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Breakfast links: Slug in the gut for Virginians


Photo by mioi on Flickr.
WMATA power in play: Two weeks ago, we reported that the McDonnell Administration was trying to take two of Virginia's WMATA Board seats away from the NoVA counties. Now they intend to withhold funding to match the federal capital contributions unless they get their way. (Lisa Rein/Anita Kumar/Post)

Slugged: DC police are ticketing "sluggers" who pick up carpoolers on 14th Street in the evening rush. Sluggers will ask the DC Council to set up a legal pick-up and drop-off area. nevermindtheend suggested Capital Bikeshare stations at those spots. (WTOP)

WMATA not protecting women enough?: 11th grader Brittnie Smith writes about the inadequacy of Metro's response to verbal and physical sexual harassment. (DC Women's Issues Examiner via Hollaback DC)

Dump the pump: Today is Dump the Pump Day, a day to try getting to work via transit. The DC Circulator is free all day, and Metro has a contest to guess the day's ridership.

Wolf Trap park and ride?: A Dr. Gridlock reader makes the case for a Wolf Trap Silver Line station: besides concerts, the huge parking lot that's almost vacant could be a park and ride the rest of the time. (Post)

Room on 14th: Room and Board is now open at 14th and T, NW, and Richard Layman explains why Room and Board should succeed while West Elm failed downtown, and how this is good for 14th Street's long-term future. (RPUS)

How public is public space?: DC's unusual system where much of the space between the sidewalk and buildings is "public space" creates some complications when it comes to abortion clinics. A clinic wanted to put up a fence with "private propertyno trespassing" signs, and MPD argued that the land is "private property." (Amanda Hess/The Sexist, Eric Fidler)

And...: A class-action lawsuit against Montgomery County speed cameras has been dismissed (Hayley Peterson/Examiner) ... Farmers should stop opposing curbs on chemicals that pollute the Chesapeake (Bob McCartney/Post) ... Another good article on the East Falls Church debate includes mention of VDOT's objections to the plan. (Nicholas Benton/FC News-Press, Michael P.)

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David Alpert is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Greater Greater Washington and Greater Greater Education. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He loves the area which is, in many ways, greater than those others, and wants to see it become even greater. 

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I love this line from the slug article....

"The crackdown on slug drivers came a day after Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., called on D.C. and the National Park Service to reduce congestion near the National Mall. Webb noted the need to crack down on illegally parked tour buses.

In his letter to Mayor Adrian Fenty and National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis, Webb wrote, "Are there additional enforcement procedures that could be employed by the Metropolitan Police and United States Park Police to deter congestion-causing traffic offenses?" "

by m on Jun 17, 2010 9:53 am • linkreport

Re: Slugs - DDOT could have dealt with this issue years ago by creating authorized slug pickup/dropoff locations at the major slug gathering places. Clearly not as fun and exciting as repainting bike lanes and playing make-believe with streetcars, but would have an immediate impact on thousands of slug commuters.

Re: Planned Parenthood's public space issue - I think it's only in the Washington City areas that the public space begins at a building's facade. In this particular case, MPD doesn't know what it's talking about; simply putting up a fence on public space doesn't make it private property. At the same time, there's clearly a public policy interest in protecting the clinic from protesters. But can a person actually be trespassing when they're on public space? It'll make for an interesting court case, which seems to be all the main protestor is interested in anyway.

by Fritz on Jun 17, 2010 9:58 am • linkreport

I've always wondered whether I had the right to go sit in the landscaped and fenced-off front yard of some random house on East Capitol, because the yard is really public "parking space". My assumption was that, while it may be poor form, it's probably perfectly legal. Maybe not?

I'm curious to see the outcome of the abortion clinic case just to have an answer to this.

by Joey on Jun 17, 2010 10:03 am • linkreport

Don't laugh, but I've written to Governor McDonnell twice re: his attempt to grab WMATA seats. No reply. No surprise, but very telling. I live in Arlington.

by Penny Everline on Jun 17, 2010 10:06 am • linkreport

Re Planned Parenthood: Couldn't DC find some way to sell the entire sidewalk in front of the building to Planned Parenthood? I'm kidding, for the most part.

