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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Parking meters on Hawthorne -- another done deal

Portland Commissioner Sam the Tram Adams says he's "asking" the merchants on Hawthorne Boulevard whether they want parking meters. Says he's trying to show them how they'll help business. But when you look at his slideshow on the subject, it's clear that the decision has already been made:

A reader rightly complains:

It's kind of annoying, especially the way he starts the entire presentation by declaring that "meters WILL one day come to Hawthorne" (emphasis mine), the only question is who they will benefit. Classic technique of starting a meeting in which you are claiming to discuss whether or not it will happen by declaring that it will happen.


In fairness to Adams, the statement in question is on silde no. 9 of 73, but it does give you an idea of how the arm-twisting is being done.

There are quite a few other appalling statements in the slideshow as well. His long history of working for Vera Katz really shows through. Some day he'll wake up and say, "Portland is now just like all the other West Coast cities -- my job is done."

Comments (26)

He's "asking" the merchants, but if you walk along Hawthorne from 34th to 39th, you will be hard pressed to find one business without a "No parking meters on Hawthorne!" sign proudly displayed in its front window. Even the chain stores (Hollywood video, Coldstone, etc.) have them. There is NO business support for this plan, and if he claims that there is, he's flat-out lying.

You'll also notice that his presentation says nothing about those pesky people who actually live in the area--the ones who will face massive small street gridlock once people realize that driving a few blocks off of Hawthorne will mean they don't have to pay at the meters. Oh, no worries, says the city, we'll go to a permit system. Great, so now I get to pay for the honor of parking in front of my house.

(And, of course, note the absurdity that Adams claims that the parking problems now are caused in part because the city can't find the money to pay for parking enforcement, but once the meters come and they force parking permits on everyone, how will they monitor that? With, um...parking enforcement.)

Parking meters allow for more self monitoring, encouraging turn over without additional parking enforcement costs.

It's kind of funny, I guess. It sounds like he wants to put in meters but not really enforce them. Sort of like the fare box on a streetcar. Donations gladly accepted, but not required.

When ever I hear about new meters being installed I recall CoolHand Luke, at the begining of the film, cutting down the meters with a pipe cuter...My hero.

Coming from places south, I can attest to the reality that the parking permits, meters, and enforcement only work as an income generator for the city. Any other arguements for them is a trojan horse.

Sorry, King Sam.

Parking meters in Hawthorne is a non-starter.

Unless you are looking forward to a return to the private sector and then, well, I think Mr. Bojack (and the rest of us) can help you out there.

I once had some hope for Sam, but all is lost.
He needs to get out of politics, read some books about life in the commercial sector and listen instead of talk so much.
Open your eyes and ears Sam.

JK: If the goal was to free up parking spaces, they just need to post a 1hr limit and enforce it occasionally.

Sam’s push for parking meters is part of the planner’s long range plan to make driving so difficult and expensive that we will switch to transit. That is why they advocate certain things:

1) Reduce road capacity by not building new roads as our population increases.
2) Reduce road capacity by actually removing lane-miles. Examples of this include Front ave., behind Union Station, being reduced from four lanes two.
3) Reduce road capacity by reverting one-way couplets to two way. This also increases accidents, but planners seldom care about safety.
4) Increase congestion by adding extended curbs which make buses stop in the driving lane, force right turning vehicles to block traffic as they slow to turn. A side effect that they don’t like to talk about is encouraging peds to stand closer to fast moving traffic, increasing the chances of a collision. Industrial safety demands that people be kept away from moving machinery, but planners don’t seem to care.
5) Increase cost of driving. One example is Leonard’s gasahol mandate for Portland that will probably make gas more expensive and cause spot shortages. Actually it may increase driving as we have to drive out of Portland to get real gas. (I recommend getting gas in Vancouver to keep the tax money away from departments that use it against us - they still build road capacity over there)
6) PARKING METERS everywhere. Both increases the cost of driving and provides money for the toy trains.

Bottom line: the real purpose of parking meters is to force people to get out of their cars and to waste time on transit. Unfortunately, it will be the poor who are hurt most, but Portland’s planners have been screwing the poor for years.

The sickness of this whole plan becomes obvious when you realize that buses use more energy than cars, pollute more and cost more. The planers are still using 1970's data when buses saved energy (since then buses gradually got worse and cars got dramatically better.) Planners are too stupid to get modern data because it would interfere with their religion. The other part of their dogma, light rail costs too much and does too little.

