Smart Growth and business folks talk parking
Cheryl Cort of the Coalition for Smarter Growth, the Downtown BID's Alex Block, and I talked with Bruce DePuyt this morning about parking policy.
DePuyt phrased the issue well early in the discussion: the simple challenge is that not everyone can park in a place like downtown. Some people need to drive, but everyone can't, so the basic policy debate is how to allocate limited spaces among different people in the "fairest" way, whatever that is (special set-asides for groups like residents or those with disabilities, market forces, and/or our current policy, allocating based on who will tolerate the most circling to find a spot or who gets lucky).
If DC changes its policies in this realm, it's not about "discouraging" people from driving; as a number of you pointed out in the comments on some recent articles, it's DC's growth, not a government conspiracy, that's making parking scarcer. All the government can do is change the way it manages the available space, for better or worse.
Block also noted that businesses in the BID don't expect they can gain customers by increasing parking, because it's not practical. Instead, what they want is a good parking "experience": making it easier to find where the empty spaces are, smoother methods of payment, etc.
Our discussion came in advance of a parking "summit" DDOT is holding this Tuesday 12/4, 6:30 pm at One Judiciary Square/441 4th Street, NW to talk about what they learned from their recent community meetings, survey, and our online chat. Councilmember Mary Cheh is also holding a hearing on the residential permit parking system Friday at 11 am.
- Adding 15-minute Circulator routes would dilute the Circulator brand
- Fun on Friday: Play the Mini Metro game
- Comparing Metrobus and Metrorail farebox recovery is apples and oranges
- For DC Council in Ward 1: Brianne Nadeau
- Metro FAQ: Why does Metro run express trains in one direction during single-tracking?
- Topic of the week: Walking in unexpected places
- Where will DC's next 200,000 residents go? The mayoral candidates weigh in