Can I create blockades outside these people's churches to "counsel" churchgoers and carry huge-ass photos of people killed in the name of God?

by Tim on Jun 17, 2010 10:13 am • linkreport

Well now I guess it's Md and DC's turn to harp on Va. like all the Virginians did when Maryland was threatening to withold their capital contributions. I'll be emailing and call the governor this afternoon.

by Canaan on Jun 17, 2010 10:15 am • linkreport

@ Canaan: Yep. Now it's our turn. Coalition for smarter Growth: Where's the e-mail bombardment action? I'll sign. And don't worry Marylanders and especially Washingtonians: I am more than ready to yell at the folks that tax me without representation. Done so in the county, so with that experience under my belt, I think I'm up now for going after this clownish governor and VDOT figurehead.

by Jasper on Jun 17, 2010 10:27 am • linkreport

Actually, my suggestion was that slugging and bike sharing be coordinated as DDOT decides on official spaces for slugs (which will presumably not on a major thoroughfare like 14th Street).

by nevermindtheend on Jun 17, 2010 10:31 am • linkreport

Am I the only one who doesn't like the terms 'slugging' and 'slugs'.

by ed on Jun 17, 2010 10:36 am • linkreport

That abortion clinic case is fascinating. It is a slippery slope if we relinquish property like that. I understand the concerns here, but not all protesters are popular, and taking away public land for their freedom of public expression in the Capital is a very dangerous precedent. I've had to deal with the Westboro Baptist Church at funerals, and I think they are a despicable organization, but I went to war twice to fight for their right to do what they do.

by Dave Murphy on Jun 17, 2010 10:43 am • linkreport

Again, I didn't see a hue and cry when the feds asked for the same thing. Money = seats.

Three levels here:

1. Naked political play: McDonnel punishing Fairfax and Arlington. Somewhat clever framing it as WMATA improvement. In the future, though, would a future D administration appoint someone GGW readers like.

2. Is it better to have elected representatives or professionals sit on the board? Big pictures is having Dem who are reliant on unions vote on things that affect unions is a bad idea. Not saying Zimmerman is in the tank for ATU, but clearly there isn't a culture at the WMATA board of cutting down employees and benefit costs. Would a R professional transit manager do better as a board member?

3. Money. I think DA said the money wasn't really the state's to begin with, but guess what, they write the check. So it is their money.

by charlie on Jun 17, 2010 10:44 am • linkreport

God, so many delusions and deceptions in that Virginia piece:

"We are now the largest contributor from this side of the Potomac, and we don't have a seat at the table,"
No, the people who are actually paying already have a seat at the table. It's the vast subsidized non-NoVa who aren't represented.
Also:
Connaughton said McDonnell would hire a transit expert to sit on the Metro board and to work on other transportation issues.

Does anyone doubt that McDonnell will appoint some anti-transit "transit expert" like Wendell Cox?

Well, maybe next time NoVa won't be fooled by the next Republican who pretends to care about anything but keeping the flow of money southward.

by Reid on Jun 17, 2010 10:49 am • linkreport

@charlie If I remember correctly, the feds got additional seats on the board - they didn't replace existing representatives. So it's a completely different situation.

by nevermindtheend on Jun 17, 2010 10:53 am • linkreport

When a restaurant sets up tables in the "public parking" could anyone sit down (or at least stand) in that area? Can PP "rent" the space like a restaurant does?

Like Joey, I've wondered too whether someone can have a picnic in the "public parking" in front of someone's house. After all, if you can't park a car there that suggests you can't use it for exclusive private use.

That said, I think there needs to be a refinement of what public parking is in the way of property. My feeling is it should be considered more in the form of private property that is burdened by an easement for the benefit of the public, in which building is severely limited or banned (exceptions for fences, low retaining walls, driveway/alley access, all by permit) and for which the owner is responsible for maintenance. In exchange for these severe restrictions on use and the burden of a legal obligation to maintain it in good condition it is not taxed as private property. This all seems like a reasonable tradeoff--there's much more limited value in unbuildable, highly restricted land and the maintenance obligations add a cost. In exchange--untaxed.

by ah on Jun 17, 2010 10:55 am • linkreport

@ Dave Murphy: I've had to deal with the Westboro Baptist Church at funerals, and I think they are a despicable organization, but I went to war twice to fight for their right to do what they do.

You are a noble man. But you did not go to war to defend WBC's abuse of free speech and freedom of religion. Rights come with responsibilities. WBC clearly neglects those responsibilities. Yes, they have the right to do what they do. But it is clear that WBC abuses their right to free speech and religion for their twisted selfish goals. We'll have to see what the SC has to say about the way WBC abuses their rights, but it is clear that they are abusing good rights for egocentric and selfish goals without any respect and compassion.

by Jasper on Jun 17, 2010 10:57 am • linkreport

I was under the impression that the public "parking area" that exists between the sidewalk and almost every single privately-owned residence in DC had a legal status that was not exactly "public."