Thanks (forgive the overlap with my post on Sam’s blog)

I was at the meeting where Sam gave this presentation. I live 2 blocks in from Hawthorne, at 23rd. I'm also between Hawthorne and Division. We already have Tri-met bus riders parking in the 'hood, are dealing with some unpleasant infill at 26th & Division, and so I'm invested in this. I'm also HAND's (Hosford-Abernethy's) land use and transportation chair, though I post here as an individual.

I don't think this is a done deal. I'm also not sure it isn't a good idea, but if you asked me to vote now, I'd say "no." As did the vast majority of business owners at that meeting.

The problem is...we do have a problem with parking. I've lived here nearly 20 years, and the problem has gotten worse. It's exacerbated, for example, by putting up condos and retail where the Burger King used to be...wouldn't that have been a great spot for a parking garage? (Or let's turn Fred Meyer's surface parking lot into a smart-park?)

My biggest problem is parking meters don't really add to capacity. And there's no question we'll have more parkers in the residential areas, so there's the inevitable neighborhood parking permit system. Where will all my guests park when I throw my wild parties? What's the time limits? Hawthorne's a night destination, as well as day.

Somewhat galling to me, on a personal level, is city zoning that allows for increased density --which can be OK, sorry Jim, hold the speech-- but which doesn't address providing infrastructure improvements to go with that density. Seems like bad planning to me.

Anyway, I'm off to see The Who at the Rose Garden. I used to park free on the street for night events, and Blazer games --I don't mind walking-- but there's these parking meters now, and they go really, really paying through the nose to pay to park in one of them there garages tonight will be my destiny. Just remember: "We won't be fooled again!"

The parking problems are caused in part because the City actively discourages new construction from providing adequate parking, increasing the burden on the available street parking. The City doesn't distinguish very well between discouraging car use and discouraging car ownership. Even people who don't drive their cars a lot need to park them somewhere.

"We won't be fooled again!"

It occurs to me that I don't know that this crowd gets it --well, Bill would, Jack probably-- but that's, well, my favorite lyrical line from The Who.

Make it yours.

Frank, I'm having trouble with the line, "There's nothing in the streets looks any different to me." Parking meters on Hawthorne would look a lot different. And unlike another Who song, this council COULD prevent Jack from being happy.

They dropped things on my back
They lied and lied and lied and lied and lied

Commissioner Sam's handling of the Hawthorne Parking Meter reminds me of the recent past Sam Tram Media Show at PSU where it was advertized as an "information gathering meeting" to consider stopping the tram, analyse the costs, consider what the public wanted. After two hours of media/speaking presentations from endless staff, the public finally got to speak. There was not an open mind on Sam Tram's part. That is how Saltzman treated the Mt. Tabor issue, how Sam Tram treated the Tram, and it will be how Sam Tram will treat the Hawthorne Parking Meters issue. Vera was great at this, and Sam Tram learned from his mentor.

Exactly. To think we could have had Nick Fish -- but Sten wanted it this way.

Wow, people sure do love to bitch about inane things. Fuel taxes only pay for 90% of the cost of road construction, the other 10%, the part that pays for parking comes from other forms of taxation, meaning those of us that pay taxes and choose not to drive are paying for all those parking spaces. All on-street parking should be pay parking. For those that want to cry about having to pay for their on-street parking permits, maybe you should provide your own parking space on your own land and stop making the rest of us pay for it.

And to the person who claims transit is less efficient than driving, the only way that is true is if very few people are riding the bus. Hopefully this will get more people to ride increasing the efficiency of said transit system.

Eli Haworth Wow, people sure do love to bitch about inane things. Fuel taxes only pay for 90% of the cost of road construction, the other 10%, the part that pays for parking comes from other forms of taxation, meaning those of us that pay taxes and choose not to drive are paying for all those parking spaces.
JK: Not in Portland - the only street cost not paid by motorists is lighting. However, taxpayers do pay over 80% of the cost of mass transit.

Eli Haworth All on-street parking should be pay parking.
JK: Are you seriously proposing that I should pay the city for the privilege of parking ON LAND THAT I OWN (the street in front of my house)?

Eli Haworth For those that want to cry about having to pay for their on-street parking permits, maybe you should provide your own parking space on your own land and stop making the rest of us pay for it.
JK: When you use transit, I presume you toss 5 times the posted fare into the box. Or are you a hypocrite who complains about free parking while letting others pay for 80% of your transit cost?

Eli Haworth And to the person who claims transit is less efficient than driving, the only way that is true is if very few people are riding the bus. Hopefully this will get more people to ride increasing the efficiency of said transit system.
JK: I doubt it. Chicago isn’t much more energy efficient than Trimet. Besides why would we want to travel, standing up, next to a drug dealer, or jammed against an obviously sick person, during flu season, when we could be enjoying the comfort of our car?


I am not convinced that Fish, a VERY connected New Yorker, would have been any better. Slicker, perhaps.

Just because you're from New York does not mean that you'd be like Vera Katz. Doing her bidding for many years is a much more telling indicator.

No, but he's from a real estate family and the great grandson(?) of Hamilton Fish who was Governor of New York and Secretary of State, I think, as well as either a US congressman or senator. Yet, Nick plays up the fact that he is married to a Latina and has kids. Great for him, but I am from Missouri on this one: So far, he hasn't shown me he is for real.

JK: Are you seriously proposing that I should pay the city for the privilege of parking ON LAND THAT I OWN

Fine, JK, but you can consider yourself officially prohibited from parking in front of my house.

No, but he's from a real estate family and the great grandson(?) of Hamilton Fish who was Governor of New York and Secretary of State, I think, as well as either a US congressman or senator. Yet, Nick plays up the fact that he is married to a Latina and has kids. Great for him, but I am from Missouri on this one: So far, he hasn't shown me he is for real.

Wow. What a useless load of ad hominem attacks. Anything specific about Fish you don't like? Gee, his progenitor also signed the Declaration of Independence. Does that disqualify him even further?

Here's my concern about the meters: what will drivers do when they come to Hawthorne and there aren't any open meters? The answer is obvious: they'll either leave, or they'll park on nearby streets. If they leave, then business loses customers. If they park on nearby streets, then local streets will become more cluttered than they already are. But in order to keep streets open for residents, the city is talking about a permit system. So, on especially busy days, people will come to Hawthorne and chose between parking illegally in permited areas, or leaving. Either way, residents and businesses lose out.

This really is one of the most poorly conceived ideas I can recall. Where is the data showing that people who park on Hawthorne abuse the two-hour rule? Where is the data showing that putting meters in a shopping district like Hawthorne IN PORTLAND (don't tell me about Old Pasadena, Sam) is good for business? What is the city's plan to assess the success/failure of this plan? What is the city's solution if local businesses can demonstrate a substantial loss of revenue once these meters go in? (Anyone with experience in government can tell you it is a lot easier to keep government from adopting a source of revenue than getting them to give it up once it exists. Once those meters go in, they're staying.)

Actually, Cynthia, if you knew anything substantive about Nick's family here in Portland (I'm betting you don't), you'd already know that the mother of his two kids is a history professor at PSU, and the author of several women's studies books. And you'd know that Nick left his law practice in NYC behind and moved to Portland with the family when she accepted her current position at PSU.

I know Patricia personally (we belong to the same synagogue) - if she's Latina, that's news to me, actually (I've never heard her described in that way, nor do I remember Nick making an 'issue' of it - most people talk about her accomplishments instead.)

Finally, I happen to believe that it matters more how you conduct yourself today, and who you surround yourself with, than who your ancestors are.


I heard Nick himself say that at a candidates forum in Gateway in 2004, where he also said she taught history at PSU and the family's move to Portland was for the purpose of taking that job. He said she was from a South American country and made a statement to the effect that she "pulled herself up by her bootstraps". He excused himself before the question and answer period saying he had to get home and help with the baby. Please don't tell me what I know and don't know Betsy. I will gladly tell people how I formed my opinions when asked. And I completely agree with you that conduct today is important and that you are not your family. But it is relevant. What Fish did at that meeting impressed me as a dodge (for the children, you know). And I did not say he should be disqualified at all, simply that I was skeptical and needed convincing. Instead words are put in my mouth for expressing my concerns. That is something we ought to move away from as a society, imho, if we want to avoid constantly being duped.

Also, forgive me for the way my mind works, but when someone keeps making a point of the fact that he moved to Portland for his wife's job, I have to wonder if that is why he really moved to Portland. We're such "nice" people, we'll believe anything.

Well, Mr. Fish did tell me, some months before he actually moved to Portland and quite a few years before he ran for office, that he was moving here because his wife was taking a job here.

Nick Fish came from a long line of conservative and/or Republican statesmen. Then he became a Democrat, and went to work for Barney Frank.

That means he's no conservative, at least in my book.

The Tram Man is Katz-lite with a PC pretty face. He still represents the usual suspects, and NOT ordinary citizens (unless you count OHSU and BTA as ordinary).

Fish would have been been more transparent and less Machiavellian than the Tram.

Fish would have elevated the discussion on our hundreds of millions of dollars of neglected infrastructure and maintenance needs.

Who cares why he moved here, or what ethnicity his wife is?


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