Making a purchase at any Atlantic Station store, restaurant or food truck will earn visitors two hours of parking validation. Validation at the movie theater will tack on another two free hours.
*Update*: Atlantic Station tweeted yesterday that the parking policy change will go into effect later this month.
*Second Update* Henry Unger at the AJC’s Biz Beat blog reported that Atlantic Station is now reconsidering the pay-to-park idea.
As you’ll observe by reading the more than 80 comments on the post at WNA, parking – when, how much and even whether it should cost – is a thorny subject around here. See also any Creative Loafing piece written about ParkAtlanta.
Coincidentally, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported yesterday that Atlanta is ranked among the least expensive large cities in which to park. The city’s median monthly price for parking increased 2.2 percent over last year, to $95. The median daily rate, $12, remained the same.
Why does parking get so many people so hot?
Perhaps people who don’t live in the city are less accustomed to having to pay for parking, so when they come to attend events, the cost is a bit of a surprise. It doesn’t help that the rates at parking lots close to event venues or popular restaurants are prone to sudden, triple-digit inflation.
Or perhaps a lot of people think of parking as a public utility, like street lights or traffic signals, something that should be there in sufficient quantities for everyone’s use. There’s also the not-insignificant issue of the shortage of viable transit options for people inside and outside the city. If driving is the most efficient or only way to arrive at a destination, maybe it seems unfair that there’s a sort of penalty for bringing a car with you.
Also, is this even an Atlanta-specific complaint? Or are parking costs and restrictions like local news – everyone, in every city, thinks theirs is the absolute worst?