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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 24, 2011 8:50 AM. The previous post in this blog was Stand by for grandstanding. The next post in this blog is Welches con man working NW 17th and Raleigh. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

"On-street parking should be $7 an hour"

That statement could easily be dismissed as a rant, but it was actually made, with a straight face, by Fireman Randy on TV last night. The City of Portland's jacked up the parking meters near Jelled--When? Stadium to $3.50 an hour so that the Timber soccer fans can be thoroughly soaked on game days and nights. According to the city councilman, the fee ought to be twice that.

Now, the average soccer game is 90 minutes, plus overtime plus halftime (or whatever they call those interludes), and so chances are you'd have to park for three hours to attend a game. And you should be paying the city $21 for the privilege of bringing a car, apparently.

And why's that? The party line from the Fireman vaguely has to do with fairness to people who live near the stadium, but let's face it, with thousands of fans descending upon the field and only a few hundred on-street spots, the neighbors are screwed no matter how much or how little the parking meters cost.

Where does this logic stop? Blazer games aren't any different. Come to think of it, neither is church on Sunday. Neither is downtown. Neither is Hawthorne Boulevard. Neither is the space in front of your house.

Heaven forbid that a person driving a car have even a lottery chance of getting a break in Portland any more. Nickel dime, nickel dime, nickel dime... it's a large part of why our city is dying a slow death.

Comments (29)

I can't tell whether you are concerned about the neighbors or the soccer fans. It would be hard to protect both.

Maybe Randy suspects the parking revenue will be the only payoff from the MLS deal.

I say let's privatize on-street parking. Dead serious. $7/hr. might seem like a bargain then. I think I paid $9 to park in a private lot to see the Blazers play, and the last time I drove to a Blazers game was 2001.

Having visited many cities across the country during the last 6 months it is interesting to me that Portland has one of the highest rates for metered parking in the downtown core areas of anyplace we visited.
It also has one of the the most inhospitable downtown area what with the street people, the trashy look of the place and the high meter rates. Why would you go there unless absolutely necessary?
I will tell you that the local merchants are feeling the downturn in a big way! And it isn't good.

When I was in Boston we went out to dinner and a friend insisted on driving when we could have taken the train. The parking was over 30 dollars for around an hour and a half, but we didn't have to circle the block trying to find a space. Parking is so cheap in Portland that it is hard to find a space, I wish that they would charge more so that when I do need to drive downtown I could find parking quickly and near where I am going.

Where is the line between "demand pricing" and "price gouging"? Why is this any different from the demand pricing by the airlines and the trailblazers?

Wait, an elected official in Portland wants to enact car-hating policy?

Next you're going to tell us that fire is still hot. Consider this latest "idea" just another way to try to get people to use MAX by making the alternatives much more painful.

The solution for this downtown venue is to get rid of a sport that draws big crowds for a few days a year.

Instead, we should find a sport that has more games with less attendance to reduce parking pressure.

Let's see. What sport could that possibly be?

Save money, get stabbed.

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2011/03/man_stabbed_on_downtown_max_pl.html

"Witnesses told Portland Police, who arrived on the scene about 5:15 p.m., that the suspect and victim began arguing on the westbound MAX train. The suspect pulled out a knife and stabbed the victim, then exited the train at Southwest Second Avenue and Morrison Street."

Randy's Water Bureau is looking to raise water rates another 85% over the next 5 years. He's never met a dollar that wasn't his to pocket and overlord. Keep voting him in folks....five more years!

Seven bucks an hour is cheap if you're drawing two pensions plus a City Commissioner's salary.

I'm guessing Randy doesn't have to reach into his own pockets to get re-elected either. Little Lord Paulson's got his back.

Sounds like a solid economic plan--if you dare drive your car in Portland, and are lucky enough to find a spot, it will cost you an insane amount of money for the privilege to visit the downtown shops, go to soccer, etc. It's why I will continue to shop out in the suburbs and avoid Portland altogether.

Creators of the proposal said the increased rates would bring an extra $110,000 in revenue to the city. It will cost about $10,000 to alter the meters.

Just maybe Randy realizes he has already overspent and he and Council will do anything to try to save financial face!

But it will take a lot of nickel and dime schemes to make up for his horrible decisions.
His $135 Million on that unnecessary Powell Butte Storage Tank so he could move forward with disconnecting the reservoirs is just one of his many very questionable decisions. From what I hear, he gets very irritated with citizens who speak the truth about such matters. Doesn't like it. I wouldn't either if I were shafting the Portland citizens. His plans would be so much easier if these citizens would just go away and readily accept his financial bs and swallow the added toxins in our water.

