Santa Cruz can’t afford to build parking structure

Letter to the SC Sentinel, 1/18/2022

City staff proposed a new parking garage in Downtown Santa Cruz (combined with library and housing) against the advice of their consultants who recommended, “The most fiscally prudent approach to accommodating additional demand: Modernize parking management and better align parking prices to the cost of building and maintaining the system.”

The city can’t afford to build a new parking structure, as evidenced by the city’s statement in the Sentinel’s Jan. 13 edition, “Since 2011, city expenditures have been greater than revenue produced by the parking program every year except for three … In the last non-COVID-19 year, 2019, revenues were $2 million below expenditures.”

When will parking revenue rise by additional millions to pay the debt on a new parking structure? Meanwhile the city claims that this project is immanent! Sign the Our Downtown Initiative which prioritizes affordable housing on city lots and keeps the farmers market where it is.

— Rick Longinotti, Santa Cruz

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