprising. Can you imagine being a first time driver in Miami's traffic in one of those mobile coffins? I drive a large van and have at least two anus-clenching near misses a day with texting idiots, tourists and relocated residents who are driving according to some other countriy's laws.
Cars2Go should be required to show those who rent these little death mobiles pictures of what one looks like after an accident.

Shouldn't the company have some staging area of their own? How about using the lot by the old Grove bank or one of the parking garages that we as residents are repeatedly being told are so convenient?

January 06, 2014 7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bitch, moan & groan no matter what! Each of these vehicles represent person(s) who have come to the Grove & stayed for some purpose; probably spend a few dollars - - - - isn't that what you all want; bodies who spend your coveted sacred Holy dollars?

January 06, 2014 8:31 AM  
Anonymous Bruce said...

You raise some valid points.
Yes, there are occasionally overwhelming clusters of the cars that seem to sit for days. But remember, they are parked there because some tourist or local drove them to the go shopping or dining. Maybe they drank too much then took a cab home.
As with many new ideas, there are growing pains. The company certainly isn't making any money having a dozen cars parked for days in front of Mayfair. You can be sure they are trying to figure out how to improve utilization and distribution of the cars.

I would encourage everyone to keep an open mind about a service that ultimately could increase parking availability in the Grove and throughout Miami. How? If usage ever gets to a critical mass, their cars will not stay parked for long. So the turnover of parking spaces will increase, which benefits everyone. (e.g. Instead of driving your own car into the Grove and parking for 90 minutes while you dine, or 3+ hrs for dinner and a movie, you pick up a Car2Go near your house, park it on the street for someone else to use, and when you come out of the movie you find another Car2Go to drive home and leave on the street near your house/condo.
I signed up a couple months ago during some festival in Peacock Park, and have only used it a couple times when my car was in the shop. But I love the idea of using one to go out for dinner and then cabbing it home with no worries of having one too many.

January 06, 2014 9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This morning: 3 in front of the Mayfair office building, 3 down Mary St, one on Grand Ave, 5 at the end of McFarlane and one further up McFarlane near the Sonesta.

I've never seen so many of them.

Those cars are tiny. 2 or maybe even 3 of them can fit parked straight into a parallel spot instead of the way they are parked now. Just a suggestion to free up a few spots.

January 06, 2014 9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh violin music please. What makes the parked cars any less worthy taking up space than someone else's car?

January 06, 2014 9:07 AM  
Anonymous swlip said...

I don't have a problem with it as long as Cars2Go is paying the city's regular rates for using the spaces (although one has to wonder about the two or four-hour limits on spaces that most of us have to obey).

If, on the other hand, some balloon-head convinced the city to give Cars2Go a free ride on public parking in order to encourage the use of "greener" transportation (which I suspect to be the case), I'd have a serious problem with it.

January 06, 2014 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a member of Car2Go, although I have rarely used it. I've never seen that many cars in the Grove at the same time. They are usually scattered about.

You can download their free app and see exactly where they're parked. It may be that they have increased the number of cars because they are getting more customers?

Anyway, I do think Tom has raised a good point. Perhaps the company should park more cars in the city garage, sort of as a holding tank, and only place a few on the Grove streets.

January 06, 2014 11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, and many people i know, are a car to go members. It's nice to have access to such a great service, particularly because public transportation is not great in this city. This service makes the Grove more accessible. Yes, it is inconvenient to have a few spaces blocked off, but I don't think that a few full meter space will deter people from coming to the Grove. Especially considering how much of a pain it is to use those meter spaces anyway; this very blog has pointed that out on numerous occasions. There are still plenty of parking lots and garages which car to go is forbidden from parking in. Maybe it's also a bit of an eyesore to see the cars parked along the street, but it certainly makes the Grove much more accessible.

January 06, 2014 12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the parking companies in the area secretly team up with cars to go to get you to pay the higher prices to use there services.

January 06, 2014 2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in the South Grove, and my beef with these Car2Go cars is when they are parked in my front yard! Public parking is nonexistent in this end of the Grove, and the drivers who leave them around here show no respect for people's personal property. These little cars are almost always left in yards or on the bike path. A great eyesore and annoyance.

January 06, 2014 3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember, there is a swale, which unless otherwise marked may be parked upon.

Of course, many folks like the Sarnoffs have "claimed" their swales and planted things all over them to prevent commoners from parking where it would otherwise be allowed.

January 06, 2014 5:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My friends on Brickell love to use the trolly which we do not have

January 06, 2014 7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The biggest issue is that they take up too much space on the street. If they would park two to a space, it would not bother me so much.

January 07, 2014 1:08 PM  

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