Traffic in Michigan State
Parking is an essential function of the efficient use of the automobile. However, there is a parking problem that is directly associated with the widespread ownership and use of vehicles. Therefore, this results in an appreciable extent in the substitution of individual for mass means of transportation. For example, a car was driven on average 10,000 miles annually or 27.5 miles daily with an average speed of 15 miles per hour. It means that driving takes just two hours in a day (Segrave 51). During the remaining 22 hours, the car is parked. Additionally, the city streets were designed to serve the transportation needs of a time when mass transportation units served the individual. However, these units ordinarily allotted from three to four square feet per person, while the individual transportation required about 75 square feet per person (Segrave 51). It thus becomes pointless to argue that personal means of transport are much more expensive as compared to mass transportation.
Traffic congestion and parking problems reduce advantages of the central district areas. The prime advantage of the central area over outlying retail centers is the convenience for the greatest number of consumers. There is a wide variety of goods and services that customers can choose (Glass 144). Therefore, if parking facilities are deteriorating, then the importance of the central area will decline. The main challenge is the decreased accessibility of customers to different types of services. However, this challenge can be solved through positive steps. These include more efficient use of the street system through traffic routing and control, and improvements in the street system through widening and developing of throughways. Additional parking facilities will promote better parking control.
One of the possible solutions in solving the traffic menace in Michigan Cities is to stop all street parking to the downtown areas. In essence, the streets should not be used for storage purposes; they are built to be used as passageways and not as garages. Second, the government can unscramble traffic by creating specific channels. For instance, street cars should be allowed to move unimpeded in their lane, the buses should be given the right of way on certain streets. In relation, specific streets will be set aside for trucks and their heavy vehicles. In the emphasis, a survey by a former Los Angeles police chief reported that entrepreneurs were quickly coming to the realization that downtown parking and traffic problems were their own more than that of the municipalities. It is evident by the fact that majority of downtown merchants were erecting parking garages at costs of $300,000 to $400,000. It would also require an extra $30,000 annually to maintain (Segrave 58). Other merchants felt that the cars have to be catered to, but that the municipalities should look after it, and some had done so. For example, St. Louis, Missouri erected a garage building covering an entire block with a market, occupying the first floor at a cost of $ 1,500,000. The second floor was devoted to transient parking at rate of 15 cents per two hours. The third and fourth floors were used for all-day parking at a fee of 35 cents per car (Segrave 59). The garage had a capacity of 750 cars (Segrave 59). Additionally, all modern buildings should allocate some of its space to the temporary parking. Basement parking space would provide a solution to parking problems that lay within the building, because shoppers tend to go where parking facilities are provided.
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In order to implement the solution effectively, the government through the municipalities should fund the development of new parking capacity that will promote the goals of advancing economic efficiency and environmental sustainability. These efforts include financing off the street public parking facilities by issuing revenue bonds for the construction of lots and garages. Parking fees collected from the customers will be used in repaying the bonds (Tumlin 203). Although the strategy of issuing revenue bonds and repaying them with parking fees may not be groundbreaking, this method is useful in improving of economic efficiency.
Paying for parking facilities by using of the direct parking fees helps in balancing parking supply and demand. When the true cost of parking is made visible through direct fees, employers and residents can save on parking by using less of it (Tumlin 203). For example, the employers can institute transportation demand management programs that will enable the employees to leave their cars at home. These demands will result in increased savings by leasing fewer employee parking spaces. Similarly, residents can have substantial amounts by owning fewer vehicles that will need fewer parking spaces. The construction costs for garages will be substantially lower than when parking is funded in indirect ways, such as through taxes and other fees on property owners and businesses.
Further, paying for parking through direct user fees reduces both motor vehicle trips and parking construction. This will significantly promote environmental sustainability through reduced pollution and green-house gas emissions. Such principle is similar to the one used for charging electricity through direct charges. When the cost is revealed, users have an incentive to conserve (Tumlin 203). In addition, paying for parking facilities by using direct fees follows a principle that is widely accepted as fair in promoting social equity: the beneficiaries of the project should pay for it. Besides, on average higher-income households with more vehicles and drive more often compare to households with lesser means. In this case, the user pays approach means that the latter shoulder a greater share of burden for parking facilities than when the parking charges are hidden in other costs (Tumlin 204).
Another possible solution to traffic jams in Michigan Cities is by restricting the use of automobiles as individual units. It would be accomplished by imposing tax upon the ownership and operation of a vehicle. Providing ample parking facilities through and adjacent to business centers is among the leading ways of providing off-street parking for downtown. It includes parking in the basements of office buildings, parking garages, open lots, and creating space in public parks. Michigan can copy the Pacific Mutual Building in Los Angeles with two lower floors, each being 350 feet by 60 feet, and the underground devoted to parking for 140 automobiles (Segrave 55). In addition, a rental parking charge, ranging from $17.50 to $ 20 per car, will act as a limiting factor. Many downtown garages, that is, the standard ones selling gas and oil and doing repairs, will be pressed into service for parking purposes.
With respect to open lots taken over by cities for parking, many levied no charge, except in cases, such as protection against thieves and vandalism. These activities required some supervision that involved cost (Segrave 56). On the other hand, some of the limitation associated with this strategy was resolved every time a new office was constructed on a former open parking lot. It did not only remove these spaces but it also created a need for more.
Summing up, parking and traffic problems are associated with the widespread ownership and use of vehicles. These issues reduce the advantages of the central district areas. Allocating parking to the downtown areas and restricting the use of automobiles as individual units are different solutions that can be applied to reduce thus menace.