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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 30, 2006 2:03 PM. The previous post in this blog was Nominations. The next post in this blog is Poles of mystery. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

We're from the city, and we're here to help you

The Trib's got an article today about Portland Commissioner Sam "the Tram" Adams's current pitch to local business districts: Let us put in parking meters. It will help your business.

Uh huh. Pay for Homer Williams's business is more like it. That cash flow would probably go straight to the SoWhat debacle. The list of unfunded traffic improvements in North Macadam comes to a good eight figures.

Parking meters will help your business? That's a Portland City Hall classic.

Consider this true story: Last Friday I was driving around doing errands that had piled up over vacation, and I got hungry. I decided to stop at the Subway shop in the awful Merrick Apartments (a.k.a Burgerville Manor) on NE Multnomah and MLK. There are meters out front of that shop, but I had some change in the dash of the car.

Well, guess what? The spiffy Euro-looking meter wasn't taking change that day, and so I had to use a credit card. And of course, the instructions on the darn thing are so baffling that I even bought a little more time than I intended.

It cost me $1.20 to park so that I could run in and get a sandwich at that Subway shop. Especially when there are many other nearby lunch options that don't involve pay-to-park (shops with their own parking lots, or in areas with on-street free parking), I won't be going back to that Subway again.

Comments (52)

And now you know why meter revenues have gone through the roof since they installed the robots.

The Trammel Crow Residential "Merrick" luxury apartments with a 10 year property tax abatement in an Urban Renewal District meaning other properties have to pay back Merricks share of TIF debt and their share of public services?

Is that the Merrick you are talking about?

You might have employed my own favored method of dealing with nonfunctioning "smart" parking: I have packaging tape, paper and a sharpie in the car at all times. If I encounter even the slightest difficulty in purchasing my ticket/litter, I mummify the machine as out of order. Nothing has done more to turn me into an enemy of the state than Portland's predatory parking meters. Excepting perhaps the lobotomized and domineering meter maids. If only I could deal with them in the same manner.

What, incidentally, is the theory behind the annual tax record shred?

Not sure what dictionary you folks are using but my definition of a "debacle" is not thousands of rich people paying $5-15,000 each, per year, in property taxes to live in the big buildings down by the river.

Las Vegas, where housing prices are predicted to drop 20-25% this year, is BEGGING for that kinda debacle!!!

So would most cities that want to grow their tax base.

Daphne, that scenario [of untold thousands of dollars in property tax revenues] would be grand, except that's not exactly what's happening. If we understand correctly, that money won't see its way to the general fund for a generation or two. Instead, it goes to PDC for what Jack delicately calls "more goodies." [Steve Schopp, since you're the go-to guy on this subject, please correct us if we're wrong on that.]

thousands of rich people paying $5-15,000 each, per year, in property taxes to live in the big buildings down by the river.

Paying nothing for police, fire, schools and other government services, as all their property taxes for decades go to pay for the landscaping and other amenities around their buildings.

And turning Portland into a place where only the rich can live.

Back to the topic of the post: the WORST thing about the litter machines (after their being imported goods, after the inconvenience of standing in line in the rain to feed one, after the malfunctions and the general awkwardness of using them) is the permanent loss of that joyous karmatic event: finding a convenient spot on the street with time left on the meter.

While we're on the topic of urban renewal, there was an article today (Oregonian?) about the fact that 3 districts are expiring in the near future.

One of the three is the Central Eastside UR District, whose authority to borrow expires this August - unless the City Council votes to extend.

City Council is considering plans to extend this district at a public meeting at 2:00PM June 14th. For those opposed to urban renewal (I think there are many of you reading this) - here is your chance to speak your mind to the City Council about urban renewal and how it is bleeding our basic services.

The Central Eastside UR District will divert roughly $4 million this year from basic services to pay prinicpal and interest to bondholders.

More details here:
http://www.pdc.us/ura/eastside.asp

What's a parking meter?
I quit going downtown when they put up those goofy
green boxes. Just too damn much of a hassle to mess with.
Sam you readin' this stuff? How 'bout one of your staffers?
M.W.

JK:
Just a quick note: If I can't park FREE AND NEARBY, I'am going somewhere else. The only exception to this is if there is no substitute. Like city hall and Metro.

