The Worst Run Parking Lot In Milwaukee - And The City Doesn't Care!
A couple of weeks ago, the Milwaukee School Board threatened to dissolve MPS in an effort to scare the public into giving it more money to waste. This option was quickly taken off the table when the School Board learned that a lot of people thought that this would be a good idea!
At least a few urban school districts in the midwest are now run by the Mayor. The idea is that by charging City Hall with running the schools, you get greater accountability. If the Mayor can't get the job done, he or she gets replaced.
Given how screwed up the Milwaukee School Board is, the idea of turning control over to the City is appealing on several levels. At the same time, this is the same City that is incapable of running a parking lot! If you can't figure out how to park cars without causing a riot, how can you run a school system?
A week or so ago, a melee broke out in the City-owned parking structure across the street from the Bradley Center. It seems that people who had parked in the structure to attend the Celine Dion concert became trapped for over an hour when they tried to leave. Not surprisingly, tempers flared.
The idiots that run the parking garage say that the problem was caused because the lot was full! In a typically bureaucratic response, they say they have no plans to make any changes.
Think about it! It took over an hour for people to get out of a parking lot and the City doesn't believe it has a problem? Now that's customer service City of Milwaukee style!
There are people who commit violent crimes in Milwaukee who serve less time than the people who were trapped in the parking garage that night!
The problem with this structure is not unique to the Celine Dion concert. Anyone who has ever had the misfortune to be parked in this lot for a Bucks game or a Marquette game can testify to how poorly run this particular garage is.
Leave it to the City of Milwaukee to be unable to figure out how to run a parking lot!
At most parking lots around sports facilities, you give you money to a person when you pull in. Typically, after the event, all the exits are open and you simply drive out through the nearest one. It's not really rocket science. Some delays are inevitable - but they're manageable.
At the structure across from the Bradley Center - for reasons that pass understanding - you don't give your money to a person when you pull in. Rather, you self-park and then stand in line to pay your fee at a machine in the lobby. When you try to leave the parking structure, you then have to put your receipt in a machine next to the gate. If you're lucky, the gate opens up.
There are a number of problems with this system.
First, people occasionally fail to realize that they are supposed to pay at machines in the lobby rather than at the gate on the way out. In this situation, if someone gets to the gate without a receipt, they can't get out (and neither can anyone behind them).
Second, making each car stop at a gate, insert a ticket, wait for the gate to open and then pull out adds an incredible amount of time to the process. If the gates (and all three exits) were open, traffic could exit the parking ramp with relative ease.
For the Celine Dion concert, the geniuses the run the parking structure decided to have only one of the three exits open. On top of this, one of the parking machines was not functioning properly. As a result, everybody leaving the structure was funneled through two lanes of traffic - and one of those lanes wasn't operating properly.
It's a wonder that some of those people aren't still trapped!
This entire problem gets avoided if you simply have people pay cash to an attendant when they go in. If you want to charge one rate for people who park during weekdays and charge a different rate for special events, fine. The point though is that following high traffic events, every exit should always be open. Also, people shouldn't have to mess around with sticking tickets into automated exit gates that may or may not work.
I'm not condoning some of the boorish behavior that some trapped motorists exhibited after the Celene Dion concert. At the same time, I understand their frustration.
If we can figure out how to put a man on the moon and how to get the imitation cream inside a Hostess Twinkie, you'd think the City of Milwaukee could figure out how to run a parking lot. I guess that's expecting too much though.
In the meantime, my advice to anyone attending an event at the Bradley Center is to avoid the parking garage across the street like the plague. I know it sounds crazy but this is Milwaukee - where we can't figure out how to run either schools or parking lots!