In June, the City Council approved a new parking ordinance for downtown Phoenix that established several new parking zones, and will introduces dynamic pricing in certain areas. We sat down with Ray Dovalina, City of Phoenix Street Transportation Director, Thomas Godbee, Deputy Street Transportation Director, and Scott Logan, Traffic Engineering Supervisor in the Traffic Services Division to learn more about the planned implementation of this program.
Like many we had heard the soundbites of changing and increasing rates, and wanted to get a better understanding of what this dynamic pricing plan will look like. And, more importantly, how will it actually affect people who want and need to park downtown?
The goal of this new parking program according to Dovalina is “not only to generate revenue for the city, but to manage the increased demand for parking, both long-term and short-term, and to increase turnover in certain areas.” In the new program, the downtown has been divided into four zones:
- Zone 1 (Sports Venues), from Lincoln St. to Jefferson St. and 1st Ave. east to 7th St.
- Zone 2 (Central Core), from Jefferson St. to Fillmore St, and 1st Ave. to 7th St.
- Zone 3 (Government), from Lincoln St. to Fillmore St., and 1st Ave. to 7th Ave.
- Future Zone 4 (Neighborhood/Arts), from Fillmore St. to Moreland (two blocks north of Roosevelt St.), and 7th Ave. to 7th St.
The chart below shows both the lowest and the highest possible rates in each Zone. Note that one benefit of the new program will be a reduction in rates in the coin-operated metered parking in Future Zone 4. In this area, the price will drop from the current $1.50/hour to $1.00/hour to make paying with coins easier.
So how will this all work? First, the program will be implemented in two phases. During phase one, which will roll out in August, pricing will remain at the current rate of $1.50/hour, but meter hours will be extended from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm every day, including holidays.
Just to be clear, the city will not be changing prices randomly throughout the day; by and large there will be a standard hourly rate for daytime parking and another rate for evening parking.
In order to effectively accomplish this transition, the city is purchasing and installing 680 new single pay credit card parking meters in Zone 1. These credit card machines are popular with the public because they eliminate the need to have a pocketful of coins readily available. And the wireless technology in these meters will enable the phase two dynamic pricing plan to work.
The current goal is for the new credit card meters to be installed by August 4, but if the machines don’t quite arrive in time, the back up plan is to install them after the downtown ASU student move-in days of August 17 and 18.
Phase two will roll out in October/November and will incorporate the new dynamic pricing. The idea behind dynamic pricing is not as quixotic as it appears at first glance. Many cities are now doing this and it seems to be working.
Just to be clear, the city will not be changing prices randomly throughout the day; by and large there will be a standard hourly rate for daytime parking and another rate for evening parking. The dynamic pricing will come into play when there are events downtown.
The dynamic rates will be both higher than current rates, and lower than current rates, and will be determined based on three categories:
- Non-event days/nights
- Event days/nights
- Super event days/nights (when several large events are happening simultaneously)
Dovalina estimates that there are approximately 250 days of events downtown and this new pricing will reflect the demands on parking that these events create. Eventually, Godbee notes, “You will even be able to feed your meter wirelessly, using your cellphone.” But that’s a story for another day.
As an aside, there is ongoing planning to create a small area around ASU from 4th Avenue to 5th Street and from Van Buren to McKinley where meter rates will potentially be kept at a set rate for more hours, and will not necessarily be affected by dynamic pricing. Those details are still being worked out and we’ll clarify the plan once these decisions have been reached.
…[the City] has recognized the need for a comprehensive parking strategy for downtown and they will be hiring a new Parking Manager in August who will be tasked with creating this strategy. Additionally, they will be hiring a new public information officer (also in August) who will help communicate the new plan to the public.
Dovalina, Godbee, Logan and the rest of the staff are working hard to ensure that the signs and meters are clearly labeled and easy to understand as Phase two is rolled out. Additionally, they have been working with other city departments, the local courts, the police, neighborhood and business groups, the Downtown Phoenix Partnership, and ASU to make sure that everyone understands how this new program will work.
As the city has grown, the Street Transportation Department has recognized the need for a comprehensive parking strategy for downtown and they will be hiring a new Parking Manager in August who will be tasked with creating this strategy. Additionally, they will be hiring a new public information officer (also in August) who will help communicate the new plan to the public.