This is another reason to avoid downtown and Lloyd center area (not Lloyd center itself or the nearby strip malls).

This is all part of Portland's war on the car. Slowly making driving more expensive and less convenient. Unfortunately that policy just hurts low income people.

Another aspect of this is to increase congestion to the point where people will give up and drive less. The city has a goal of forcing us to drive less.

Thanks
JK

"Slowly making driving more expensive and less convenient. "
We should be speeding that up. Seriously.

That's right. Whenever I drive into the downtown area, I always park and ride. Maybe PDX could go the way of The City (finl dist of London) whereby everybody has to take those red double decker buses. Only the rich, snobby RollsRoyce and BMW drivers can then afford to pay the fees to actually drive into the area.

Once we can jack the fees up to their highest, then only the super rich would be able to afford the costs of actually using their cars in certain locations, and since everybody HATES the super rich, we could just pass a law outlawing that particular practice.

Daphne,

You seem to be very confused.

No one is saying there is a problem, or "debacle" with rich paying property taxes. It's about the city taking their taxes, away from general fund basic services for decades, and using them to pay for the subsidizing the "rich" condo or apartment towers got in the first place with free infrastructure and other giveaways.

On top of that the city also takes part of the taxes from neighboring existing properties, also for decades, and uses it for the subsidizing as well.

Then to make matter worse the city and state grants 10 & 15 year tax exemptions for entire buildings so that the rich pay very little for many years.

Multiply that by 11 Urban Renewal districts and massive debt needed to be serviced by property taxes and the hit is now $65 million per year from $4 Billion in assessed value which gets not one dime for basic services.

AND it's getting worse as the Interstate and SoWa TIF diverting swells.

What's grown has been the size of the UR diverting as all of the routine annual increases in existing properties within the districts (which have nothing to do with the new development) get withheld from basic services. For decades.

This isn't growing the tax base, but rather taking the automatic increases which would happen without Urban Renewal.

The rip off is huge as districts are enormous in size or value to begin with. Encompassing large swaths of real estate adjacent to the targeted development in order to skim as much revenue as possible.

And all along the way the city claims "no general fund revenue is used.

That's only because they skim it before it arrives there.

It's like a bank robber (TIF) who holds up the armored car driver as he enters the bank (basic services) then later claims he's no bank robber. Because of TIF debt service interest the bank robber (UR) must hit up the driver every year for decades. Again just before he enters the bank (basic services)

12000 acres of Portland is now in a UR district.

In South Waterfront the thriving Spagetti Factory and many other existing business will have every property tax increase, for decades, since 1999 diverted to helping Homer get free infrastucture for his towers.

As someone who lives smack between two of the "districts" they are contemplating using as testing grounds for the parking meters--Hawthorne and Belmont--I shudder to think of what will happen to on-street parking (my house, and many of my neighboring houses, lack driveways) when people decide to visit Hawthorne but park off the main strip. Parking for residents will become a total nightmare.

And the reason these machines are such a windfall for the city is that (1) as Jack showed people buy more time than they need, and (2) the time is nontransferrable, unlike the old machines where if you left with 20 minutes still on the meter the next person who pulled in would get your time. Now, the time travels with you, so a single machine could conceivably sell several hours of time in one hour of real time. The machines aren't bringing any more business to downtown, they are just more efficient in taking consumer money.

Neighborhoods that are thinking about falling into Sam's Trap should be careful about receiving parking revenue, and have a good accountant looking over the city's books.

Our neighborhood was promised a large share of the parking revuenues generated by the parking lot at Willamette Park over fifteen years ago for improvements for the park. Our only neighborhood park requires even us locals to have to pay to park to use our park. Well guess what-for a few years we saw a little bit of the revenue being put back into the park, but somehow the city has managed to put the parking revenues back into the City's general park funds. No accounting.

And when the city's budgets needed cutting, our park was one of several that didn't even have garbage service several years ago, and the toilets were locked up.

Beware of the parking Czar.

Way off topic, but Daphne, do you have a source for that 20-25% drop in housing prices in Vegas this year?

'Cause I'm living in Vegas now, renting while I save for a down payment... and I'M BEGGING for that kind of drop in housing prices here!!!

But I'll believe it when I see it... no signs of anything like a drop in prices now... at most, perhaps a mild reduction in price increases.