Many homeowners whose houses are close to the sidewalk do not technically own the land on which their porches are built, and definitely not their yards.

Yet somehow I doubt that in a challenge by a private citizen that says they should be able to hang out on anyone's porch or yard that happens to be on public land would not end well.

And likewise, "parking" is not allowed either -- many years ago, friends of mine lived in the infamous house at 16th and T (which almost fell down recently). It has a U-shaped pull off and curb cuts in front of it. A busybody neighbor would frequently have them ticketed for parking in the driveway in front of their own house because it was not technically a legal place to park (nor was it private).

There is vast precedent for homeowners to claim this space for private use through the use of fences and landscaping. Similarly, residents are legally required to maintain this space, e.g. by cutting grass, and keeping it clean.

The purpose of the city's ownership is to reserve it for potential future street widening. This purpose (though largely irrelevant at this point) is absolutely not at odds with private property owners using it like it was private property to the extent that we don't plan to widen the roads just yet.

I would hope that if he actually makes any headway that the result is clarification of this de-facto use of the land by private property owners, and such nonsense won't be able to happen again.

by Jamie on Jun 17, 2010 10:57 am • linkreport

@ charlie: it is their money.

It's not. It's our money.

by Jasper on Jun 17, 2010 10:59 am • linkreport

@Jasper; no, it's not. You pay STATE tax, not county tax. Sorry. Once you pay it it belongs to the state.

That's why you can send your kids to VA Tech for instate tuition. (I won't use UVA because that is a sore issue with Nova as well).

One of the greatbug bears of Regional DC political myths: DC would be fine with a commuter tax, and NoVA money is being stolen by Richmond.

by charlie on Jun 17, 2010 11:07 am • linkreport

@Joey, because the yard is really public "parking space". My assumption was that, while it may be poor form, it's probably perfectly legal. Maybe not?

While, it's still public space, it's my understanding that the laws that were passed in the 1870s making the space between the sidewalk and the property line into 'parking areas' were intended to turn the care and responsibility of this area over to the adjacent property owners for the specific purpose of 'greening' this area. ('Parking' being the nineteenth century term for this ... hence a creating a 'parking' area meant 'turning the sides of the streets into long 'parks'). In addition to allowing the adjacent property owners to use this area for planting, the laws also specifically allowed this area to be used for constructing front stairs, bay windows, AND FENCES. My guess is that this means that while this space didn't get turned into 'private' property with all the responsibilities and rights that come with 'private' property (including taxes), that 'limited' use of this space was part and parcel of the agreement. I'd compare it to 'limited common' in a condominum which allows areas such as patios and balconies to have specific and limited use (by the adjacent condo owners) but sets parameters as to what can be done with those spaces and who is responsible for which parts of the upkeep.

But I agree, this unique situation has brought about misunderstandings. Good examples are people thinking they can park their cars in there. To me that is one of the most agregious misuses of this space. I mean, the original law that allowed this space to be fenced off was specifically meant for 'greening' the sides of our streets ... and the subsequent laws (also passed in the 1870s) served to make the space more pleasent to look at by allowing stairs and bay windows to protrude into this space (i.e., better than having 'straight canyon walls' on each side of the street like we get downtown around K Street).

by Lance on Jun 17, 2010 11:16 am • linkreport

@ah When a restaurant sets up tables in the "public parking" could anyone sit down (or at least stand) in that area? Can PP "rent" the space like a restaurant does?

From what I remember reading, having a sidewalk cafe wasn't possible until sometime in the 1960s ... People coming back from Europe post-WWII thought 'wouldn't it be nice to be able to have sidewalk cafes too?' ... The liquor laws had to be changed AND the laws creating the 'parking area' had to be changed. So, my guess is that 'no', people can't just sit down in those seats ... It's still 'limited' public space ... like 'limited' common in a condo ...

by Lance on Jun 17, 2010 11:31 am • linkreport

By the way, issues on the use of "public parking" have come up a lot in the past, most infamously with the "chardonnay lady" who was arrested for drinking a glass of wine on her Dupont Circle front porch. The laws about drinking were consequently amended to specifically permit this and protect people from overzealous cops.

Jack McKay (an ANC comm. in Mt. P) has a lot of info about it on his web site, including excerpts from the legal code here.

The full code is here which governs use of these areas.

