Lets Think Outside that Box, Parking Fans
Here’s the deal. According to this article, Santa Monica is going to lose its last manufacturing plant, Pioneer Magnetics, that has had as many as 600 workers and now has over 100. Why? Due to lack of parking.
Seems the area which at one time was 100% manufacturing (some heavy, dirty manufacturing like making water heaters and the like – Pioneer makes electronics) has gone through so called gentrification and is now a burgeoning center for tony shops, restaurants and art galleries. Its called Bergamot Station, has its own Metro stop, and a lot of parking, most taken by other businesses in the area.
Pioneer Magnetics wants to stay, but its employees have no place to park. Some park blocks away on street and got out every couple of hours to feed meters, but the owner says “that’s no way to run a business.” He says he doesn’t want to move, but his company won’t be there in a year.
The City of Santa Monica doesn’t want to lose them, but planned parking structures are years away and Pioneer’s problems are today. Some of the local businesses valet park cars, but that doesn’t seem reasonable for the 100 employee factory.
I have not thought a lot about this nor been to the site but how about this idea. Find some parking within about a 10 minute drive — you know it has to exist. Then the city provides a shuttle back and forth so the employees (and others visiting Bergamot) can get to their cars. Perhaps each business can kick in a few bucks to cover the cost. The city could run it (they are good at doing stuff like that) and all would be right with the world.
It seems certain that Pioneer isn’t the only company in the area with parking stress.
When the new structures are built (if ever) the shuttle could be phased out.
Now that’s just one ‘outside the box’ thought. I’m sure there are others if parking folk were consulted on the problem.