Er... BTW, on the topic of paid parking, a year ago I was shelling out nearly $2K/year for parking in downtown PDX where I worked... leaving that behind was one of the numerous financial benefits (along with the much friendlier tax environment) I derived from my relocation... I never did much care for working in PDX... the suburbs were soooo much nicer.

Aaaaanyway... back to the regularly scheduled thread topic... ;-)

Nothing has done more to turn me into an enemy of the state than Portland's predatory parking meters. Excepting perhaps the lobotomized and domineering meter maids.

Domineering Meter Maids? Hmmm...I suspect this is someone with "issues." Anyway, we call them Parking Patrol officers these days.

I'm not in favor of meters in my neighborhood (Hawthorne) business district...but, c'mon, they're parking meters, not weapons of mass destruction.

Allan L. (quoting JK)"Slowly making driving more expensive and less convenient. "
Allan L. We should be speeding that up. Seriously.
JK: Assuming that you are advocating making driving more expensive and less convenient:
Why do you want to hurt poor people, those least able to afford added expenses? Once a poor person loses their car, their job choices are reduced dramatically because transit can only reach a small percentage of the jobs reachable by car in the same time period. That results in lowered income. Studies show that the increase in income far offsets the cost of a car.

Do you think the rich are going to drive less?
Do you think making driving unpleasant will improve our quality of life?
Do you realize that the reason people drive is because it is the best way to get somewhere. It is the best compromise between out of pocket cost and speed, safety and comfort. (Driving is also cheaper than transit when you consider that a TriMet ride would cost about $10 if you had to pay the full cost.) Look at Trimet's own data on their web site.

So why do you think we should make driving more expensive and less convent?

Thanks
JK

am i the only one to notice the irony here? a blog full of commenters who routinely complain about subsidies to MAX and other public transit, have now filled several pages outraged over the prospect of having to ... pay for parking! subsidies to car owners.

even when it costs nothing, parking is not free--someone is paying for it (and it's not the drivers), you just have to look beneath the surface. if you think parking should be free on principle, think about the economics of it: you have a scarce resourse, with no method for efficient allocation. this is the classic tragedy of the commons. free parking costs us in:

1. land used for parking spaces (there are roughly 4 per car) instead of buildings, sidewalks, parks, streets, etc. (one parking space can be worth $1000s in cities, not even including construction and maintenance). land taken for parking increases the cost of other land that we use to, say... build houses and businesses, which increases rent/mortgage, and eventually the price of everything else.
2. congestion when people drive everywhere because they anticipate free parking, and then circle the block for 15 minutes looking for a space.
3. congestion when people drive where they could easily walk or bike (like from one parking lot to the next).
4. congestion wastes gas (increasing demand and eventually gas prices and the national deficit), causes roads to deteriorate sooner (due to massive idle weight), exponentionally increases pollution, etc.

i could go on, but really... all this because there is no price signal to notify drivers of the cost of parking their car. the classic solution has been zoning requiring off-street parking, which only increases the problem, turning into an endless feedback loop of more driving and more free parking. and don't think i am anti-car. i don't bike or take transit. i either drive or walk almost everywhere i go. nobody is attacking your way of life, they are allowing for the creation of a diverse society with many ways of living--with or without a car. the true irony is that the better it works, the better off drivers will be in the end.

this seems like a good program. it is voluntary, and must be agreed upon by both neighborhood groups, and business districts. all profit from the revenue goes the the business district to spend on improvements. charging market rate for parking is the right thing to do.

Jim:
Irony anyone pretty well nails it. We don't begin to recover the social cost of people moving around in cars, laying the bulk of the costs of their pollution and consumption of nonrenewable resources on others. But really, the way to make driving intolerable would be simple: make it cheaper and easier to park in town, and raise the price of transit alternatives. That'll get more people out in their cars, one at a time.
Allan

this seems like a good program. it is voluntary, and must be agreed upon by both neighborhood groups, and business districts.

Yeah, in theory it sounds great. In theory we were going to be in and out of Iraq in a couple of weeks, and troops were going to develop whiplash from the buckets of candy and flowers they'd be dodging. When reality intrudes, however, life becomes messy. So too with this City Council, where "voluntary" means "the fact that 100% of you didn't show up for the meeting we announced 30 minutes before it started means you all agree," where "agreed upon by business districts" means "one business on Clinton supports it, so Hawthorne and Belmont get parking meters," and so on.

