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Old 10-22-2014, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,499,569 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Sure it does.

If you can't see the relation to transit and minimum parking requirements, I have no idea what to tell you. Seattle obviously can see it. That's why it doesn't require minimum parking requirements in areas within 1/4 mile of frequent transit.

If the market rate and subsidized rates are similar, why waste taxpayer money on subsidies?
Well then I guess you need to explain what you are talking about. Are you saying Portland's parking rates downtown should go up?

Portland did have a loophole for a no minimum parking requirement, but that made a number of buildings go up in neighborhoods that had limited street parking and made the parking situation worse in those neighborhoods so that has been changed. Personally I think Portland's minimum parking requirements is much more realistic than cities that have that minimum set too high.
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Old 10-22-2014, 01:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Sure it does.

If you can't see the relation to transit and minimum parking requirements, I have no idea what to tell you.
I don't use the word lazy much, but your statement is just that. You didn't even bother to try and identify the relationship between parking requirements/necessity and transit availability. Worse, you implied it was he who was in the wrong for not immediately grasping why you brought it up.
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,056 posts, read 16,063,174 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
Well then I guess you need to explain what you are talking about. Are you saying Portland's parking rates downtown should go up?

Portland did have a loophole for a no minimum parking requirement, but that made a number of buildings go up in neighborhoods that had limited street parking and made the parking situation worse in those neighborhoods so that has been changed. Personally I think Portland's minimum parking requirements is much more realistic than cities that have that minimum set too high.
I doubt they would go up. How much of the total parking downtown is SmartPark? Is it enough of the market that not subsidizing those garages would really increase the costs significantly?

My points are there if you want to go back and re-read them. I'll briefly summarize:
1) Portland does not regulate parking prices of any garages.
2) If the subsidized prices on the operated-at-a-loss SmartPark garages are similar to the market rate, why subsidize them.
3) I'm very much unconvinced that having the taxpayer foot the bill for parking is a desirable thing. I'd get rid of the subsidies and let the market provide parking at market rates.

One of the biggest complainers of the SmartPark system, aside from your general criticism of nepotism and corruption and mismanagement every time the contract comes up, is the primary beneficiary of Portland's parking revenue, transit. It's been pointed out numerous times that not under pricing the SmartPark garages would mean more revenue to porkmark for transit.

Basically, Portland is mismanaging an asset causing it to lose money that the taxpayer foots the bill for. As a consequence of that, you get five garages with artificially cheap pricing. Is that a good policy?
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,056 posts, read 16,063,174 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
I don't use the word lazy much, but your statement is just that. You didn't even bother to try and identify the relationship between parking requirements/necessity and transit availability. Worse, you implied it was he who was in the wrong for not immediately grasping why you brought it up.
I feel no need to rehash all the points made in this thread regarding transit that have previously occurred. If someone wants to make the claim that transit isn't related, I'll simply say they are wrong. I'm not going to summarize the thread for someone who is too lazy to read. Try using the search thread function. It's very easy. Probably faster than taking the time to make either of these pointless posts.
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Old 10-23-2014, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,414 posts, read 11,910,584 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
The only reason the so-called "cost" of parking is more than negligible is because of high land values. Of course when cities get dense/overcrowded that means land values soar and it costs a more than negligible amount to provide parking. This is what I am calling sick and twisted, but many people are so used to it they don't bat an eye. We humans are pretty flexible, and we seemingly adapt to even the claustrophobia-inducing conditions so loved by urbanists. But that was not our natural environment for tens of thousands of years. We were used to a little space. A yard around our house and a driveway for visitors to park in are hardly the wide-open spaces of yesteryear, but even that small iota of space sure as hell beats urban living.
I'm sorry, but simply speaking, this is not true. For the majority of human history, most people lived in very small but dense settlements. Hunter-gatherers have to constantly worry about being attacked by outsiders or wild animals, and hence sought safety in numbers. The same was generally true of settled agriculturalists - they preferred to live together in very tightly-packed villages wherever possible, not in isolated farmsteads, because raiders could always set upon them and massacre them before anyone found them. For the same reason, surviving Medieval cities are very dense indeed, and surrounded by city walls.

The idea of individual families having lots of personal space is very modern. In the U.S. context, it required the pacification of the frontier (e.g., massacre and displacement of Indians), along with widespread use of firearms and horses. Even then, it was largely relegated to rural areas until transportation innovations in the late 19th and early 20th century allowed it for the masses.