What will a successful program look like? According to Logan, an 85% usage rate is the ideal. This equates to one spot on either side of the street being open at any given time. If usage goes above that percentage, rates will need to be raised, and if usage falls below that percentage, rates will need to be lowered.
As Godbee says, “There’s no point in having meters in areas where no one wants to park.” Another success factor will be turnover. Godbee continued, “We want to avoid having people park in front of businesses downtown for extended periods of time. We want it to be easier to find a space, not more difficult.”
At first blush, the program is a little complicated, but the intended result is greater turnover in short term parking spaces in the city core, more revenue for the city, and less long term space squatting. The department will assess the program yearly and make needed adjustments to pricing to make it work effectively for the public, businesses, events and the city.
You may not have heard of them yet, but Brad and Heidi Jannenga are creating something remarkable in the Warehouse District, just south of the downtown core. It’s not just a wildly successful business, it’s a way of thinking about technology, work-environments and collaboration that is poised to provide the center of gravity for a whole new level of tech entrepreneurship in Phoenix. But first things first.
Brad and Heidi met on Match.com and began dating. Brad had a tech background and Heidi was a preeminent physical therapist. When Heidi complained about cumbersome billing processes and the cost of dictation for her business, Brad began looking for existing software solutions, only to discover that there were very few options available, most weren’t very good, and all of them were too expensive. “I demo’ed over ten different products,” said Brad, “and they were all just crap.”
Brad decided to learn all he could about Heidi’s workflow and documentation needs, and then created a customized program that worked. In the process, they discovered that nearly 80% of physical therapists were still using paper and were hungry for an electronic solution. In 2008, WebPT was officially launched.
What began with two people in the back storeroom of a coffee shop on 7th Avenue exploded with 300% year-over-year growth during the first three years and has continued triple-digit growth every year since. In September 2013, Inc. Magazine named WebPT one of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in America. Today, WebPT is nearing 35,000 clients and they now have 215 people working for the company in a 30,000 square foot space on Grant Street, just west of 7th Street. Additionally, a handful of other folks now work remotely from throughout the country, bringing the total number of WebPT employees to 240.
Because of their exploding growth, this is the fourthbuilding that WebPT has occupied in six years, including the storage room of the coffee shop, the Al Beadle complex on 3rd Street (the site of Lisa Sette’s new gallery), the Levine Machine, and their current home just across Grant Street from Levine (and ASU’s new home for the Herberger School of Design). With each growth spurt, they devise flexible workspace solutions and get by on what they need, so they can focus on customers.
Eye-catching temporary walls are fashioned from IKEA panels, a repurposed shipping container makes for a very cool conference room, and Brad’s dream car (a work-in-progress refurbished 1967 silver Porsche 912) looks right at home on the floor. Brad expects to last about another year in the space they’re in now, before having to expand again. And that’s where it gets really interesting.
Having worked for years in the tech industry in California, Jannenga was used to being in an environment where programmers, software designers, tech entrepreneurs and the like were concentrated in certain geographic areas. People in that environment naturally ran into each other, mingled and shared ideas. They weren’t necessarily in the same businesses, so there wasn’t competition, but there was a recognition of shared challenges and the ability to cross-pollinate solutions. This experience has fed his desire to create a similar community for downtown Phoenix.
Working with Michael Cowley, the owner of the current WebPT location, Brad is developing a vision for growing the tech industry in Phoenix based on building a unique campus for tech creatives in the 100,000+ sq. ft. grocery distribution warehouse next door to Levine Machine, which is also owned by Cowley. He and Cowley are working on a plan to renovate the warehouse that will retain its architectural authenticity, while simultaneously creating an expansive space for not only the still growing WebPT, but for other tech businesses, entrepreneurs, educators, and innovators. The timeline is in place for a beginning move-in next spring.
“The idea (for the new space) is to have a place where companies can come,” said Jannenga. “There are lots of tech incubators and offices in the valley now, but they are all spread out. We need a place where they can all come together….It’s an opportunity to put something on the map, to build the community,” he continued. “The people are here but they haven’t been woven together, the fabric isn’t here.”
