Door Banger Parking Lot

Like one of those computer graphics programs, Boise’s newest parking garage was programmed to, “SHRINK TO FIT PAGE.”
Park Garage.jpg

As a result, the Myrtle Garage is difficult for the upscale SUV crowd to navigate due to hairpin corners and substandard parking stalls. Instead of the 8 foot 6 inch width, the new garage features 7 foot 10 inch stalls. Putting doors within striking distance of other vehicles. A CCDC spokesman told the Daily Paper 90% of the cars entering the garage can make the tight turns. GUARDIAN math calculates that means 10% of the cars entering the garage are unable to make the turns or fit in the stalls.

While all you bikers and little foreign car people may smugly say, “people need to drive smaller cars,” those SUV folks are the ones who crowd the lines and bang up your fancy little rides with the doors and winches on their king cab rigs.turn sign.jpg

As promised, BoDo and the CCDC have helped the economy… Autobody paint shops and those dudes like “Dent Doctor” are going to have a steady business. Check out the scrape marks on the cement pillars made from turning too tight.

The special six parking space concession to Office Depot by Team Dave probably won’t do much to solve the ramp problem.

The other dirty little secret about the new garage is that about a third of the spaces built with public tax money are dedicated to(rented by) the Hampton Inn hotel. Pretty sweet deal to offer guests inside parking when the competition has to provide their own parking facilities out of pocket.

AND since all the taxes on improvements within BoDo go to the Urban Renewal District (CCDC), those of us who pay our property taxes provide free police, fire, and other services to the downtown crowd.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Well, that’s just one more reason to move somewhere else. But, where? Sure don’t like this town much anymore.

    EDITOR NOTE–Don’t leave. We need to keep a few happy cynics around just for diversity sake.

  2. Dearest G,

    You should try a little import…. a Toyota or Honda in particular. They are far in a way better, safer, cheaper $$, and faster then the US built crap, plus they’re made here too. If they fail in the first few years an engineer at the parent company must comit suicide…. you can bet that doesn’t happen in Detroit!!!!!!!! 🙂 Even a VW is better than one of the excreations from the “big three”.

    EDITOR NOTE–Must confess to driving the best of two worlds: An American built Toyota.

  3. Will Not Go Back
    Sep 4, 2006, 10:48 pm

    We will never go back to BODO or the garage.

    If you own anything larger than a Mini Cooper the garage is a joke! You cannot even open your doors to get out of your car and to just get into the parking area you need to do three-point turns just to get into one of the mini-slots.

    This is just another example of how the planning department, the planning director, and the city council explain that we “have to follow the law” and allow developers to do really stupid things that do not work. (Remember these are the same people that write and pass the really stupid laws or fail to fix them when they cause stupid things like this to happen.)

    Please plan to go somewhere else unless you want nice new door dings!

  4. Well, the garage guy says it’s not a design flaw, people just need to drive slower, learn to make the tight turns, etc.

    Kinda like a restaurant says there’s nothing wrong with the food, people just need to remember to take their antitoxidants before dinner. Or a gas station saying there’s nothing wrong with the pump, people just need to learn that they have to pull the nozzle out, shut it off and restart it after each 1.37 gallons.

    When you build something for the public and then say the public just has to learn to do everything different than usual, you either screwed up big time in the design and are just too stupid to realize it, or do realize it and are to much of a damned sniveling liar to admit it.

    As for the big/vs. little vehicles, we have a Mazda Miata that probably would fit in there just fine. I also have a one-ton pickup that probably would drive right over the little Miata and not even feel the bump.

    Little cars are cute, economical to operate and fun to drive, but I wouldn’t want to try to transport a ton of hay or a soccer team or the supplies for the Little League team in one. Yeah, some people drive the giants (Hummers come to mind) for no paticular reason other than to look big, but many have legit reasons to do so.

    We also have a Jeep Grand Cherokee that can pull a luggage trailer, and can get us out of our driveway when there’s more than the two inches of snow that block the Miata.

    I won’t try to put either the one-ton or the Cherokee in that garage, but I wouldn’t put the Miata in there, either, for fear *somebody else* would bring their bigger vehicle in and mash it.

    Seems like it might be a good idea to build public facilities to serve *all* the public, not just the few who are nervy or foolish enough to put the small vehicles in the undersized holes. Thank God for ADA, or jerks like those would still be putting up structures with steep stairs, no ramps, narrow doors, etc., and saying, well, handicapped and disabled people will just have to learn to walk or crawl in.

  5. Gee and here I thought it was just me that had a hard time parking there. I thought at the time I used it that some one ought to be fired for the blunder of the small spaces. Then I thought maybe my small car had grown. Then I thought maybe I’d forgot how to park. Then when I got back to my car and couldn’t open the door to get in the car, well I was just pissed. I for one will never go to Bodo again.

  6. Mayor and staff should have to park in it as part of a (pilot) awareness program….heehee.

  7. Requiring politicians to use the bad designs they make us pay for is like asking them to use the same healthcare system us proles gotta use that they designed and make us pay for. Not going to happen. How about the fact that what is presented to the city design review by big developers is not in fact what is built. Or they change it mid stream. Grove Hotel, Bodo, and lest we forget the Eastman building site are some examples.

    I think the Idaho First building (US Bank) was one of the first Boise building projects to ignore design review. I remember it wasn’t supposed to be so tall. The connector was supposed to be elevated which would have prevented BoDo. Let’s get rid of design review so we can just sue them if they don’t do what they say they will. Design review seems to give them the ok to do what ever they want.

