July 2017


A crowded Laguna is considering parking structures – but would they benefit tourists or residents?

Eyebrows are raised and interest usually stings when the words “parking structure” are mentioned in Laguna Beach.

As Laguna looks for ways to manage the crowds of motorists flooding the city, the city council on Tuesday left open the possibility of one or more parking structures being placed in town to capture cars.

In a unanimous vote, the council ordered the city to further investigate four potential sites and discuss with the California Coastal Commission ways to help residents find parking in neighborhoods where cars frequently line. one or both sides of streets.

One topic could be setting time limits in certain high traffic areas so that residents can find parking closer to their homes or apartments without hampering the public’s ability to access beaches or parks, the latter being the one of the objectives of the commission for the cities of the State.

Some residents arrived at the meeting dismayed that the city is considering such projects.

Do you remember 2013?

In November of that year, the council, at the suggestion of then-Mayor Elizabeth Pearson, thwarted a proposed multi-storey structure on the site of the entrance to the village near the intersection of Forest Avenue and of Broadway Street after a wave of community opposition.

The content of Tuesday’s discussion was not so different from the talks four years ago.

Some residents claimed that a parking structure would invite more visitors to the city.

“When I saw [the staff report] on Sunday, I was absolutely horrified at the idea of ​​building facilities to bring more cars and more people to this town,” said Verna Rollinger, a resident and former Laguna city worker. “It’s contrary to everything the locals feel. The pressure of [millions of visitors] we have is already horrible.

Resident John Thomas said the cost burden should be placed on tourists.

“It doesn’t make sense for residents to buy a visitor parking structure,” Thomas said. “It seems that these spaces are mainly for visitors and businesses. If commercial owners want structure, it looks like they should pay for it.

The city has received inquiries from property owners about public-private partnerships and possible parking options when developing their land, City Manager John Pietig told council.

The city examined eight sites, some of which it owns and some of which are private. The Laguna Hotel expressed interest after the staff report was released, Public Works Director Shohreh Dupuis told the council.

These sites were: the Act V lot – for underground or surface parking – at 1900 Laguna Canyon Road; the Glenneyre parking structure at 501 Glenneyre Street; the Laguna Art-A-Fair site at 777 Laguna Canyon Road; the development of Heisler’s Landing at 331 to 397 North Coast Highway; Cleo Street on the Holiday Inn site at 696 S. Coast Hwy.; Las Brisas in the 200 block of the North Coast Highway; Cliff Drive; and the lots at 361–363 Third Street, which include properties owned by the Laguna Presbyterian Church.

City staff recommended four sites for further study based on a few factors, including proximity to downtown, potential parking spaces, cost, and opportunities for joint development.

Information on development projects was not included in the city staff report.

The four locations are: 777 Laguna Canyon Road, which would yield an additional 330 spaces, most of any proposed structure; 361 to 363 Third Street, which would provide 53 spaces; 696 S. Coast Hwy., the Cleo structure, which would provide 161 spaces; and 331 to 397 North Coast Highway, which would provide 95 spaces.

The estimated cost for a structure at 777 Laguna Canyon Road is $20 million to $25 million, and $5 million for the Third Street option, according to the report.

Resident Tom Halliday suggested the city consider part of the pavilion site parking lot in North Laguna as a potential area for a structure.

Councilor Bob Whalen recommended that city staff meet with Coast Commission staff to discuss options with Coast Commission staff.

“The statement, ‘Build it and they will come,’ is an easy statement to get out of the language, but they’re already here and we’re not dealing with them,” Whalen said.

“Go to [commissioners] directly and say: “We want to build parking lots around the city in strategic places” and impose restrictions on neighborhood parking.

“Parking structure or no parking structure, we’re going to be criticized,” Mayor Toni Iseman said, suggesting that development projects in inland towns are attracting more people who want to visit Laguna Beach in turn. “I can understand raising your hand and saying no, but I think we’re doing our residents a disservice if we see these things as necessarily for visitors. I think we have to look at these things as for residents.

[email protected]

Twitter: @AldertonBryce

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Taking two parking spaces is clearly horrible, but may not be illegal

In suburban New Jersey in 2014, a man drove a Jeep through a nearly full parking lot at a restaurant. As he searched for a place to park, he spotted a brand new white Corvette sports car parked diagonally, occupying two parking spots near the entrance to the restaurant. As the Jeep driver later explained in a WABC-TV report, he was upset enough to decide to play a prank on the owner of the Corvette. He pulled his Jeep sideways onto the concrete sidewalk and parked it beside the Corvette, tight. Then he walked into the restaurant and took a table by the window, so he could observe the shocked gaze of the sports car owner as he checked for bumps. Call it a silent protest, or call it passive-aggressive – it was social media gold anyway.

Not everyone might want to go to such great lengths to express their disapproval of the horse-drawn parking space, but it’s not hard to understand the sentiment. A recent study by transportation analysis firm INRIX Research found that 49 percent of American drivers consider parking in two spaces to be the “worst parking sin.” This is more than double the amount that was harmed by people using specially designed parking for people with disabilities or families.