The devil, as always, is in the details. I don't recall voting to let my neighborhood association (as much as I generally like them) authorize the city to cause massive spillover traffic onto my street. How will the city assess whether an appropriate % of businesses on Belmont want parking meters? Will they publicize the results?

I am a big supporter of mass transit, and I even like the idea of parking meters when they are integrated into the community from day 1, as in the Pearl. When they are inserted after the fact, I worry that they will cause nothing but headaches and inconvenience for the very groups they are alleged to help, and, most important, I simply don't trust this City Council to do the right thing.

Irony, you make excellent points regarding the actual cost of providing a parking space. However, the point of the post, I believe, was not to bemoan the fact that anybody ever has to pay for parking.

The key issue here, as illustrated by Jack's anecdote, is the fundamental problem with the theory that adding parking meters to a business district will actually boost business in that district.

It's true that having metered parking will tend to discourage an individual patron from loitering. That half of the "increased turnover" equation is OK. But there's no guarantee that the patron who has been encouraged to leave will be replaced by another when his time is up.

And in general, increasing the expense to your customers in any way is virtually never, in and of itself, good for business.

In Jack's case, though he didn't say how much the sandwich cost directly, figure about $8 for a large sub and a coke -- his $1.20 parking fee added 15% to the cost of his lunch. (Heh... and Oregonians decry the idea of a "sales tax"...)

Anyhow, check out the last line of Jack's original post:

Especially when there are many other nearby lunch options that don't involve pay-to-park (shops with their own parking lots, or in areas with on-street free parking), I won't be going back to that Subway again.

Point being, when there are accessible alternatives that don't require the customer to pay extra just to browse let alone actually buy, customers will tend to use those alternatives. So generally speaking, the loss of business due to parking charges is not likely to be offset by any theoretical increased turnover (never mind the supposed direct "profit sharing" with the businesses in that district, if any).

"Slowly making driving more expensive and less convenient...."


Poor people generally don't have (or have to share) cars in the first place. Providing more public transportation would actually benefit the poor more than cheap or free parking.

Man, I just bought gas the other day—it seems the City of Portland's diabolical plan to raise the cost driving is having a worldwide impact!

As far as Irony's argument, remember: Only mass-transit subsidies are fair game! Personal cars are symbols of rugged individualism and require no subsidy. Except the building roads and the invading of foreign nations—but never mind!

I was wrong, and I now understand that much of the property taxes will be used for the rich guys and not all of us. The Oregonian graphics helped in their story from a few days ago. I'm seeing things clearer, I hope. And some of you guys are right.

As for Vegas real estate going down 20% this year, that was in Fortune magazine last month. Easy to check. They had predictions for most of U.S. and they are usually spot on.

Here's a similar article -- with a $700,000 house selling at a 20% discount already.

http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/business/2006/may/21/566650314.html

Reading the posts of all these people who are soldiers in the war on the car, it just makes me that much more certain.....

In 20 years, Beaverton will be the economic center of the state. Portland will be a type of Disneyland - a playground for the rich with cool rides (tram, streetcar, light rail) and a bunch of service jobs.

Productivity will avoid Portland like the plague, because with the attitude reflected on these posts, Portland simply does not want to be competitive.

Productive people will leave. Actually, many alread have. It will only get worse. Hello Clark County and Washington County.

And all you planners and car haters, enjoy your knew ethereal utopia. But don't blame the productive people you chased away when your house of cards falls down.

We'll always have the "creative class." They'll go over the wine list with you.

I lived in LA back in the 70's and San Francisco in the early 80's and I've been through the parking meter/neighbourhood permit scenario a number of times. One guaranteed result- nearby side streets will be inundated with cars. Your nice little neighbourhood will turn into a parking lot. Just look at the streets off of NW 23rd to see your future. AND you will end up paying for that permit, so that you will have to pay to park in your own neighbourhood (when you can even find a parking place).

"We'll always have the "creative class." They'll go over the wine list with you."

And since they all work at the PDC they have time to do so in the middle of the work day.

The theory is based on empirical data showing that many if not most free parking spaces are used by employees or employers, not by shoppers. By instituting a low cost fee for parking, long term parkers are discouraged from using the space.

