March 7, 2006
Let's Untangle the Neighborhood that Tried it First
Anna Griffin reports in the Oregonian today that Sam Adams would like neighborhood business districts to consider paid parking, funneling the revenue back into their neighborhoods.
I couldn't agree more. For 18 months I served on a Citizens Advisory Committee that arrived at the same conclusion for my neighborhood in NW Portland.
But that was only the beginning. Neighborhood businesses would not accept the plan without adding off-street parking, and the key developer involved insisted on a parking structure location that required rezoning a residential lot and tearing down a house. You can imagine the flap that ensued.
When the dust settled, the parking structure was approved, and the rest of the plan was still on the shelf. And two years of court cases followed.
So, Sam, how about we fix the mess in NW Portland first, then use that as the example to other business districts?
March 9, 2006 6:49 AM
Parking meters are illegal. Check out why North Dakota has no parking meters in the whole state. A court case there, quite a few years ago, ruled them illegal.
When will that happen around here?
March 9, 2006 7:07 AM
Chris Smith Says:
Well, that would take care of the Transit Mall question, since parking meter revenues are a significant portion of the funding.
March 9, 2006 8:28 AM
Taxes are illegal, too. Last time I checked, the people who didn't pay go to jail?
March 9, 2006 11:22 AM
Lenny Anderson Says:
For parking meters to work in commercial districts, adjacent residential areas must have a permit system, so they are not overwhelmed with meter dodgers. I think some of the resistance in NWDA came over the parking permit need, not parking meters.
Generally, parking as a "problem" in Portland is for me about the same kind of "problem" as congestion. Compare Portland to a bustling city anywhere, and there really is no problem. We are too ready to compare ourselves to how things were in the "golden 80's" when unemployment was 10%. I often see current "congestion" compared to 1982, when the only crowded roads were those leading out of state.
My favorite parking story is from Frankfurt/M. At a party a friend asks another guest, "did you drive over?". "No," she said, "I have a great parking spot right in front of my apartment, so I took the streetcar!"
The more parking provided, the more cars you get; its a downward spiral.