It starts right off by saying The public parking... shall be under the immediate care and keeping of the owners or occupants of the premises abutting on public parking.

Further, building fences is explicity permitted so I'm a bit surprised that this crazy reverend guy is passing the laugh test with anyone.

103.1 After obtaining a permit from the District, the owners or occupants of land abutting a public parking may enclose the parking with any of the following...

by Jamie on Jun 17, 2010 11:32 am • linkreport

@Jamie And likewise, "parking" is not allowed either -- many years ago, friends of mine lived in the infamous house at 16th and T (which almost fell down recently). It has a U-shaped pull off and curb cuts in front of it. A busybody neighbor would frequently have them ticketed for parking in the driveway in front of their own house because it was not technically a legal place to park (nor was it private).

Yeah, the realtor there now is advertising the following: Unit one features its own private circular driveway and entryway plus a garden area.

I just hope whoever buys that unit doesn't expect to be able to park their car there ....

www.potomacconstructiongroup.com/1841/index.html

by Lance on Jun 17, 2010 11:39 am • linkreport

@Lance... it looks like the contractors are parking there... haha!

Anyway, the lady who kept calling the police was older than methuselah back then. If she's moved on to greener pastures by now then they'll probably be OK. The city approved the curb cuts at some point in the past and parking a car there does not block the sidewalk so it's a technicality that was exploited by a busybody.

They retaliated, as I recall, by using HER public parking area as a dog bathroom.

by Jamie on Jun 17, 2010 11:51 am • linkreport

@jamie Anyway, the lady who kept calling the police was older than methuselah back then. If she's moved on to greener pastures by now then they'll probably be OK.

I know who you mean. She recently helped defeat the Bender proposal (N Street Follies) by testfying against it. She's doing fine. And we actually owe her a lot. If it weren't for her vigilance, Dupont north of the Circle would long ago have looked like Dupont south of the Circle. Btw, she's told me she'll be on the lookout for folks parking in that driveway.

by Lance on Jun 17, 2010 11:56 am • linkreport

Well, I suppose we have to take the bad with the good. I wonder if she's having the contractors ticketed daily for blocking the sidewalk...

by Jamie on Jun 17, 2010 11:58 am • linkreport

@Jamie, a car there does not block the sidewalk so it's a technicality that was exploited by a busybody.

Not true ... This is public property that is given over to the care of private individuals on the condition that it be used to make the sides of the street more garden-like. Parking a car in one's front garden doesn't cut it in my book.

by Lance on Jun 17, 2010 11:59 am • linkreport

@Lance, while generally I agree with that, there are curb cuts and a paved driveway that have, likely, been there as long as the property itself. This property is hardly unique in having a pull-in and curb cuts.

If we decided, retroactively, that using an existing driveway that is in a parking area was no longer acceptable, there would be a huge number of properties affected. For example: this one where the original design clearly incorporates that as part of the structure and use.

I certainly wouldn't support letting people build new driveways, and curb cuts, and so on in existing properties, but this use seems pretty grandfathered. I suspect that it's because it is a corner property and therefore has no alley access.

At the end of the day since it seems like it will no longer a single-family home I doubt it will come up much. They can't legally sell the spot to one of the units so I am sure the multiple residents will most likely use it for loading and unloading.

by Jamie on Jun 17, 2010 12:07 pm • linkreport

People are allowed to drive on those circular driveways and use them for picking up and dropping off, just not car storage.

Some of the apartment buildings near me with circular driveways have clear "no parking" signs. People stop in them to unload groceries, but they can't leave cars there.

by David Alpert on Jun 17, 2010 12:43 pm • linkreport

I can't find anything in the law that would explicitly prohibit parking a car there any more than any other us. It is neither granted nor prohibited. Technically it would seem to require getting a permit to use the space for that.

But I'm really just saying that parking in your own pullout when not blocking the sidewalk seems to be a legitimate use given the specific circumstances of an existing configuration. People in Georgetown, for example, park in their street-facing driveways all the time. If you wanted to put this to a legal test and ban that use, good luck challenging hundreds of hundreds of wealthy, influential people. The result would almost certainly be that this use becomes explicitly permitted.

I don't think there's really any comparison between "no parking" signs for an apartment building and a pull-out in front of a single family home. It's pretty obvious why an apartment building would not permit parking in their pullout. If you are the only legitimate user of that space it's a totally different situation.

by Jamie on Jun 17, 2010 12:57 pm • linkreport

@ charlie: You pay STATE tax, not county tax. Sorry.