Nickel and dime schemes will be coming on in every way possible to keep us afloat on Council's way of thinking, can't decide if inept, corrupt or sheer crazy-making. Oh, and we can be sure to be taxed in every way possible because of these "financial misfits." We are so screwed.

Randy seems to think his pricing model for water works on all commodities.

You'd think they'd notice what they've done to retail downtown, but I guess they want to kill MLS before it gets legs.

It was the lure of Merritt Paulson, inciting boys like Sam and Randy to want to play in the big sandbox.

This is one of the main reasons Randy is unelectable for a fourth term in 2012. C. Leonard used to joke about going into to work everyday to take the foot of the necks of the little guy ---in fact he's the guy pinning us down.

I miss baseball already - even though soccer is one of my favorites. PGE Park was renovated just 9 years ago - plenty of useful life left in the stadium along with 17 years left on the original bond that we are still paying for. Thank you Sam, Randy, Nick, and Dan and Amanda( who finally voted for it after she voted against it because it of a smoking ban - crazy.

I wish that they would charge more so that when I do need to drive downtown I could find parking quickly and near where I am going.

Boston is legendary for having terrible parking availability.

And Manhattan, which has the highest parking rates in the nation, experiences 18-hour-a-day rush hours and a multi-million dollar parking fine business.

Folks, it doesn't work. Ever. Amsterdam and London charge ridiculous rates for parking and driving. Both cities have insane rush hours, congestion, and parking problems.

But watch how City Council spends its time doing it anyway. I have an idea--let's make all City Council members pay for their own parking. What's that? We pay it for them? Interesting.

Don't worry about. Trimet has great service to all parts of the cities and all times. Ride the bus, streetcar and Max, clean, well lit, and safe. He-he

Mary Volm,
The Mayor and Leonard's connection with Merritt Paulson, does that connection extend to any municipal bonds with Goldman Sachs in Portland?

There was a great bit about this in the book "Traffic", which basically went like so:

You should raise the price on parking - both streets and lots - until there's always a few parking spaces free. Parking is a scarce resource, and it's in the public interest to discourage people from wanting/needing to use it, and at the same time, to make the most revenue from that scarce resource. Thus, any time the city sees "wow, all the spots are full", they know they've set the price too low and should jack it up a little bit. And if it gets full again, they should jack it up a little further. And keep doing that until you stop having 100% utilization.

You'll maximize the parking's effectiveness (people will know they'll always be able to find a parking space, should they drive) while at the same time have applied the appropriate amount of discouragement from actually parking and consuming that scarce resource.

It's sorta genius actually.

I seem to recall that Jeld-Wen shut down a bunch of sponsorships/operations recently because they were scaling back.

You could have knocked me over with a feather when I heard about "Jeld-Wen Park"

Still, I'm glad it wasn't another local privately owned monopoly utility like PGE.

"Seven bucks an hour is cheap if you're drawing two pensions plus a City Commissioner's salary."

You'd think so, but when Randy goes to soccer games, he'll just park his "C ride" in front of a fire hydrant, because he IS the fire commissioner after all. You can bet on it.

I don't get the logic. There is a scarce resource. The city has to distribute that scarce resource. At certain times, the resource becomes even more scarce because of increased demand. Why not use price as a way to match supply and demand? Should we use a lottery system, instead?

The city has to distribute that scarce resource.

Why?

Why not use price as a way to match supply and demand?

Why not make it free?

Let's be factual here: Street "Parking resources" are arbitrarily demarcated, designed, and charged for by the city. It could be done any number of ways; even Adams himself (and Leonard, I believe) have pointed out how important the parking revenue is. In other words, parking is a "scarce resource" because it's treated as something with high value that can be sold as a good--and certainly *not* as a public good.

I avoid downtown if I can. It's just a huge PITA.

Jellied Wind? *phew* That sounds messy.

Civic Stadium was a community resource. PGE Park was a payola advertising gimmick.

I'm for council doing anything that pisses off more people. I say gouge 'em. They wanted it, make 'em pay for the privilege.

Well, Randy boy, I for one, as a Vanc resident, will never, ever purchase or patronize anything in the glorious City of Portland ever again.

The sheer idoicy of a stadium with virtually no parking in order to kiss the rear ends of adjacent residents who for the most part moved there knowing there was a stadium in the neighborhood. NIMBY.

