History of SPA
Parking in the limited and valuable property defined by a central business district of a city is normally expensive. Land use, environmental and esthetic issues all play a role in the quantity, location and cost of parking. Springfield city governmental officials had great insight into the city's future economic development needs when they envisioned and authorized the Springfield Parking Authority (SPA) in the hopes that public parking prices for its citizens could be kept as low as costs of upkeep would allow. They knew that a public authority would not have a profit margin built into its pricing.
The Springfield Parking Authority (SPA) is a body politic, and corporate and a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, created and approved by the mayor and city council of Springfield and the Massachusetts Legislature in 1981. The SPA is primarily responsible for the development and management of a comprehensive public off-street parking system in support of economic development activities in downtown Springfield. Beginning in 2008, the Springfield Parking Authority has taken over management of on-street parking. This includes maintenance of all on-street parking equipment, monitoring of on-street parking usage, citation issuance and collection, and parking studies to better serve the City of Springfield.
How SPA is Funded
The SPA is a public enterprise which is financially independent of the city of Springfield. It uses fees collected at its parking facilities to cover the costs of operation and debt service. The SPA develops its budget based on a break-even analysis and raises its revenues only when needed to cover its cost including capital repairs. The SPA issues its own bonds (with the approval of the mayor), owns property, enters into contracts in its own name, and may exercise its power of eminent domain with the prior approval of the mayor and city council. It also issues its own Parking Violation Notices (parking tickets) for rules infractions in its parking facilities.
on the City
SPA parkers from other areas have consistently expressed their pleasure at the quantity of parking available at federal, state and city government centers, the entertainment district, the Civic Center, the court complex and downtown businesses. Management at the SPA works creatively to assist event planners.
Of special significance in Springfield is the advent of a notable entertainment district on the Worthington Street corridor. Walking traffic to and from the SPA's Dwight Street and Morgan Square lots and Taylor Street and Columbus Center garages resemble the crowds of larger cities on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The city's restaurants and night-clubs attract audiences from throughout the area.
Tourists enjoy visiting Springfield and parking at the SPA's facilities.
The facilities are well lit. The SPA's security works with community policing to encourage responsible parking and has developed a safety tips handout that reminds parkers not to invite intrusion. The SPA's parkers have expressed their thanks for the reminders left on their cars. Key suggestions are reminders to lock doors, not leave keys, spitter tickets or key cards visible and to put presents and briefcases in trunks. The easy accessibility and visibility of the SPA facilities has played an important role in downtown development. Look for the ParkSPA logo and park reasonably.