Incorrect. I pay federal, state and county taxes.

The government does not own tax money. They only collect and spend on my/our behalf. Especially republicans like gov McDonald like to point that out time and time again. Well, during election time, when someone else is in power. It's a whole different game once they get their hands on that money themselves.

by Jasper on Jun 17, 2010 12:58 pm • linkreport

@Jamie, while generally I agree with that, there are curb cuts and a paved driveway that have, likely, been there as long as the property itself.

Like David just mentioned, it's okay to use these to drop off groceries and the like. And incidentally, the 'old busybody' you were talking about earlier told me that there has indeed been a problem with that driveway being used as a 'car storage' spot since at least the '50s ... She said a senator had moved in and got permission to build the circular drive knowing full well that it couldn't be used for parking. She opposed the driveway but he being a senator got his curb cuts and the driveway ... and as she put it 'By God, of course he started parking in it immediately!'

also They can't legally sell the spot to one of the units so I am sure the multiple residents will most likely use it for loading and unloading.

I dunno ..... the realtor is advertising this space as follows: 'Unit one features its own private circular driveway and entryway plus a garden area.'

When I asked her about it at an open house the other day (at another property) she said that 'the property line at that property started at the fence' ... She's from Va. so she can be excused for not knowing the nuances of our laws here ... But, it still sounds to me like whoever buys that unit is going to be expecting to park in there ... And those poor folks are going to be getting one ticket after another ....

I just hope whoever buys that unit doesn't expect to be able to park their car there ....

www.potomacconstructiongroup.com/1841/index.html

by Lance on Jun 17, 2010 1:02 pm • linkreport

Jamie: You're right that the law does not prohibit parking there. It requires a permit, which can be revoked at any time. DDOT generally does not grant permits to store cars in public space.

by David Alpert on Jun 17, 2010 1:04 pm • linkreport

@Jamie: 18 DCMR 2405.3:

No person shall park a vehicle, whether occupied or not, otherwise than temporarily for the purpose of and while actually engaged in loading or unloading of passengers or freight in any of the following places:

(a) On the public parking between the sidewalk space and the building line, except parking shall be permitted on public parking at those locations designated under this title and at locations authorized by permit and upon payment of rent;

by ah on Jun 17, 2010 1:10 pm • linkreport

BTW, 2405.1(f) covers the sidewalk to the street.

by ah on Jun 17, 2010 1:11 pm • linkreport

I'm really just saying that I see little point in pushing the issue. There are relatively few places (outside of Georgetown anyway) that are set up for parking in the "parking area."

There are certainly many, many laws in our centuries old code book that people technically violate all the time - such as public alcohol consumption - which is now legal on your porch because it was tested. But not in your yard.

When an old, obscure law that prohibits something that is really fairly inconsequential gets tested by someone who makes it their pet issue, you risk people with a lot more influence than you who might be affected getting the law changed to the detriment of all. For example: Critical Mass in NYC.

The number of properties where this is relevant is a tiny fraction of the homes in DC. To me, a car parked not blocking the sidewalk in a paved, curb-cutted pull-out in one out of 500 houses (if that) is totally a non issue. Every other house in my neighborhood has far more egregious "sign" violations - hideous chain-link fences, paved or trashed yards, bizarre abominations of the front-porch structure like plywood enclosures, you name it.

So while DDOT may not grant permits to store cars in public space (except for the ones granted on every single zoned street in the city) -- a lot of people do it, and to classify parking in the rare pull-out as a "problem" is amusing. Sure, someone can get some young kids with no recourse ticketed by calling the police all the time. But mess with the wrong guy and you may find that it's legal all of the sudden, which would undoubtedly mean even more people doing it.

by Jamie on Jun 17, 2010 1:17 pm • linkreport

OK, I stand correct on the law, but my point is the same, it's not really enforced much except on demand, nor do many people have a problem with it.

by Jamie on Jun 17, 2010 1:23 pm • linkreport

@Jamie -- Despite the law, I agree with you. Once a permit has been obtained to occupy the public parking with a driveway (for better or worse) there seems to be little value in prohibiting the parking of a car (or cars) in that space. If the city wants only trees/plantings there, then it should not allow the driveway at all. But I suspect the city would not get much support for that approach.