Regardless, I'm not saying that either the desire for, or lack of desire for, lots of personal space is right or wrong. But arguing through appeal to nature that we "desire a little space" is just false. Through most of history, most people have lived cheek-to-jowl with their closest neighbors. And even today, the U.S. is unusual culturally in our focus on personal space. You'll immediately notice this if you travel to Asia, and see how people think nothing of sitting down at the same table in a restaurant as you.
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:03 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,983 posts, read 41,921,149 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I'm sorry, but simply speaking, this is not true. For the majority of human history, most people lived in very small but dense settlements. Hunter-gatherers have to constantly worry about being attacked by outsiders or wild animals, and hence sought safety in numbers. The same was generally true of settled agriculturalists - they preferred to live together in very tightly-packed villages wherever possible, not in isolated farmsteads, because raiders could always set upon them and massacre them before anyone found them. For the same reason, surviving Medieval cities are very dense indeed, and surrounded by city walls.
However, you could interpert that as humans desired more space, but they didn't have the ability to live that way until recently. The developments surrounding the old city walls of cities of northern Europe, where nearly every piece of ground is built up, do have more space than the old cities once more constrained and even more so going further out as they were built in response to faster transportation technology. Not as extreme as the US, but the pattern is still there.

American rural villages were never that dense, though old world ones often are.
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,499,569 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
I doubt they would go up. How much of the total parking downtown is SmartPark? Is it enough of the market that not subsidizing those garages would really increase the costs significantly?

My points are there if you want to go back and re-read them. I'll briefly summarize:
1) Portland does not regulate parking prices of any garages.
2) If the subsidized prices on the operated-at-a-loss SmartPark garages are similar to the market rate, why subsidize them.
3) I'm very much unconvinced that having the taxpayer foot the bill for parking is a desirable thing. I'd get rid of the subsidies and let the market provide parking at market rates.

One of the biggest complainers of the SmartPark system, aside from your general criticism of nepotism and corruption and mismanagement every time the contract comes up, is the primary beneficiary of Portland's parking revenue, transit. It's been pointed out numerous times that not under pricing the SmartPark garages would mean more revenue to porkmark for transit.

Basically, Portland is mismanaging an asset causing it to lose money that the taxpayer foots the bill for. As a consequence of that, you get five garages with artificially cheap pricing. Is that a good policy?
All I said is that SmartPark rates are similar to street parking rates.

If you want to get into a huge discussion of parking policies in Portland, you should probably start a new thread because I am not going to get into a long discussion with you on this thread over a simple comment I made about the cost of parking.
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:21 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,983 posts, read 41,921,149 times
Reputation: 14804
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
My points are there if you want to go back and re-read them. I'll briefly summarize:
1) Portland does not regulate parking prices of any garages.
2) If the subsidized prices on the operated-at-a-loss SmartPark garages are similar to the market rate, why subsidize them.
3) I'm very much unconvinced that having the taxpayer foot the bill for parking is a desirable thing. I'd get rid of the subsidies and let the market provide parking at market rates.
One of the biggest drivers of transit use downtown is scarce or expensive parking. Adding subsidized transit (such as a bunch of light rail lines) and subsidizing parking at the same time downtown is spending money one end to get less use at spending at the other end. The opposite policy is Calgary, which has a similar sized light rail system (actually shorter) but caps the amount of commercial parking downtown. Not suggesting Portland should persue that policy but is a good recipe for lots of transit use into downtown, though not the only reason for Calgary's high transit use. I'm not necessarily opposed to subsidizing parking, if only for consistency, I'm not opposed to subsidized transit. But I'd argue that encouraging parking in a large downtown is usually not the best goal, since downtowns are space limited and do best with more pedestrians and more use per space (otherwise it's not much more than a vertical office park).

But smaller downtowns in car-centric surroundings, planning a few public garages and maybe providing subsidizing could be worthwhile, depending on your point of view. Instead of having private garages try to find space. It's unrealisitic to expect most not living right nearby to take transit. The downtown of my town exempts businesses from commercial parking requirements if they pay a fee that is used to support the municipal downtown parking. Even a neighborhood commercial district in Brooklyn does have a municipal garage, probably to compete against motorists driving further away to shopping plazas. I don't know if it's subsizided, the rates aren't that cheap and it's part of a BID. Note if the rates were too cheap, people might use it as a park and ride for the nearby subway station.
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Old 10-23-2014, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,414 posts, read 11,910,584 times
Reputation: 10533
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
However, you could interpret that as humans desired more space, but they didn't have the ability to live that way until recently. The developments surrounding the old city walls of cities of northern Europe, where nearly every piece of ground is built up, do have more space than the old cities once more constrained and even more so going further out as they were built in response to faster transportation technology. Not as extreme as the US, but the pattern is still there.