It turns out that Cowley’s old grocery warehouse is just the place to realize this dream. At fully 123,000 sq. ft, Brad calls it “mind-blowingly huge.” It fits the WebPT aesthetic, and both Jannenga and Cowley are committed to adaptive reuse.
To make such a huge space work, plans include basement classroom space, a rooftop garden, a huge slide from the upstairs conference room down to the main floor, potentially a box car restaurant and an internal “road” through the middle, with streets off to the side and a meandering path. “The plan looks very much like the plan for a city,” said Jannenga, “with real live trees, skylights, street signs for different departments, bike racks, flex space, and a conference room space for each department. Each area will be different neighborhood with its own look and feel.”
“The City of Phoenix has just been amazing,” said Jannenga. “A year, year and a half ago, they came to us and said ‘how can we help?’ and we’ve been working with everybody: economic development, streets, everybody.” Additionally, Jannenga gives a lot of credit to developer Michael Levine for much of what is happening in the Warehouse District, calling him a “pioneer.”
We’re excited to see the Warehouse District coming to life, and we’ll be watching and reporting back as Jannenga’s vision morphs into reality.
Don’t miss the once-a-year opportunity to peer into the studios of working artists and wander through galleries during Artlink’s Art Detour 26 this weekend. Along with the top art venues of downtown Phoenix and countless pop-up exhibits, dozens of painters, sculptors, photographers, glassblowers, and other creative minds open the doors of their private space to curious visitors.
With the event map in hand, art lovers can explore more than 100 stops on a two-day self-guided tour, many within convenient walking distance of the free Art Detour shuttle route. Docents ride along on two London-style double-decker buses circulating continuously at 20-minute intervals between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, while four information hubs at Phoenix Art Museum, Oasis on Grand, CityScape, and the Arizona Center provide volunteers ready to answer questions.
The adventure begins this evening with a greater-than-usual array of First Friday opportunities, including an open rehearsal by the Phoenix Chorale at Trinity Cathedral. While you’re there, check out Olney Gallery’s Color Color Color! exhibition, featuring work by Kaori Takamura, Sarah Kriehn, and Christopher Jagmin.
Elsewhere, the weekend is filled with live music — along with a multitude of casual performances like Bones of Folk’s Danyul Kostin at Oasis on Grand and the Moonlight Howlers at The Lost Leaf, tonight’s ambitious Viva Phx festival brings 70 groups — including Sir Mix-A-Lot, The Neighbourhood, Black Carl, Tobie Milford, and Pinback — to 14 venues ranging from Crescent Ballroom to the Hotel San Carlos to the Arizona Latino Arts and Cultural Center. The next day, Phoenix Blues Society’s Blues Blast ’14 fills Saturday with tunes from Hans Olson, Leon J’s JukeJoint, the Mike Eldred Trio, and other Rhythm Room stars at Margaret T. Hance Park — show an Art Detour map for a ticket discount.
Once your ears are satiated, fill your eyes with images from Artlink board member Hugo Medina, curator of the Phoenix Phabulous History Mural showing at Walter Studios. “I think it’s important that artists keep creating, pulling forward, which I try to do with my own work as well,” he says. “Phoenix is a phenomenal destination…. We’ve just got to start getting the collectors to start coming out, and that’s the challenge.”
For the month of March, R. Pela Contemporary Art will display Banned at the Herberger, including part of a controversial canceled show originally scheduled last fall at the Herberger Theater Center Art Gallery. The exhibit includes work by Mike Ford, Ronnie Ray Mendez, and Lisa Albinger. “Mike Ford’s photographs, about his relationship with his mother who has Alzheimer’s disease, have such depth,” says curator Robrt Pela. “There’s sadness, and camp, and real emotion. I had to share them.”
He continues, “I think that the art that I’m showing…I want there to be craftsmanship and beauty, but there has to be another element too…some commentary, some politics, some pain. It can’t just be something that’s lovely to look at because that isn’t quite enough.”
Other popular, highly-regarded mainstays anchoring First Friday and Art Detour include Practical Art and monOrchid. Great Arizona Puppet Theater offers edgy, quirky, adults-only Puppet Slams both Friday and Saturday nights.
All weekend, kids can find plenty of fun with finger-paint murals, demonstrations, workshops, and other family-friendly activities at Kids’ Detour, various galleries and studios, and the Blues Blast. Retailers and restaurateurs also add to the experience with extended weekend hours and specials.
