Thursday, October 10, 2013

Smart[sic] growth and parking in the real world

A letter to the editor in the East Bay Express:

No Parking Means Saturated Streets

In the real world, the lack of provided parking results in more cars parked on the already saturated streets. People who can do without cars already do for the most part. Developer refusal to provide parking for residents of their building is just a matter of foisting the true cost of their project onto the surrounding neighborhood. Enough with the pieties promoting developer welfare in the guise of the smart growth fad, which will eventually go the way of the freeway fad.

I'll be explicit in not supporting the retroactive punitive Manhattanization of the Bay Area, which is just as ghastly as the equivalent bay-filling from which Save the Bay saved us. In real terms, in, say my neighborhood in Oakland, we had an actual fatal shooting because two tenants were fighting over a parking space, which the landlord did not provide. Street parking is already saturated, and there is no reason current residents should have to pay the price for the latest green-flag-wrapping developer's get-rich-quick scheme. And we're half a mile from BART, so it only gets worse near the "transit villages."

Also---besides overlooking the fact that if people want to move to Manhattan, God bless them, but we live here because it's not like that---even when one is fortunate enough to be able to drive very little, have a telecommute or transit-friendly job, and be able-bodied and able to do a lot of errands on foot, there eventually comes a time when you have to conduct business or visit friends in a place that requires a car. Even if you drive once a month, you still need the car, and car sharing, while a boon, may not be a fit. You need a place that goes with your residence to keep your car without burdening your neighbors. Not burdening the neighbors is a consideration that seems to be omitted from this discussion all too often, except to brand those who advocate it NIMBYs.

Mary Eisenhart 

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