Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Parking, parking, parking #2: notes from elsewhere

1.  In San Francisco, the Mayor has forced the end of metered parking on Sunday, even though it aids in parking turnover which supports commercial districts ("Why Free Sunday Parking Is a Bad Deal for Everyone," Atlantic Cities, "Mayor Lee’s Spineless Sunday Meter Reversal: Bad for Business, Bad for SF," Streetsblog SF).

According to the charts in The Atlantic piece, parking availability increased from 15% to 31% on Sundays, once metering was introduced.

It's said that the ending of Sunday metering has been done to build support for a big bond initiative on the November ballot ("S.F. leaders begin $1.5 billion push for transit funding," San Francisco Chronicle), which requires a 2/3 vote, and a parallel vote to increase the motor vehicle registration fee, both to increase funding for transportation infrastructure improvement.  I will be writing more about that particular initiative in a different post about local, state, and national transportation funding initiatives.

2.  Also in San Francisco, a mobile web app has cropped up that allows people using parking spaces to pay them directly to leave so that the payer can take the space.  Speaking of economics, it's an illustration of parking being underpriced, which allows these kinds of disintermediation activities.  See "Sell your S.F. parking spot for $20?" from the Chronicle.

It wouldn't allow the payer to park for free, because the new meters immediately decrement to zero once a car leaves the space.

3.  And in another example of the anti-civil society inclination of the ultra right, parking meters and "meter maids" are being harassed in Keene, New Hampshire, according to the New York Times ("Libertarians Trail Meter Readers, Telling Town: Live Free or Die").

I would counter-argue that government is "the people," and the point of charging for parking on the street is to encourage parking turnover and "better use" of the spaces, especially in support of local economic activity.  Not that I would expect much in the way of civil discourse on the issue, which I guess is the attitude I should take with Eastern Market, maybe not in terms of the discussion, but in terms of the inflexibility of the positions put forth by the merchants.

-- Free Keene/Robin Hood project

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