You may not believe that is what is going on in Hawthorne or Belmont, but it is not completely unrealistic.

As to Jack's experience with the "Euro meter" (not sure why he calls it that), I've never encountered one that does not take change.

And the fact that Jack used his credit card to pay $1.20 for his 10 minutes...well folks, isn't that just good city government? If many folks are willing to pay extra for parking just so they can conveniently use their credit card, let them.

AND you will end up paying for that permit, so that you will have to pay to park in your own neighbourhood (when you can even find a parking place).

And then when sidestreets are turned into giant parking lots, the city will remove zoning restrictions, thus allowing old houses to be razed and turned into parking structures. (Cf. NW 23rd.)

I've never encountered one that does not take change.

They take change when they're working right. But the one I was using wasn't.

OK, is it at all possible that (gasp) Adams has no angle here? Is it possible that he sincerely thinks that, based on studies done here and elsewhere, this could be a win-win for businesses on Hawthorne, Belmont and elsewhere? Maybe, just maybe, this isn't a salvo in the "WAR AGAINST CARS".

It's worth at least discussing the pros and cons, and I'm sure he's aware of arguments on both sides. It's entirely possible the idea is a bad one. But at least he's having a dialogue with small businesses.

Hey Irony,

The parking slots have become just a simple bonding opportunity, didn't you know? There are an infinite set of possibilities for rationalizing such action.

Yet:

If Portland would fail to cover the bond payments are we to picture that the slots themselves are distinct and "unique" identifiable pieces of property that can be handed over to bondholders . . . just as if it was like a sale today from the city to the lender of any other "real property?"

The adjoining private property holders are themselves the "beneficiaries" of the "public improvement," if indeed it is a public improvement. It is these beneficiaries who then should bear the public cost for their private benefit. Look at how sewer construction costs are apportioned to affected properties, and the unfortunate fate of those folks with a corner lot (now we look instead to water consumption capacity).

How would one set up a scheme then to measure the value of the parking slots, in a private capitalist kind of way? (I am an economist and like such riddles.)

Sell the slots, like bricks, or like railroad cars (which was once a not-uncommon investment), and let the owners set their own parking rates. The lenders and the adjoining landholders and pesky bloggers could all vie for buying their piece of blacktop. There could be an auction, and the city itself would be prohibited from offering special terms to any of the bidders, inclusive of lending terms.

If the bonds are just a limited time thing then the "sale" could be for just a period of 20 years. I would however expect that the bond-peddlers, as usual, would be more interested in lending in perpetuity by refunding older bonds as they retire. Such refunding makes the "temporary" scheme (arguably for one-time development) converts, in perpetuity, the scheme into the functional equivalent of a "sale;" the offer of a business opportunity for no risk of loss to the lender, ever, except from default. The lender (the bond peddlers) gets de facto "ownership;" the "beneficial use," in legal terms.

Still, I could propose an initiative (or the council could too) that redirects all the future parking meter revenue to say, Buckman Pool, or soccer fields or to a fund to purchase thousands of little yellow mopeds. It could even include a requirement that 30 percent of all parking spaces be reserved, for free, for two-wheeled forms of transportation (150cc and less) and include camera-based surveillance of these light and easy to steal vehicles. I suppose that a road like Hawthorne or Belmont from 20th to 39th could be closed to all auto traffic too, just for kicks. Who would argue that the lenders or improvement district landowners or parking slot auction winners has a valid private property claim to anything related to parking that forecloses such an alternative public policy choice?

You want a "price signal?" I can give you one. Hold an auction on the parking slots. But condition it with written and signed acknowledgment of the already existing constraint that the city could, on a whim, simply change their mind.

Come to think of it, each little Urban Renewal zone could choose to become their own little city with their own little city councils and laws. This too would give better "price signals" as to the value of improvements as it would no longer externalize the ideological and analytical pollution that seems to flow downwind from our financial-version of Oregon City's favorite stench producer, the old paper mill. From my study of natural resource economics I became a fervent believer in internalizing externalities, adapted later to be inclusive of financial-pollution schemes (otherwise called public-private partnerships, with a confined set of recognized "stakeholders").

