Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Don't bring your cars to town

Live, work, and shop where life is easier.  Don't let Metro screw up the suburbs!  
  1. The city creates parking problems by not requiring, or even allowing, developers  to supply adequate parking.
  2. Parking is scarce and expensive.
  3. Citizens are angry. 
  4. Central Planners are thrilled.  By establishing maximum parking codes, they have created a planned parking shortage to discourage cars in the city.  
This is not just Portland's problem - Lake Grove is working on a parking plan now to resolve a problem that is largely the City's fault by not requiring enough parking for new developments, and the Wizer Block will usher in a new demand for on-street parking not seen in downtown.  The new concept in parking management planning is to make parking pricing demand driven like airline pricing.  If you have to do errands or work at peak times - it will cost you dearly.

As much as planners might want it to be true, people don't get rid of their cars when parking is tough - they will either find another place to live or shop, or they will park in local neighborhoods, bringing the problems there too.  There's a term for the animosity toward automobiles, it's
Smart Growth
Smart Growth advocates don't like cars - they take up real estate.  
Hey planners, in the real world, we don't all ride bikes or use transit.  Get used to it.

Readers' Letters:  City could be charging you twice to park
Portland Tribune, July 16, 2015  

In Oregon, the majority of funding for streets and roads — curb to curb — comes from motorist-paid gas taxes (Parking getting scarce, costly, July 2). Local on-street parking in the curb zone now is being called a separated commodity by the Portland Bureau of Transportation, possibly with an additional price attached that would charge motorists for something twice.
If a portion of that same commodity space is exclusively being used to accommodate another use — specifically alternative-mode vehicles such as bicycles, buses or the streetcar — then equity requires that the users of these alternative modes also must pay their share for what is being consumed. Anything less would be unjust and reflects a form of discriminatory bias toward the automobile.
Terry Parker
Northeast Portland

TRIBUNE PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Rick Williams shows where bike lockers in the Lloyd District have helped reduce car commutes.
Parking getting scarce, costly

A little more than a month ago Seattle-based developer Footprint began leasing 200-square-foot micro apartments a few doors down from Freeman’s store, in the new permit zone. Footprint’s Thurman building does not include parking for residents of its 54 apartments. But the developers said their model, already tested in Seattle, would add very few cars to the street. Renters would be young, and public transit is nearby. In fact, the developers predicted only about seven of the tenants would own cars.
Lisa Freeman bought a $60 parking permit anyway. And waited. She says the first week Footprint started renting she began seeing new cars with out-of-state plates in the few all-day spaces on Thurman. No way there are only seven cars coming from the new apartment building, she says.
“It’s been hellish,” Freeman says. “I paid for a parking permit, and there are no spots.” And Freeman’s not only talking about parking for her car when she arrives at work in the morning. She needs parking for her customers.
Parking may be unpredictable, but that hasn’t stopped the folks at PBOT from trying to engineer us into the future. This week parking visionaries from up and down the West Coast came to Portland for a parking symposium. They spoke about innovations taking place in other cities, and as a group are pretty unified about what the future of Portland parking will look like.
In Seattle and San Francisco, $1 an hour meters incentivize drivers to park on streets that have an abundance of open spaces, while meters on streets where parking is rarely available charge drivers up to $4 an hour. Variable rate parking already has come to Portland, by the way. Ever notice that during Timbers games meters around Providence Park charge $3.50 an hour instead of the standard $1.60 an hour? Those spots get snapped up quickly anyway, parking officials say. Expect many more parking meters with rates based on supply and demand in the future.
In fact, you can expect in the future to be paying just about any time you park your car, says local parking consultant Rick Williams. Parking spaces slowly, but surely have become recognized as a commodity which cities can manipulate in all sorts of ways.

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