Entire level of DC USA garage has never been used
Councilmember Jim Graham is rightly very proud of bringing Target and other stores to Columbia Heights, giving residents places to shop and jobs. And many of them are taking Metro. Graham emailed community lists to report that Metro ridership at the Columbia Heights station is up 24% on weekdays and 39% on weekends since the stores opened.
And the garage is going mostly empty. That's good news for public transit, since the robust number of shoppers must not be all driving. But DC is still paying for it. According to Graham, the 1,015-space garage averages 250 cars with a peak of 350-400 cars. "In fact, the second level has not been used to date."
Next time we build a project next to Metro, let's remember that retailers may ask for more parking than we need. Overbuilding parking encourages some driving trips that could be transit trips, and costs taxpayers around $2.8 million a year just to pat ourselves on the back that we aren't using the garage.
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