Have you ever tried to get into or out of Beaverton during rush hour? Cars are not all bad, but worthless in areas jammed with traffice.

All metropolitan centers face the challenge of finding the right balance between necessary and unnecessary auto trips into the city center. Both incentives and options for people in transit are a must.

"Downtown" Beaverton is one big clusterf*** at any time of day. For that matter, the outlying stripmall roads are even worse. Cedar Hills Blvd and Scholls Ferry Rd, I'm talking to YOU

david,

thanks for your thoughtful comments. i did understand the point of jack's post, but i was mostly reflecting on the content of the ensuing discussion. the issue of substitution (say... going to woodstock instead of hawthorne) is definitely something to think about. business owners brought it up at the meeting (eg: "if our district decides to adopt this program and others don't, will we lose business to them?"). so you know they are already talking about it. the whole process is going to be very open, you can follow it at sam adam's blog (here's a relevant post). there will eventually be a web site devoted to the program. any revenue from meters that is above the cost of the program goes to the business district, and the numbers will be publically available.

the key point with this progam is to maintain a vacancy rate of 15% so one can easily find a space. the problem with free parking in these areas is not that shoppers monopolize the spaces, it's that non-shoppers take up valuable spaces for long periods of time. in the case of the lloyd district, people were driving to the lloyd, parking for free, and busing/maxing downtown. on hawthorne it is more likely employees, and serial loiterers. there is definitely a trade off with this solution, and that is time/congestion vs. money. i, for one, think it is a good trade off, but i am just an unaffiliated policy nerd, the business districts and NA's will have to decide for themselves what they want.

to the person who said "I don't recall voting to let my neighborhood association ... authorize the city to cause massive spillover traffic onto my street". you are your neighborhood association. if you are concerned, gather 15 friends and neighbors and go to a meeting--i garuntee you will constitute a large percentage (probably the largest single block) of the whole meeting. fwiw, i have lived in a neighborhood that required permits to park in, and it was fine. permits were $36 a year, and you could get a guest pass too. ($36/year for ~150 sq ft of city land? that's a steal!)

i've sunk too far into the bog, i better go before it's too late and someone else compares a voluntary parking program to the iraq war. i have a notion that people who read this are more interested in being grumpy than discussing public policy. one last thought though: free gas would be good for businesses as well. if the city subsidized gas, people would have more money to spend on goods, and they could drive to wherever they wanted to shop--cost free! reductio ad absurdum, indeed, but just consider the idea... the principle is the same.

ok, one final irony. now people are complaining about car share programs getting subsidized parking on another thread. welcome to bizarro world.

the key point with this progam is to maintain a vacancy rate of 15% so one can easily find a space. the problem with free parking in these areas is not that shoppers monopolize the spaces, it's that non-shoppers take up valuable spaces for long periods of time. in the case of the lloyd district, people were driving to the lloyd, parking for free, and busing/maxing downtown.

I recognize that this is a problem, but wouldn't a better first step be to simply hire more "meter maids" and have them patrol busy streets with more regularity? I mean, seriously, you increase the number of meter maids by a factor of 4 and have them patrol Hawthorne, Lloyd district, etc., and before long word will get out that it is a very unwise choice to leave your car in those areas for more than 2 hours. Seems to me this would be a wise intermediate step before jumping full-bore into the parking meter solution.

"Downtown" Beaverton is one big clusterf*** at any time of day..."

Yeah, look what MAX did to relieve congestion through Beaverton. Absolutely nothing! Good to see we paid $15M a mile for it. And the TIF'd, TOD'd 'The Round' is adding more and more parking structures. It sure has done its job!

Funny how so many people opt for sitting in traffic rather than on a bus or MAX. I guess the vast majority would rather have the freedom of driving a car and living in a suburban neighborhood.

Fools.

Uh, Chris, MAX wasn't designed to relieve congestion in downtown Beaverton. Most of those people you see around town are running errands within the city. MAX does not serve the same function as a bus...

I would agree that the Round development is pathetic. Poorly conceived, poorly executed... The only way to build around MAX is a start over, and I'd almost argue that the patchwork downtown Beaverton layout should be razed and redone. Car lots feel out of place there...

"non-shoppers take up valuable spaces"

What's next in this commercial-only focus . . . banning signature gatherers as it is disruptive to business? (See, Lloyd Center and Fred Meyer cases.) Would people have to bargain with business to preserve that access? Absurd, like one final insult.

