Leave the Parking to City Hall

Santa Monica mulls over the idea of a centralized valet system for downtown

It's still in the planning stages, but city officials are considering whether to try a centralized valet system. The program would include multiple locations at which vehicles could be dropped off, then parked in the downtown area.

The Santa Monica Daily Press reported that there are 27 city licensed drop-off/pick-up locations. Those are privately operated at hotels, restaurants and other businesses.

Bayside District Corp. Land and Asset Committee would be the likely candidate to run a centralized service, the Press reported:

Business interests have talked about creating a valet program for years, however, nothing has materialized because running one is expensive, experts said, and Downtown poses many logistical problems, such as where to store the cars and where to locate valet stands that will not interfere with the flow of traffic but make it convenient for shoppers. 

With six valet stations, 411 vehicles would have to be parked nightly at $7 per vehicle -- just to break even, according to the Press' report.

Similar centralized operations are in place in Beverly Hills, Culver City, Old Town Pasadena and Manhattan Beach.

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