CALL TO ACTION: City Council needs to hear from YOU about your support for Performance-based Parking Management. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org before Wednesday July 25 (put Performance-based Parking Management in the subject). Tell City Council why you think it’s time to get politics out of parking prices by using a data-driven approach to parking management.
Should a prime, convenient, and coveted parking spot, right in front of a busy storefront cost the same rate as a, relatively, crummy spot near I-405?
That is the question that Portland City Council will grapple with on Wednesday, July 25th when they consider the Performance-based Parking Management Manual and new Parking Pricing and Event District Policy for approval.
A month ago, on June 13, council heard a presentation and testimony on this policy, but concerns from various commissioners led to a delaying a second hearing. Some commissioners were, reportedly, worried that adjusting prices based on demand would make downtown Portland less accessible to people with lower incomes.
But a look at preliminary data from the city shows that there are many areas of downtown and the central city which would likely see rates decrease under the new policy. Furthermore, many of the blocks likely to see increases are near city-owned Smart Park garages, a lower-cost and longer-stay alternative to prime street parking.
PBOT has returned with a new resolution and ordinance that should, hopefully, clear up some other concerns that commissioners had about the proposal in June.
Concerns about the impact of a policy like this on low-income people are valid and important, but too often those worries manifest in policy that provides a subsidy to all car-drivers, the majority of whom are not low income. Meanwhile, transit dependent people are stuck paying ever-increasing rates to sit in buses, idling in traffic caused by single-occupancy commuters. Performance-based Parking Management is just one of many strategic policies the city can use to reduce traffic, save people time, and encourage other modes. The most promising option for a sustainable and equitable solution to Portland’s transportation problems is to prioritize transit above other modes via enhanced transit corridors and bus/freight only lanes.
After years of work, seemingly countless committee meetings, and several false starts, Portland seems ready to join San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Seattle, and many other cities and apply simple market economics to on-street parking. Will City Council finally take that step?
CALL TO ACTION: City Council needs to hear from YOU about your support for Performance-based Parking Management. Send an email to email@example.com before Wednesday July 25(put Performance-based Parking Management in the subject). Tell City Council why you think it’s time to get politics out of parking prices by using a data-driven approach to parking management.