The sheer idoicy of loot rail, that features minimal ridership on all lines, subsidized by citizens all around the country via the six cent/gallon fed gas excise tax, is beyond criminal.

When will Portland voters ever elect adults to political positions?

Oh well, probably not....

Progressive cretins.

Rot in your own foolishness.

The city has to distribute that scarce resource.
Why?
Why not use price as a way to match supply and demand?
Why not make it free?

Google for "tragedy of the commons".

If you have a scarce resource, like parking spaces, and you don't put some sort of negative incentive to their use, then people will use them more than they really need to, just to avoid the most minor of inconveniences in their lives, which prevents other folks from using them.

Hank,
There are many Portlanders who are thoroughly disgusted with the insider game here and on who gets elected or stays in.

Please don't throw us all in the same category with those who go along with as you say "sheer idiocy."

Many are going to have to leave this city because of it.

I am afraid the city could very well end up being ruined, perhaps too many here are in denial and/or just going on hope that somehow it will all work out. Someone else will take responsibility. Well, the someone else is not working.


"In politics we presume that everyone who knows how to get votes knows how to administer a city or a state. When we are ill... we do not ask for the handsomest physician, or the most eloquent one."
— Plato

Ecohuman-Randy and Sam have "pointed out how important the parking revenue is."

If that is the case (which itis-funds all the trolley lines, and more), then why do we have numerous cases of bioswales removing street parking to the tune of over 1/8th of many of Portland's blocks?

And what's worse, I've been recently critically reviewing bioswales from an water management engineering perspective. Why are so many bioswales at the apex elevations of many streets and even larger areas, thus not catching the rain runoff that could be collected if properly engineered? This gives more substance that bioweales are really car haters.

Derek is on to something about parking rates, but he doesn't go far enough:

Portland should charge for parking at all hours everywhere. All streets, main and otherwise. Everywhere there is a car, someone should be paying to park it.

In your driveway, you say? A surcharge on your property taxes for each car you own. Around $500 per car per year. A bargain, really, for the people of Portland to indulge an individual's fetish for what is simply a status symbol.

Next, the city can announce that it is reducing the parking rate to a mere $1 per hour. But the rate will be for parking anywhere in the city. At all times. That means each car parked in the city of Portland will generate $24 per day of badly needed revenue for the city.

Just as a very low-end example, let's say there are 50,000 cars being parked in Portland. That's $1.2 million in untapped revenue for the city every day. Over the course of a year, that is $438 million going into city coffers. Just from parking!

Not to mention the huge slice of revenue the city could gain from the enforcement component. Nonpayment of parking fees should earn the offender a $100, first-time fine. After that, the car is towed. Immediately. No exceptions. The city would then get, say, 20 percent of all towing and storage costs.

As technology evolves, the city could add a permit system that would regulate the operation of vehicles on city streets. The fees here could be on a graduated scale. Perhaps a fee of $200 per month would give the vehicle owner unlimited access to city streets. The scale could go down to around $15 for a daily pass; $40 for a weekend; and so forth. The date-stamped passes would be displayed in windshields and would be color-coded for easy identification by enforcement officers.

The idea that low-income people, the elderly, the handicapped and others in need of auto transport would be needlessly oppressed by such a program should be more than offset by the savings in energy consumption and the dramatic reduction in both pollution from fossil fuels and traffic congestion.

And, naturally, elected officials and those designated by them as performing essential city business would be exempted from all vehicle-use charges, for both city-owned and personal vehicles.

This benefits are obvious. The system would solve the malignant problem of cars on city streets by providing incentive for citizens to get rid of their gas-guzzling monsters and instead use mass transit or bicycles. At the same time, we would reduce street traffic, thereby making the city safer for bicyclists and pedestrians.

In addition, the system would also generate new, abundant revenue streams to be used for important city linchpin projects, such as additional streetcars, trams, bike paths and pedestrian bridges. In fact, in the latter cases, all of the city-owned bridges could eventually be closed to motor-vehicle traffic and converted to pedestrian malls, allowing citizens to enjoy them in comfort and safety.

Finally, the city would have plenty of cash to fund, and even dramatically increase pensions and benefits for public employees while making its municipal bonds the gold standard for investors.

Once again, Portland would be leading the way to a brighter, cleaner, less congested future while at the same time showing the nation that a major city government can be clean, green and flush with cash.


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