  8. It is geometry. Thankfully that is one math class I managed to understand in school.

    The city regulations say a developer has to provide so many parking spaces for so many stores of a certain size and type. To get a good store and restaurant mix (restaurants taking up more parking spaces than stores), BoDo has to build a parking structure with X-amount of lots in it. Okay, but there are also restrictions on the parking structures physical size because it has to fit on a specific lot, hemmed in by busy city streets. And the building can only be so tall because it is in the viewscape between the Depot and the Capitol Building.

    The answer for the developer would have been to use existing store space for more parking – evicting existing tenants – or to make a taller building – something that may have been impossible to do.

    The deal sounds like a bad compromise all around (shrinking the turning radii and stall size). The City of Boise is going to face this same issue again and again as downtown redevelopment continues. If we want parking downtown and if we want a vibrant downtown, we’re going to have make some concessions. I just don’t know yet what that should be.

    The original ‘concept’ for BoDo shows the parking garage was supposed to be 450 space on 5 levels – 4 above and 1 below. The current design is 380 spaces. You have to wonder where the other 70 spaces would have fit.

    EDITOR NOTE–Good points all, but the parking structure is owned by Boise’s urban renewal agency, the CCDC (Capitol City Devbelopment Corp.) and it is built with tax money.

  9. I think the city could solve this problem by eliminating car parking spaces and use the tax money to encourage bicycle riders, scooters, motorcycles, walkers etc. Tackle parking and the national obesity problem at the same time. How about a sliding fee for parking if a car has passengers? How about free parking for rich people in small european cars? Think about the money they would spend at BODO and the tax revenue. Poor people drive the SUV’s the rich are wildly dumping these days. If they charged SUV’s more becuse they take up space etc. they would attract the super rich euro/car crowd and all their money. The taxes they collect would eventually “trickle down” to us po folk and we would stop complaining about everything.

  10. cheeky monkey
    Sep 6, 2006, 4:03 pm

    Not that it solves any of the tight corners or skinny spaces at the garage, but Boise’s zoning ordinance doesn’t require ANY parking for any use within the BoDo development. It is exempted from off-street parking requirements, since it all fits comfortably within what is referred to as the P-1 Parking Overlay District. Actually, the southern boundary of the P-1 District generally runs along the centerline of Front Street but takes a dip south to Myrtle Street (between Ninth Street and Capitol Blvd) IN ORDER to eliminate the need for any required parking in the BoZo development.

    Though the 380 spaces are hard to squeeze into, if none were built these non-existent spaces would be murder to get into. But more to the point, if a city’s zoning ordinance is viewed as a legal proxy for the will of the people – and adherence to the terms of the ordinance is seen as the best way to protect the health, welfare, and safety of the public – why is any tax money being used to subsidize parking that the PUBLIC has already said it doesn’t need. I can understand why Mark Rivers wants parking for his tenants, but why is any public money being spent to construct off-street parking within the P-1 District? If CCDC wishes to subsidize downtown development with its pre-approved bonding capacity, let it focus on what the public has already said it wants – and eliminate the agency’s ability to fund development that does not comply with the will of the people. If CCDC (or Boise City administration) have a beef with this line of thinking, it can choose to eliminate or modify the Parking District Overlay language.

    Stop trying to subvert the law.

    FYI, one of the newer (and more successful) examples of this kind of urban infill is Santana Row in San Jose. It also has structured parking (but with very gracious drive aisles and stall widths), and everyone parks for FREE. It’s easy to bash Californians, but it looks like they got it right with Santana Row.

  11. Straddle 2 spaces if you like, and fight the ticket. Or just park somewhere else. The lines will be repainted in accordance with use or non-use eventually… at least in the photo they don’t appear to be concrete barriers or anything.

    How is this indoor parking a sweet deal for Hampton guests? I thought we were saying the parking spots were too small & not good.

    EDITOR NOTE–Sweet deal isHampton doesn’t have to provide ANY parking because they get the CCDC to do it for them and just rent. Ameritel and all those airport area hotels have to buy their own land, build parking lots, and maintain them.

  12. Why not charge for it like any other good or service ? The more space you take up, the more you should pay.

    So, there would be a certain number of smaller stalls (existing size) and then some stalls that are larger to accommodate larger-than-average vehicles. Since the larger stalls take up more room, there would be fewer of them, so they’d cost more.

    In the end, the garage would collect the same amount of money, Chevy Subdivisions would have a place to park and normal size vehicles would park as usual.

    Regading the editor’s note above, true, Ameritel and other hotels have to build their own parking lots, but it comes at a huge public cost. Places like the mall, for example, are about half parking lot by surface area, a quarter roads and a quarter for the actual building destination – a horrendously inefficient use of land and infrastructure. As a result, the ACHD must make roads wider and longer simply to accommodate the huge private parking lots. The huge parking lots mean people drive a couple of hundred feet from one parking lot to the other, causing more air pollution. Impact fees can’t begin to cover this. Sweet deal for the airport-area hotels.

    Garages are very space efficient and allow public streets to be shorter and smaller. They’re a good investment.

  13. I have utilized the new parking garage and think that it is a great addition to the downtown parking available. I have a large SUV and a small car and both make the turns well and fit in the parking spaces adequately. It just requires drivers to be more conscious when driving around corners and being more polite when entering/exiting their vehicles. If we would all be more considerate drivers, we would enjoy the new parking garage a lot more!

  14. SW – I wish you luck in finding “polite” parkers that will be so impressed that you got your SUV into the garage that they will exhale as they spend an extra minute getting out of their car as to not ding your door. We have not found many of those types around Boise and we have the dings from normal size lots to prove it.

    Maybe your best bet is that you will basically be the only one parking in the cramped garage and therefore there will be no one else will be parking next to you.

    Both situations may be just dreaming though.

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