I am upbeat. Imagine the happy times folks could have in a train-track-free street with tables smack dab in the middle and adorned with umbrellas. It could be as carefree as a distant park. And people could safely visit on their tiny non-auto vehicles, and not have to endure the stress of watching the parking meter clock.

It is a select set of grumpy profiteers who wish to apply exclusionary rules, so as to convert public space into their private property (stakeholder crap).

Silly "non-shoppers" get no respect, like Rodney Dangerfield. The welcoming sign shall read "Bring wallet or get lost!" No jugglers or musicians allowed, especially if they bring a tin cup to accept donations. Joy comes from emptying one's wallet (. . . into mine and mine alone).

Who knows, maybe the displaced Saturday Marketeers could be allowed to set up shop in the middle of newly redisignated streets as open air malls.

Who's space is it anyway?

Okay, so $52,428 in lost meter revenue plus administrative fees for installing 29 spaces in 2005 = $60084.

29 spaces seems believable for 2005?

(one term left until I graduate with a BS in math!)

Oops, posted in the wrong thread, sorry :(

I'll copy it. Dang math majors!

ron,

since you're a fervent believer in internalizing externalities, i'm surprised you wouldn't be at least slightly supportive a small step in that direction. of course, auctioning off the spaces would be the ultimate in liberalization of the parking space market, but it would never happen (not saying it should, either). look at the resistance to current scenario where the stakeholders get the economic benefit without having to make an initial investment. now imagine telling them you are going to lease off a portion of the public right-of-way in front of their business, and that they will have to pony up real money to buy the spaces. that's a non-starter.

Jack,

Did you see this gem from CommissionerSam.com? I'm guessing not, because it's way more of a doozie than the parking meter story.

http://www.commissionersam.com/sam_adams/2006/05/downtown_to_gai.html

The article starts out: "With downtown retailers increasingly competing with suburban shopping malls for customers, city Commissioner Sam Adams and the Portland Business Alliance are looking at a new approach — treat downtown more like a mall."

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but this is a problem that has been evolving since the 1970s when America went into hyper-burbia mode. Sam goes on to say he gave birth to this brainchild while in Las Vegas, where he noticed malls were becoming lifestyle centers. Huh? Did Sam or did Sam not see Fast Times At Ridgemont High?

Not only that, what was all the hoopla from his former boss named Katz about revitalizing downtown into a live-work community? Now Sam has received some good comments from friends of mine within the City over the last year, so I've mellowed on him, but when you read statements like this, you have to ask, just what is Commissioner Sam smoking (no pun intended)?

Maybe Matt Brown can run it.

RE Allen L's post: "...finding a convenient spot on the street with time left on the meter." But you do know that prior to these robo-meters going in (and it may still be the case), it was illegal to feed another's meter? Truly. You see some car about to get a ticket, and it is against the law for you to feed that meter. Breathtakingly inane.

Lex.

In the latest Barrons, Las Vegas is the 8th highest "overvalued" city in the US- by 39%. May 29th Barrons. A very good article. Bend is 3rd at 68% overvalued.

JK: Why not give you real name? I do.

irony anyone: am i the only one to notice the irony here? a blog full of commenters who routinely complain about subsidies to MAX and other public transit, have now filled several pages outraged over the prospect of having to ... pay for parking! subsidies to car owners.
JK: What subsidies? We pay for ALL local streets in Portland through motor vehicle taxes, except, for street lights. You will note that both streets and lighting predate the automobile. This is unlike MAX, where users pay less than 20% of the actual cost and bike lanes where users pay nothing.

irony anyone: even when it costs nothing, parking is not free--someone is paying for it (and it's not the drivers)
JK: Who pays for the advertising? Who pays for the lights? Who pays for the employees? THE CUSTOMER. Just like the parking - the customer. What is your problem with that? If you don't like it, why not shop only at stores without parking. Funny thing, most of them are little, expensive boutiques with little patronage. Is this you vision of the ideal world?

irony anyone: land taken for parking increases the cost of other land...
JK: If cost of land matters to you, I suggest that you complain about the single biggest factor in the cost of land: Metro's artificially created shortage of usable lend.