American rural villages were never that dense, though old world ones often are.
I suppose one could make that argument, since all cultures have "spread out" somewhat once they had the means to do so - even though most did not do so to the extent Americans did, as they lived in societies without a largely empty frontier which could always absorb further population growth.

A confounding factor, however, is that very early on in civilization, wealthier people managed to use their power to get larger homes, as well as semi-rural estates if they were really lucky. As such, one could ask if it was actually open spaces people naturally desired, or to be perceived as being high status/wealthy by their peers?

One could also argue that what we find stressful about dense areas is not so much being close to people, but being close to people we do not know. In the average hunter-gatherer band, there are only around 150 people at maximum - many of which will be first or second-order relatives, and the remainder being the social equivalent of best friends and coworkers we see every day. While family and friends can assuredly get on our nerves, it's probably easier dealing with them in close quarters then people who are essentially strangers.
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Old 10-23-2014, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,056 posts, read 16,063,174 times
Reputation: 12630
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
One of the biggest drivers of transit use downtown is scarce or expensive parking. Adding subsidized transit (such as a bunch of light rail lines) and subsidizing parking at the same time downtown is spending money one end to get less use at spending at the other end. The opposite policy is Calgary, which has a similar sized light rail system (actually shorter) but caps the amount of commercial parking downtown. Not suggesting Portland should persue that policy but is a good recipe for lots of transit use into downtown, though not the only reason for Calgary's high transit use. I'm not necessarily opposed to subsidizing parking, if only for consistency, I'm not opposed to subsidized transit. But I'd argue that encouraging parking in a large downtown is usually not the best goal, since downtowns are space limited and do best with more pedestrians and more use per space (otherwise it's not much more than a vertical office park).

But smaller downtowns in car-centric surroundings, planning a few public garages and maybe providing subsidizing could be worthwhile, depending on your point of view. Instead of having private garages try to find space. It's unrealisitic to expect most not living right nearby to take transit. The downtown of my town exempts businesses from commercial parking requirements if they pay a fee that is used to support the municipal downtown parking. Even a neighborhood commercial district in Brooklyn does have a municipal garage, probably to compete against motorists driving further away to shopping plazas. I don't know if it's subsizided, the rates aren't that cheap and it's part of a BID. Note if the rates were too cheap, people might use it as a park and ride for the nearby subway station.
Yeah, many places do the municipal garage, but I don't know that they're actually subsidized at all. For example, Stockton where I grew up had their parking garages foreclosed on in the bankruptcy. I'm at that courthouse on occasion. The hourly rates haven't changed to my knowledge, still $2/hour as they've always been. That seems to be an approximate. If parking was grossly underpriced (whether it was subsidized or just not priced to maximize revenue), I'd assume the now private owners of the old municipal garages would have raised prices for parking. If you're in Portland where the market is $3-5/hour and the municipal garages are charging half of that, they're under pricing the municipal garages. In Portland's case, the SmartPark garages do lose money, but even if they didn't, it's intentionally under pricing an asset, which is the transit advocates complaint since transit is the beneficiary of parking revenue.

San Francisco's municipal garages, at least under the Park SF pilot are actually priced to be ~85% capacity rather than maximize revenue. They might make more by increasing the price and having slightly lower occupancy. So, yeah, I realize there can be other priorities than simply maximizing revenue for municipal garages, although I honestly think SF Park is pretty close to maximizing revenue. The expectation, of course, was that parking was under priced, but the finding has been more that it's over priced for the most part except certain streets. But anyway, I think SF Park is fairly revenue neutral all in all, but I have nothing backing that up.

I guess you could also have situations where, say, a downtown merchants association provides subsidized parking to compete with other businesses. Again, even if that's a governmental agency, I don't have any problem with that. Having the general taxpayer, most of whom don't really go to that specific neighborhood pay for the subsidies however... just not into it. If a downtown merchant association wants to form a special tax district to do that, I think that's great. If you want to subsidize that sort of thing, great. Just don't ask people who don't use it to pay for it. Especially if we're talking about taxing the less privileged to private tons of subsidized parking, $20 million subsidies for bars and pizza places, expensive streetcars with low ridership, and so on for the privileged neighborhoods, which is usually how it goes, I'm REALLY against that.
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