Like many westerners, I left a rust belt eastern city decades ago, in the belief that the region, and certainly those old east coast cities were goners. So it was with surprise and pleasure that I recently read in Landmarks, the journal of The Landmark Society of Western New York, that residents with choices are moving back into the old downtown, and even more surprising, that nationally, corporate headquarters are also moving back to urban centers from the suburbs at an accelerating rate. [Read more…] about Take me back to tomorrow – Some surprising indicators of change in U.S. cities
San Francisco has 23,000 metered parking spaces and sets prices using complex “demand-responsive rate adjustments.” Around SF City Hall, for example, hourly rates vary by time of day and block by block – up to $5.25 midweek and as low as $.25 on weekends. In San Diego, despite the growing population and a tightening supply, many locals still expect free parking – especially in beach communities. San Diego currently has about 5,700 metered spaces mostly charging a top rate of $1.25 per hour. Nearly all the metered spaces are in Uptown and Downtown where parking is a hot topic at neighborhood meetings. [Read more…] about Parking Management: San Diego Style (Part Two)
Despite community plan policies disfavoring surface parking and encouraging the retention of fine grain development, the adaptive reuse of existing structures, and encouraging walking, biking, and public transit use, Civic San Diego staff is recommending the approval of the expansion of a surface parking lot on the block bounded by F St. and 7th and 8th Ave. Additionally, they are making this recommendation despite the fact that it will require the demolition of several viable and recently occupied commercial buildings. The sole reason offered for recommending approval of demolition for a surface parking is that there is a demand for parking – as if such parking demand was unknown when the Downtown Community Plan was adopted. This recommendation essentially casts aside the community plan goals while at the same time reciting them in the report making the recommendation.
An increasingly large percentage of the population qualifies as having one or more disabilities. Many everyday features of our built environments are access barriers for people with certain disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has dramatically improved access since its effective date in 1992, especially in new buildings. California had access construction standards even before the enactment of the ADA. The combination of the ADA and pre-existing California access has resulted in a unique statutory framework that has resulted in an explosion of lawsuits. These lawsuits often target older buildings which were built before the code section forming the basis of the lawsuit. Kim Blackseth, California’s foremost expert on disabled access construction standards, explains how and when a Certified Access Specialist (CASp) can help. (forward by W. Adams) [Read more…] about Do you need a CASp in California?
An invitation was emailed last week for a ground breaking ceremony to be held on Wednesday Oct. 8, at 10:00 AM for a new Pendry Hotel to replace the parking lot of 5th & J. The invitation was ground breaking in more than one way. This parking lot was the site of one of the most egregious abuses of eminent domain under the California Community Redevelopment Act, and became one of the poster-children of the property rights – anti-eminent domain movement. Many believe it also played a role in Governor Brown’s repeal of the redevelopment law. [Read more…] about Parking lot no more at Fifth & J in the Gaslamp Quarter?
Yes, this is my autographed copy of the High Cost of Free Parking!
I had the pleasure of serving on a panel with one of my professional crushes, Donald Shoup, [Read more…] about It’s Official, I’m a Parking Groupie!
San Diego, 741 F Street, demolition continues on this historic warehouse to make room for surface parking. [Read more…] about Demolition of Historic Building for Parking Lot Continues
An ugly side of redevelopment (RIP), a side rarely mentioned in all the self-laudatory hype, is the demolition. Too often its of historic structures, or structures that create the street-level fabric necessary for a walkable city. Too often its not even for a new structure but for surface parking, [Read more…] about San Diego’s Parking Lot Blight; Requiem for Redevelopment
Since the 1990s, Portland has not had parking minimums in much of the city, from the downtown core to more traditional neighborhoods with single family housing. Portland has been very proud of their no parking minimum. Portland has trumpeted this zoning policy as a shining example of why Portland is the City That Works!
Up until recently, it was very rare for a residential developer to build anything without off-street parking. Finally though, that is changing. [Read more…] about Portlandia: Milquetoast Bureau of Planning Edition
San Diego – “They took all the trees
And put them in a tree museum
And they charged all the people
A dollar and a half to see ’em
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Till it’s gone
They paved paradise
And they put up a parking lot” – Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi, 1970. [Read more…] about Demolition and Paving Downtown for Surface Parking Continues