irony anyone: 2. congestion when people... circle the block for 15 minutes looking for a space.
JK: If they have to circle, there is not enough parking.

irony anyone: 3. congestion when people drive where they could easily walk or bike (like from one parking lot to the next).
JK: What about the week's worth of groceries in the trunk? And the three kids? And the soccer equipment? Not everyone lives the single lifestyle.

irony anyone: 4. congestion wastes gas (increasing demand and eventually gas prices and the national deficit), causes roads to deteriorate sooner (due to massive idle weight), exponentionally increases pollution, etc.
JK: That is why we need to cure congestion ASAP by the ONLY PROVEN method: build road capacity. BTW Metro projects MASSIVE congestion increases from continuing our current path (more transit and less roads).

irony anyone: this seems like a good program. it is voluntary, and must be agreed upon by both neighborhood groups, and business districts. all profit from the revenue goes the the business district to spend on improvements. charging market rate for parking is the right thing to do.
JK: The problem is that the planners lie to people to get them to agree with their schemes. And they end up stealing the money. Like they are doing to pay for the street car.

Thanks
JK

kevin: "Slowly making driving more expensive and less convenient...."

kevin: Poor people generally don't have (or have to share) cars in the first place. Providing more public transportation would actually benefit the poor more than cheap or free parking.
JK: The best way to benefit poor people is to help them get a car so that they will be free of the limited job choices reachable by transit. When a poor person gets a car, they can choose from many more jobs within a given commute time and hence their income will go up. On average their income over expenses increases by several hundred dollars per month.


Libertas: ...remember: Personal cars ... require no subsidy. Except the building roads and the invading of foreign nations—but never mind!
JK: Perhaps you didn't notice that mass transit uses fuel too. Buses about the same as a modern car PER PASSENGER, light rail a bit less, but it burns mostly coal in Boardman and Centralia which puts radioactive Uranium and Thorium into the atmosphere.

one final irony: the problem with free parking in these areas is not that shoppers monopolize the spaces, it's that non-shoppers take up valuable spaces for long periods of time.
JK: so. put in a time limit, instead of driving away customers with metering. the fact the city is promoting metering over limits indicates that they are INDEED continuing their war on the car by making it too expensive for low income people to drive. Middle income will be next, the rich will always drive. just another portland social engineering experiment

Thanks
JK

The concept that installing parking meters will increase business because people will not park their cars in front of a store for long periods of time is bunk. Many businesses that desire parking turnover have "15 minute parking" signs in front of them.


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Chloe, Pinot Grigio, Valdadige 2013
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2013
Kirkland, Pinot Grigio, Friuli 2013
St. Francis, Red Splash 2011
Rodney Strong, Canernet, Alexander Valley 2011
Erath, Pinot Blanc 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Porto 2007
Portuga, Rose 2013
Domaine Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny, Vielles Vignes Les Premieres 2008
Locations, F Red Blend
El Perro Verde, Rueda 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red 2
If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010
Walter Scott, Pinot Noir, Holstein 2011
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
Coppola, Sofia Rose 2012
Joel Gott, 851 Cabernet 2010
Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2009
Rombauer Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
Beringer, Chardonnay, Napa Reserve 2011
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Schloss Vollrads, Spaetlese Rheingau 2010
Belle Glos, Pinot Noir, Clark & Telephone 2010
WillaKenzie, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvee 2010
Blackbird Vineyards, Arise, Red 2010
Chauteau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005
Northstar, Merlot 2008
Feather, Cabernet 2007
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Alexander Valley 2002
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2002
Trader Joe's, Chardonnay, Grower's Reserve 2012
Silver Palm, Cabernet, North Coast 2010
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
E. Guigal, Cotes du Rhone 2009
Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio 2011
Alamos, Cabernet 2011
Cousino Macul, Cabernet, Anitguas Reservas 2009
Dreaming Tree Cabernet 2010
1967, Toscana 2009
Charamba, Douro 2008
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend No. 12
Opula Red Blend 2010
Liberte, Pinot Noir 2010
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red Blend 2010
Woodbridge, Chardonnay 2011
King Estate, Pinot Noir 2011
Famille Perrin, Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010
Columbia Crest, Les Chevaux Red 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White Blend

The Occasional Book

Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 349
At this date last year: 214
Total run in 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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