Archive | May, 2006

Parking in Neighborhood Business Districts

I seem to have gotten myself prominently quoted in yesterday’s Tribune on parking in NW Portland.

In the same issue, there is an article on Sam Adams’ efforts to get paid parking in more business districts (more info on Sam’s blog).

Believe it or not, my neighborhood is actually an argument in favor of Sam’s approach.

While ultimately the insistence of the business association (one developer in particular) to attach off-street parking structures tanked any kind of consensus, the neighborhood had actually gotten behind the idea of paid parking before that point.

The key benefits of paid parking, particularly in near-in neighborhoods are:

  1. Remove park-and-hide commuters who drive into the inner city, park for free, then hop on transit to complete their trip downtown, avoiding downtown parking rates.
  2. Encourage turnover of parking spaces in front of retail shops and restaurants.
  3. Funnel meter revenue back into improvements in the neighborhood.

So I think Sam has it right, but I wish he could convince his Council colleagues to deal with the screwed-up stalemate in my neighborhood.

Northern Jealousy

Sometimes I just can’t help being a little jealous. Recently two pieces came across my desk about better mode splits for bikes and walking in Canada.

The Daily Score reports that in Vancouver, B.C., they’ve already blown past their 2021 goals (by 50%!) for bike and pedestrian trips.

And VTPI has an academic paper (PDF, 383K) on why Canadians cycle more than Americans (hint: shorter home-to-work distances are a big factor).

It would be nice to think that someday Portland could not just lead the nation, but lead the continent…

Update on Tolling

According to Saturday’s O, anti-toll signs are beginning to appear along 99W in Newberg. Meanwhile, motorists on 99W are going to be randomly sampled to determine origins and destinations and their attitudes toward polling.

This article also launched a thread on Blue Oregon.

Also in the news last week, Mitch Daniels, the Governor of Indiana, enthused all over the op-ed page of the New York Times about the virtues of tolling. A large part of his enthusiasm seems to be about using “other people’s money”. I’m assuming that means that their toll road attracts a lot of out-of-state traffic.

I don’t believe I’ve seen any analysis on how much of the traffic on the three toll projects ODOT is looking at comes from outside the immediate region.