Flexcar Policy at City Council Tomorrow

For those of you who followed our discussion of City policy on use of on-street parking spaces for car-sharing, the proposed policy is on the City Council agenda for 9:30 tomorrow (6/21) time-certain [time certain means it can’t start before that time, it will almost certainly start a few minutes later].

Come down and share your views with the Council.


4 responses to “Flexcar Policy at City Council Tomorrow”

  1. This idea that Flexcars cost parking revenue is short sighted. You could make same argument about bus stops and max platforms- in one sense they use up space that could be used for metered parking, but the benefit is that car sharing users can avoid adding to congestion by using the cars only when needed.

    If I can, I’ll come to city hall tommorow and make the same argument. Let these companies get more established, and when they are mature, charge them a very low rate with incentives to expand, give incentives to parking lot and garage owners to host Flex cars. Give incentives for parking Flex car hybrid/ alt fuel vehicles in the metered spaces.

  2. Another point. The city “gives away” parking in “loading zones” to commercial vehicles all over the place. I recognize the obvious need for loading zones so before some curmudgeon accuses me of trying to end loading zones, that is not my point. But Flexcars help commerce as well and deserve a place to serve the public without being hit for ful fare metered parking. Look at the environmental and decongestion benefit for an employer to have staff come to work on bike/ transit and grab a flex car during the day for business travel. It also is much cheaper to hand out monthly bus passes than downtown parking spots. Having space for the flex cars downtown to allow that to happen is not unlike having space for trucks to deliver goods. It makes our city business friendly to make flex cars prevalent.

  3. David, I’ve tried both those arguments on the PDOT folks working on the policy. There are counterarguments:

    – Transit Stops benefit a public agency (TriMet), not a private enterprise.

    – Loading zones benefit a wide variety of users, it would be difficult to figure out who to extract a fee from.

    But the one that holds up for me is Taxi Zones. These benefit a limited number of commercial enterprises that are not asked to pay for the use of the space on the curb that might otherwise be used for metered parking. And the availability of Taxi Zones serves the broad mobility needs of the general public, not unlike Flexcar.

    So until the City is willing to charge the cab companies for these zones, I would argue that they should not charge Flexcar!

    [Some might argue that the franchise fee (medallion fee?) that cab companies pay might be compensation for these spaces – but I have never heard that direct linkage made.]

  4. Flexcar, schmexcar. I want to see want the
    powers that be are doing for people who live
    or want to live the true carless life–Portland’s
    changing demographics means more singles and
    childless couples–a lot of whom who could
    probably do without cars, anyway.

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