A Solution to the Downtown Parking Problem

To: Maiden Lane Parking
From: Rob Madeo
Re: Garage at 11 South Pearl Street

First, let me say what a fan I am of your parking lots and garages. Judging by their immaculate upkeep and attentive customer service, it’s obvious that your company takes great pride in the facilities you operate.

That is why I’d like to join the ranks of your satisfied customers.

For a quarter century I was able to park just a few steps from my office. That changed in September. Now getting to work means parking on the outskirts of Albany and climbing on a shuttle bus to get downtown.
As you can imagine, this is very inconvenient, especially on days when I’d prefer to have my car nearby.

From my office window I’ve noticed that the spaces on the roof of your garage at 11 South Pearl Street are underutilized. I am guessing this is because customers would rather not park where their cars will be exposed to the elements.

In order to better use your resources and address my parking situation, I am proposing to pay you $50 per month for the privilege of parking on the roof of that garage. I realize that this is significantly less than the normal rate of $140 per month, but as they say, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Additionally, leasing me a space will reduce the inventory of available parking in Downtown Albany. This will have the effect of increasing the value of your property.

Please let me know if this sounds like an agreeable arrangement. I’d be willing to begin on Monday, June 7; I’m sure it would be a most satisfactory relationship for both of us.

17 thoughts on “A Solution to the Downtown Parking Problem

  1. Rob –

    Just because there’s a parking structure visible there, doesn’t mean that the parking structure itself is safe for long-term parking. Case in point – there used to be a parking garage at 102-104 State Street, where the Albany County office building stands now. I remember friends of mine who parked there because they worked in adjacent buildings, and over time there were many complaints of cars getting damaged due to dripping rust-corroded water leaks. In fact, at one point before it was razed, it was declared unusable as a parking facility – however, it was used on “emergency” situations (note – “emergency” situations meant they could charge $20/car when the Grateful Dead came to the arena).

  2. I’ll bet there’s some bizarro world contract deal between some government entity and Maiden Lane to keep those spots empty, sort of like how the Feds/USDA pay farmers NOT to grow crops, so prices to end consumers stay high due to (artificially) low supply on the producer’s side. Parking stock in Albany seems like just as manipulable a commodity, and I am all but certain than Maiden Lane is making money on those empty spots. Only question in my mind is whether it’s the City or the State that’s tinkering with the supply-demand curve . . .

  3. Chuck: If I get a spot on the roof, rusty drips should not be a problem. If liquids begin dripping up, then we will all be in a world or trouble.

    JES: It could be that all the spots are owned, but the customers do not use them every day.

    An OGS parking lot attendant once claimed that they oversell the remote lots because they expect a certain percentage of the workers to be absent or on vacation every day.

  4. If in fact those empty spots that are referenced in your open letter are those of a Maiden Lane facility, they’re empty because of the extreme cost of $140/month just to park there. It’s all about the almighty dollar bill with Maiden Lane and not about serving customers. It is insanity to charge that amount for people to be able to park at work, just insanity. To prove this, someday take a look at the exorbitant price charged by Maiden Lane to patrons of the Times Union Center to attend their events. It’s all about their wealth and not about people like you, seriously…

  5. Melanie: We all respect the right to make a buck, and if Maiden Lane can charge a premium during TU events, I guess it’s their choice to do so. However, as capitalists I’m sure they will find my offer irresistible — and this is probably the first time anyone’s asked for such a deal. Since I’m filling unwanted space on the roof, so much the better.

  6. I don’t know if you are serious or not, but I think that your response to Melanie is absolutely correct. The price and cost are appropriate to whatever fills the space. I hope that you do get to set the market for parking with a view.

  7. BL! Parking is no joking matter downtown.

    To some, even $50 sounds like a lot, but I’m already paying OGS $22 per month. On top of that, I probably spring for a private lot four times a month at $7 a pop. Yes, that’s an extravagance, but if you need to get somewhere immediately after work, what are you gonna do?

  8. Parking in downtown Albany is crazy. My husband actually pays more for his monthly parking than he does for our family’s monthly insurance!

  9. I used to work at a bank downtown…my supervisor went out every 1 and 1/2 hours to move his car to another space so he wouldn’t get a ticket..it saved him money, but porbably cost the bank millions over the years, because he was out looking for a parking space most of the day.

  10. Parking rates do climb upwards when the TU has events, and people will pay because it’s convenient.

    I get paid parking as part of my employment agreement – however it’s the Maiden Lane lot at Green and Hudson, which is basically an urban mountain range.

  11. When did you take that picture?

    The roof is empty because they have been resurfacing the concrete up there for the past few weeks.

    Or, did you purposely crop that out of the picture to make a story up for posting on your blog?

  12. Monkeyboy: You’re right, but I took the shot before they went whole hog on the resurfacing. On the day the photo was shot they were still open for business on the roof. However, it was early in the morning; by afternoon there would be another half dozen cars in the area.

    You don’t really think I would make something up, do you? 😉

    If you can see the roof from your office, then you know there are always empty spots. Is it so wrong to want one?

  13. Hey Rob, Did Maiden Lane ever take you up on the offer??? I bet your offer was not as irresistable to them as you thought. I completely disagree that it may be a right choice for them to charge the premium they charge for TU events, in fact it’s absolutely sickening. His right to make a buck is why he charges $140/month and will not take you up on your proposal. Park in your $22/month OGS spot and deal with it. Consider yourself lucky to have the option for a state sponsored spot. Some of us in downtown get no parking whatsoever from our employer.

  14. Melanie, I have a confession to make. I know this is going to upset some of my regular readers, but it’s time to fess up: I was not being completely serious when I suggested that Maiden Lane give me a space for $50.

    Yeah, I know this looks bad, and sort of calls into question my credibility, but I’m hopelessly addicted to this sort of wiseassery.

    Since we’re being honest, I also need to admit that my pets don’t really talk to me during our morning meeting. Sorry.

  15. I sure hope that re-surfacing ends soon. My office affords a direct view from my floor at 90 State. I was wondering why they were: making holes, and then filling them up. Making holes, then…

    It’s been going on for a while now.

    (Not that I stand around in my office with nothing to do but look out my windows.)

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