If you go:
- Artlink First Friday on March 7
- Viva Phx music festival on March 7
- Phoenix Blues Society’s Blues Blast ’14 on March 8
- Artlink’s Art Detour 26 on March 8-9
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
New Venue, The Pressroom, Opening In Downtown Phoenix Warehouse District on February 14th
The Pressroom will feature national music acts by Danny Zelisko Presents, shows by burlesque troupe Scandalesque, DJ’s, local music, visual and performing art events and private venue rentals.
The Pressroom, located in the heart of the downtown Phoenix Warehouse District at 441 W. Madison Street will be kicking off their opening night on February 14th with a show by the talented burlesque troupe, Scandalesque, followed by a DJ dance party. This will be a 21+ event and tickets are still available.
Built in the 1920′s, the 14,000 square foot, red brick building once housed the most modern printing press in Arizona of the time. With a full liquor license, indoor 1000+ person capacity and ample outdoor space, the venue will accommodate a variety of uses and events. It serves as a great example of adaptive reuse in the urban core, and the close proximity to public transportation and freeway access make The Pressroom easily accessible.
Though events have taken place at this location in the past, The Pressroom – started by partners Jason Charles and Narender Raju, plan to take it to the next level. The venue features full bar, professional audio and visual equipment and a full-service experience for those renting the space. Charles also owns Latest Craze Productions and Raju, RSVP Special Events.
Danny Zelisko Presents will be bringing national music acts to the stage and Scandalesque will be performing their mesmerizing shows on a regular basis. Local DJ’s, bands and talent will have a place on the calendar as well, and The Pressroom will be producing some of their own special events when the venue isn’t booked.
“Downtown Phoenix is ready for more entertainment options.” says Charles. “We’re excited to bring our passion and expertise to the community and look forward to providing a great experience.”
People can follow The Pressroom Facebook page for information on upcoming events.
Current Upcoming Events and Shows:
- Feb. 14, 21 & 28 – Scandalesque – http://scandalesque.com/fever/
- Feb. 22 – Renegade Rollergirls – http://renegaderollergirlsseasonpener.brownpapertickets.com/
- March 24 – The Decibel Magazine Tour Featuring Carcass – http://ticketf.ly/1lHOoPw
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
16 Athletes Compete for Cash, Pride and Prizes at Rush Club Nation Event on January 18th in Downtown Phoenix
Eight men and eight women between the ages of 18 and 38, will take part in a fitness competition on January 18th designed to test strength, agility and endurance. Professional athletes Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and Josh Bridges will also participate in an exhibition before the Final throw down.
Rush Club, founded in February 2013 by Stacey D. Snyder and Abenadi (AJ) Richards was born from a shared love of fitness and the desire to create a workout competition that was all inclusive and exciting for people to watch. The duo takes pride in creating an electric atmosphere for their fans, and likes to call the feeling of involvement experiencing “the rush.” Stacey is a NASM certified personal trainer and AJ (a combat veteran of the Iraq war) is the owner of RushRx CrossFit Mesa.
Since its inception, RUSH CLUB has grown to see 500+ spectators at their local competitions. They have hosted 56 athletes on the Rush Club stage and have awarded approximately $7,000 in cash prizes. The pair has plans for continued growth of the competition and brand in 2014. Unlike traditional sport competitions where athletes typically pay a fee to participate, Rush Club caters to the athletes with no fee. This is made possible through sponsors, vendors and spectator ticket sales.
“I believe we are creating the most exciting head to head competition to draw crowds of all ages.” says Richards. “Our goal is to promote health and fitness in the most exciting way possible!”
“When you help people meet their physical goals and see how much it helps them overcome their mental hurdles too, that’s pretty powerful stuff.” adds Snyder. “This is a sporting match for anyone and everyone.”
A portion of the Final Rush event proceeds will benefit the United Phoenix Firefighters.
When: Saturday, January 18th, Doors open to the public at 12:30 p.m. Preliminary matchups kick off at 1:30 p.m.
Where: The Pressroom, 441 W Madison St.
Cost: $25 & Up
For more information on Rush Club Nation and to purchase tickets, visit: