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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 13, 2006 8:40 AM. The previous post in this blog was Better than any stinkin' affordable housing. The next post in this blog is Coming attractions. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Apple view

I caught two mentions of greater Portlandia in yesterday's Sunday New York Times. One, a piece in the business section about Dark Horse Comics, down in Milwaukie; the other, a real estate section story about condos in towers that don't come with parking. (For example, the strip mall on its side going up over next to Civic Stadium.) I'm sure old Chris Smith felt a vague little tingle in his naughty bits on that second one. Repeat after me, folks: No parking -- anywhere -- ever again!

Comments (27)

In the example they were using, The Civic, only 24 of the 261 units come with no parking. (So more than 90% of the units do have parking assigned, which is probably reasonable.)

Hey, if people want to live in a condo and live a car-free life, good for them. I'm sure there are lots of people that can manage to do it, and it's great to get those cars off the road. However, what I worry about is a trend where these buildings get built in residential areas like Buckman/Sunnyside, and rather than attracting people who don't want to own a car, they attract people who don't want to pay for a parking space, and then just end up parking in front of the house next door to their building.

If people don't want to buy a metal box costing thousands of dollars (which also costs thousands more to insure, fuel and maintain), why do you want to force them to do so?

Or would you prefer that instead of them building places like the Civic, they instead plop 261 houses, driveways and giant yards on top of open space out in Washington or Yamhill County? And then those people clog the roads like 217, 99W and I-5 because they have to drive in from Newberg to the city every day?

I don't understand the logic in this post. Just because people don't want to own a car, suddenly, that means somehow, no one is allowed to have a car. ???????????

Or would you prefer that instead of them building places like the Civic, they instead plop 261 houses, driveways and giant yards on top of open space out in Washington or Yamhill County?

What a cute little sheep. Baaaaaaaaaaaa.

It's not either-or, unless you're a city "planner." Keep writing, "Reginald." You may get yourself admitted to Portland State!

Reginald If people don't want to buy a metal box costing thousands of dollars (which also costs thousands more to insure, fuel and maintain), why do you want to force them to do so?
JK: Fine with me as long as they don’t expect me to foot 80% of their transportation bill when they use trimet. (Actually, they should get a small car to save energy compared to the bus.)

Reginald Or would you prefer that instead of them building places like the Civic, they instead plop 261 houses, driveways and giant yards on top of open space out in Washington or Yamhill County?
JK: You bet I would!
First, they would be clogging up Washington or Yamhill County streets, not Portland’s.
Second, we wouldn’t have to pay for their basic services, while any property tax they pay stays in their UR district.
Third, the giant yards will have a decent amount of living space, a place for the kids to play.
Fourth. Portland is FULL.

Reginald And then those people clog the roads like 217, 99W and I-5 because they have to drive in from Newberg to the city every day?
JK: Why would they drive to the city every day? In case you didn’t notice, most area jobs are NOT IN THE CITY center any more. Jobs are all over the region now days.

Thanks
JK

The article quoted someone going to OHSU nursing school - so she'd have to drive into the city every day, Jim.

Some people don't want to take care of a big yard. It kills the whole weekend. Much rather do other things.

Portland is not a gated community. You can't just declare it "full" because you don't want anyone else to live there.

Reginald Portland is not a gated community. You can't just declare it "full" because you don't want anyone else to live there.
JK: What does gated community have to do with the subject?

We just declare Portland FULL and stop giving tax incentives to build big box housing.
We quit advertizing for people to move here.
We quit promoting Portland’s livability and instead stress our high un-employment, high crime, high cost of living and high taxes.

Thanks
JK

Reginald and Dave J: I'll buy some of your point-of-view if the city will require that none of the 24 "no parking space" condos owners or any occupant of those units ever have a vehicle while they are an occupant/owner. If they so do they will be fined $40,000 dollars for each vehicle over zero. And the fine WILL be collected or taken out of the selling price of the condo when the occupant sells the unit, with interest from date of infraction.

I'm not happy with people using public streets for their habitual garages when we have the opportunity in avoiding the problems in the near and far future in new construction.

Jim, the voters and citizens who are here obviously disagree with you. They do it time and again every time there's an election to put people in office who support your way of thinking. They lose nearly every time. So even if we agreed (which we don't), the vast majority would still be against you. You're consigned to online crank-dom.

Reginald You're consigned to online crank-dom.
JK: Name calling, you must be a PDC employee.

Thanks
JK

online crank-dom.

Please don't do that here.

Ha! The last refuge of the Karlockians, impugning people by assuming they must be public employees.

I work in the private sector, thanks, with no public agencies as part of my company's customers.

And yet - AND YET - I still disagree with your strategy of telling people Portland is a s***hole in the hopes that they won't move here. (I think the rain does enough to keep people away, actually). And the voters also disagree.

And on your deathbed, Mr. Karlock, you'll still be ranting about these issues, while the rest of us enjoy our time in one of the greatest cities ever.

Good luck with that.

Reg,

Unfortunately, I think the majority of Portland's electorate are ignorant to how UR districts, subsidies and TIF works. The CoP, PDC and Oregonian newspaper have done a great job of sugar-coating the issue while making it as convoluted as possible.

Give Portland another 4 years and voters will probably wake up to the fact basic services have gone underfunded while Homer Williams laughs all the way to the bank.

That is an interesting point, Chris. The author of this blog was quite excited in 2004 because he assumed the current mayor would sweep away the stench of corruption represented by "the Scone." And yet, the "problem" appears to be worse than ever if I read his words correctly. And we're halfway through his first term so one would think he would have shown his true colors on this by now.

If there's brewing voter resentment of Mayor Potter that will make itself known in 2 years, or brewing voter resentment of Sten & Adams that will make itself known when they are up for re-election, I would love to see it. But I highly doubt it.

Face it, you guys - as long as you choose to remain in the city limits of Portland, you are stuck with Potter, Sten and Adams and the philosophy they represent. I don't say this to gloat - I am just stating it as a matter of fact. Expecting the polity of Portland to change is as futile as moving to Odessa, Texas and expecting to elect livability types to the city council.

I agree with you, Reginald, as do many others who, like me, don't work for Portland State or the City of Portland. But I don't have the time or energy right now to engage with the predictable and endlessly repeated pro-car, anti-regulation arguments that are burped up whenever Jack throws this sort of red meat to the anti-land-use-planning crowd.

Anyway, thanks for making an intelligent effort in a forum where it's not likely to be appreciated and will probably be ridiculed.

Reggie, my friend, you have made this personal against Mr. Karlock, and you are turning this thread into your personal rant. You are generally welcome here, but you have made your point and now you need to give it a rest for a while.

Reginald, I think it is appropriate for any "minority", as you call the "Karlockians", to give arguments, opinions about subjects that Jack posts. If one can only give comment if you are in the majority (and a broad assumption on your part), then we are in deep water. How do you know what Potter, Adams, Sten thinks about some of the points above? And if you do know, what keeps them from changing their opinions as arguments and facts come in that might disprove their present opinions?

Isn't the Civic in a part of town where there is no unpaid onstreet parking? This shouldn't be a problem -- if the condo owners end up having a car, they'll either pay a monthly parking fee to a garage or move it every two hours and pay the meters. I have a bigger problem with my residential neighbors who have more cars than fit in their driveway.

And Reginald, I'm not sure that because the Portland voters support all the things Potter et al. are doing makes them right. I generally agree with you, and I think Portland is a fantastic place to live. But I also want to echo what Chris said about voters not understanding UR, TIF, etc. One reason PDC was made "independent" was so that it didn't have to play by the same rules, and so that it would be less directly accountable. You can support "livability", "planning", and every other progressive idea and still want to rein those bastards in.

As for the Karlockian viewpoint, I find his posts insightful. I support public subsidies for mass transit based on the idea that the public is paying for the positive externalities -- less traffic, less pollution, etc. Now JK comes along and argues that if everyone who rides the bus instead drove a small hybrid, there would be less pollution and the subsidy $$$ could be spent elsewhere. I don't know how he solves the traffic issue, or even if he's right, but I've been thinking about his post all weekend.

That's why I read blogs.

Miles, there in an abundance of "unpaid onstreet parking" near the Civic, just across Burnside and even to the west. People throughout the NW neighborhood must vie for the very limited on-street parking. Same with all our other inner-city neighborhoods. With this tremendous need of parking in our neighbhorhoods, drivers park their vehicles very close (if not partially in front of) to driveways, and intrude into sidewalks at each end of blocks. Thus PDOT has inserted the dreadful "Bubbles" at each block ends. This reduces parking capacity by four cars per each side of block, plus parallel parking is very difficult for these bubble spaces.

Why foist one projects parking needs to another property owner or neighborhood? Lets help solve the problem while we can.

I'm not happy with people using public streets for their habitual garages when we have the opportunity in avoiding the problems in the near and far future in new construction.

If the folks in NW Portland don't like all the residential folks parking in the public spaces (i.e. available for everyone) on the public streets, then why don't they support a permit program?

Last I checked, any suggestion of a permit program (other than in the immediate vicinity of the baseball field) has been loudly met by local residents.

Obviously, they don't mind people - visitors and neighbors alike - parking on the street.

Kari Chisholm I'm not happy with people using public streets for their habitual garages when we have the opportunity in avoiding the problems in the near and far future in new construction.
JK: Of course those “public” streets are owned by the adjacent landowners - that is why they pay some storm water runoff even if they disconnect their drains

Kari Chisholm If the folks in NW Portland don't like all the residential folks parking in the public spaces (i.e. available for everyone) on the public streets, then why don't they support a permit program?
JK: Maybe they don’t like paying to park on their own property.

Kari Chisholm Obviously, they don't mind people - visitors and neighbors alike - parking on the street.
JK: Or they don’t like paying to park in front of their home, especially since they own the street.

Thanks
JK

You're right, Lee. For some reason I thought this was one of the new condos going in near Civic Auditorium (er, Keller, or whatever). But I guess those are still a ways off.

I have no problem with people getting cheaper places if they do without a parking space, but there should be some way to enforce it.

No free riders!

Encouraging carlessness is one of the
cheapest ways to reduce congestion. This makes it easier for those who need
to drive. Very logical to me.

Nick, it is illogical to place burdens on citizens who can't exist without a vehicle for work or life's needs-and that vehicle needs a place to park.

What do you do in the meantime until your utopia can be reached?

Of course your utopia will never be reached. New York still has an abundance of vehicles, and they are necessary for commerce, daily living, and to pick up your garbage.

I am not suggesting it's not good to try to decrease dependence on vehicles, but to force you to do so is not fair or practical.

Nick: Encouraging carlessness is one of the
cheapest ways to reduce congestion. This makes it easier for those who need
to drive. Very logical to me.
JK: Keep in mind it was the carlessness who got stranded in New Orleans. “Car dependent” people generally got out of New Orleans. The transit dependent were let down by their dependence on the government.

There is a big time lesson there. (It is not about the need to improve government.)

Thanks
JK

JK,

Is factually accurate to say that a property owner of land adjacent to the street "owns" the street? I suspect not, as the city pays to built and maintain said street. Perhaps our law prof host can clarify (even if he does teach tax)...

I got into this eight years ago as part of the famous Buckman neighborhood methadone clinic saga. Under some ancient Oregon law, the property owner owns the property all the way out to the middle of the street. The public has a right-of-way over the sidewalks and streets for certain purposes, including transportation. It's one of the reasons why the city can make you, the property owner, take care of the street trees -- they're technically your trees, but subject to heavy regulation.

Interesting question is whether the public has the right to run an aerial tram over your property in the middle of the street. At one time there was a lawsuit pending on that issue, but it was dismissed as premature. Well, it isn't premature now, but the neighbors have apparently given up fighting.

If a street is vacated -- not that rare an occurrence in Portland at one time -- the property owners on either side get their sections of the street back. Indeed, there will be some of that going on on Burnside if the infernal Burnside-Couch "couplet" goes through.


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