DC parking, zoning, etc.: some vehicles are truly larger edition
There are two entries on GGW, "Capitol Hill ANC poised to endorse zoning update" (earlier) and "Looser parking requirements are no threat to DC" (more recent, incited by an op-ed in the Post, although the op-ed doesn't contribute much to the discussion) where there has been spirited discussion about the proposal in the upcoming zoning rewrite to eliminate mandatory parking provision requirements in what we would call transit zones.
I think the thing that the threads have convinced me is that it's not possible to do this without also simultaneously fixing the process, laws, regulations, and fees around residential street parking.
That process doesn't work now, as demand for street parking rises, the inventory of available spaces is fixed, and the city refuses to apply basic economic principles--when demand rises, increase the price, or as Edward Glaeser says in Triumph of the City, when a resource is free, people overconsume it (and a parking permit, at the negligible price of $35/year is basically free).
I discussed this in the blog entry, "Testimony on Parking Policy in DC," and the Post's Dr. Gridlock has a piece from last week, "Longtime residents fear D.C. government will push their cars off the streets," I think Dr. Gridlock's focus on what I would call rewarding long time residents for living in the city in bad times with cheap parking is misguided. Dr. G also mentions the 2013 Parking Action Agenda document released by DDOT last week, which I have not yet read.
From the article:
As the D.C. government builds the transportation system of tomorrow, with more transit, more car-sharing, more bike lanes, more walkable streets and less room for private cars, it’s fine to plan for hundreds of thousands of newcomers who will ensure the city lives on and prospers. But the government also needs to consider the people who stuck with the District for decades, through good and bad times.
They understand and appreciate the concept of mobility. Like Kweller, they want to have choices about getting around, and one of those choices may be a private car to haul groceries or take them where transit won’t go.
The issue is that today's circumstances are different than they were a couple decades ago, sure. And we have to deal with that, irrespective of the past.There are more people, there are more cars, there are bigger cars, and for the most part, all those people want to park in front of their house, for free, whenever they want.
Dr. G misses the point that he is not aiming to reward people sticking with the city, it's about rewarding car owners. And that choices have costs, not all of which are borne by the chooser.
What about rewarding those of us who've stuck with the city the last 25 or more years who've been bicycling, walking, using transit, not owning a car but using car sharing or occasionally renting vehicles?
This is like the argument people make, especially in Montgomery County, that there should be free parking at libraries, without acknowledging that they are asking for special privileges for their particular transportation mode, rather than asking for the same types of privileges for people using other modes, such as suggesting that transit fares to the library also be paid by the County. See "Rockville subsidy will let library patrons park for free" and "County won't provide free library parking" from the Gazette.
One of the points I made in one of the threads is that increased SUV ownership takes up more precious street space too. Some argued the point. The photos below are from yesterday on the 400 block of A Street SE.