by ah on Jun 17, 2010 1:25 pm • linkreport

@Jamie, The danger is that it encourages others to request similar curbcuts and pavings to be used similarily 'only' for loading and unloading ... and then having them never abide by this condition ... as happened precisely in this case. We have hundreds of thousands of properties in the Old City that could potentially all ask for curb cuts and paving if they suspected that the 'no parking' provisions weren't being enforced. This may not have been a big problem in those 'inter-period' when most of these houses had turned into group homes (like yours) filled with folks who didn't want a car anyways ... But now with this area being redeveloped for folks who do own cars and want a place to park them, we could find ourselves with no front lawns and no sidewalks to speak of if we don't enforce the laws we have. I.e., It is more of a danger now than it was when you lived there.

by Lance on Jun 17, 2010 1:36 pm • linkreport

I don't think there is any reason, either legally or conceptually, why we should equate "requests for new zoning variances" with "how people use existing structures."

Getting a curb cut is, and should be, difficult. I don't understand why you think allowing people to park in existing driveways (which, by and large, they already do anyway) would have any effect on the completely unrelated policy that determines where we can make new curb cuts today.

There are a hundred other laws on the books that I'd rather see enforced. Like construction zoning, keeping your yard clean, putting your trash in your trash can, height of fences, and so on. All of these problems are far more damaging to the aesthetic appeal (and sometimes safety) than a few cars parking in a driveway.

by Jamie on Jun 17, 2010 1:46 pm • linkreport

@Jamie, I guess it's a question of 'fairness' ... good public policy.

You don't reward someone for doing something prohibited, just because they've been doing it for a long time. That gives them an unfair advantage over those who did abide by the regs. (Note, I'm not referring to uses that have been 'grandfathered in'. That is a different situation.)

by Lance on Jun 17, 2010 2:21 pm • linkreport

Well I am not sure YOU would disagree with me, but that is exactly the reason that was just given to me for the 16th & New Hampshire reconfiguration! Since everyone's doing it anyway might as well make it legal...

I do see your point, generally, but I think these things really need to be addressed on the pros and cons of the specific situation - not on principle. I see few cons to letting people park there. Given that, if some vigilante started making a stink about everyone parked in their driveways in Georgetown (for example), when nobody's really had any problem with it before, the likely result would be that it became legal or very easy to get a permit. Which would probably be a net negative for the big picture that we both agree on.

by Jamie on Jun 17, 2010 2:27 pm • linkreport

My experience is limited to Capitol Hill, but there it's widely known that you may not store automobiles in the area between sidewalk and property line, not even on a driveway. Enforcement can be sporadic, but it happens, and anyone new to the neighborhood (or to car ownership there) who parks on a driveway that's on city property learns not to within a few weeks, either softly, by being clued in by the neighbors, or the hard way, via tickets.

My Cincinnati brother-in-law just can't wrap his mind around this: "You can't park on your own driveway?!" he asks incredulously. But it ISN'T your own driveway, it's public land.

by davidj on Jun 17, 2010 3:45 pm • linkreport

@davidj But it ISN'T your own driveway, it's public land.

Correct. And that is why I have the same issue with people using our curbsides for 'storing' their cars. I think it was Jasper who said I wasn't being consistent with that ... but I am. I want to see our public spaces go to their best 'public' uses.

I think 'greening' the sides of our streets is a great public land use. The city had all these relatively wide streets (at least 'wide' for 19th century standards) that it didn't know what to do with, and so they said 'let's make it easy for people to take a part of these streets and turn them into continuous parks on either side of the street!'. That was really radical thinking for back then and to this day it's a great use of public space.

As for curbsides, I think their best public use is as 'access' to our homes and businesses ... and not for storing your vehicle. Curbside is limited, and the best public use for it is when it gets used by the most people (i.e., the public). Yes, we need to allocate it, but we cna do that with 'time limits'. Allocating it with 'he how has more money gets to park there longer' isn't the best and highest use of this public land. (Note that I'm not saying public good 'cause I don't want to send the economists amoung us down a road I wasn't refering to ...)

by Lance on Jun 17, 2010 4:06 pm • linkreport

But it ISN'T your own driveway, it's public land.

But that's exactly the question. It's not purely public land. It's land in which title is held by the city but for which the city has given the abutting land owner both rights and responsibilities. One of those rights appears to be exclusive use (through fencing, planting, even porch building) but with substantial limitations on that use.

So, really it's quasi-public land, and it's no answer to say you can't park there because it's public land. The only answer is to say you can't park there because for policy reasons we don't want people using that space to park cars, even though we allow them to erect a fence, build a porch, plant a tree, etc.

by ah on Jun 17, 2010 4:56 pm • linkreport

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