There don’t appear to be any definitive studies on how often the breach of decency occurs, but Gary A. Means – executive director of the Lexington & Fayette County Parking Authority in Lexington, Ky., And a board member of administration of the International Parking Institute – estimates that up to 3 to 5% of drivers park outside the lines and occupy more than one space.

And that doesn’t just happen in parking lots. Means said many space riders are curbside parkers, sometimes because they are in a rush or lack parallel parking skills. Some drivers become space riders out of necessity, he says via email, because they have an oversized vehicle such as an RV, or tow a trailer.

But, he says, “I don’t know of any reason why a full-size vehicle takes up two seats.”

Overlapping space may be a no-no parking tag, but is it illegal? The answer depends on where you are in the United States. Charleston, South Carolina, for example, being caught parking outside the lines could result in a fine of $ 10. In Grand Rapids, Michigan, the offense will cost you $ 20. Costa Mesa, California lists “Vehicle not in one parking space” as an offense under its municipal code – although the city’s website does not indicate the amount of the fine. And there are no obvious city codes that indicate whether a car parked in two metered parking spaces whose owner fully pays for both meters could be in the clear.

But this is not necessarily the case everywhere. In 2012 in Prince George County, Maryland, a man pulled up at a liquor store and parked so his car was centered on the line between two parking spaces. A George County Police Officer noticed other potential liquor buyers trying unsuccessfully to squeeze into the partial spaces on either side of the man’s car and waited for his return. The officer told the space rider he had committed an offense. The man looked nervous and put his hands in his pockets, which ultimately led to the officer searching him and finding a knife, some marijuana, and 16 bags of crack cocaine. Other drugs were found in the car itself. The driver was arrested and convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to eight years in prison.

Ultimately, however, the Maryland Special Court of Appeal dismissed the man’s conviction. As the judges explained in their opinion“The officer who detained the appellant in the parking lot did so under the mistaken belief that there was a legal provision which made it illegal to park his vehicle riding on a line on the sidewalk. Because lawful detention cannot be based on an error of law, the evidence obtained in the meeting that followed should have been suppressed. “

What about spaces straddling private property, such as parking lots in shopping centers? It is a more cloudy area. Means says owners can probably make their own rules, and while they might not have the power to write a enforceable ticket, they may issue tickets through private collection companies, or could ban violators from their properties. We did not find any accounts of U.S. companies imposing penalties on parkers who occupy two spaces, but a shopping center in Ontario, Canada, issues tickets and fines of Canadian $ 20 (approximately US $ 16) for such violations.

Harsh stares, shame on social media, and nasty notes left under wiper blades may be more common as we hopefully await better manners. self-service cars of the future to arrive.

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Parking spaces

Mexico City is killing parking spaces. Pay attention, America

According to whom you ask, Mexico City is either most or the 12th over congested city in the world. Either way: No fun! Residents who drive lose up to 227 hours each year due to traffic jams. It’s more than nine days overall – enough time to watch The iron Throne all along. Thrice.

So you might be surprised to learn that Mexico City just made it easier for real estate developers to avoid building a parking lot. Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera Espinosa announced a new policy this month that limits the number of parking spaces builders can build. He hopes to stimulate development, which seems counterintuitive. Without parking spaces, where will commuters rest their journeys?

But it turns out sprawling parking lots and looming garages can actually create After traffic and make housing less affordable and city streets harder to navigate. By limiting the growth of its parking infrastructure, the largest city in North America believes it can rebalance its urban ecosystem. Listen, United States: your neighbors to the south might be onto something.

Parking versus housing

Mexico City, with a population of 9 million, is a typical booming and developed city. Much like its overcrowded American neighbors — San Francisco, New York, Miami, Houston — newcomers have rushed to live in its center, driving up rental prices on the city’s limited housing stock. “Wealthy people flew out of these areas and now they’re coming back,” says Rodrigo García Reséndiz, a Mexico City native and urban planner who works for urban planning firm Alta in Los Angeles. “So people who are usually there, low-income people, are now being kicked out.”

The answer to overcrowding would usually be: Build, build, build! This is what happens in Mexico City, although to a lesser extent. It’s building only 12 percent housing it needs to accommodate growth. Worse still, many newly built homes are geared toward high-income people, not low-income ones.

Parking exacerbates this imbalance. Old city rules said developers had to build a certain number of parking spaces for every square foot they built. And you know where the displaced cannot live? Parking spaces. According to a report published by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, 251 real estate projects in Mexico City dedicated 42% of construction between 2009 and 2013, or about 172 million square feet, to parking, or more than 250,000 spaces in total. . That’s a lot of unbuilt rooms. The catch: The cost of this infrastructure, about $10,000 per parking space, is passed on to tenants whether or not they own a car. (About 70% of people in Mexico City don’t.)

That’s why cities around the world have gotten creative with tackling parking. London got rid of minimum parking regulations in 2004, and the number of parking spaces fell 40 percent. The Obama administration recommended making a similar move in housing development recommendations released last year. San Francisco uses a point system, allowing developers to build parking spaces if they have also provided transportation alternatives: shuttle services, carpool memberships for everyone in the building, bike park in the basement .

But real estate developers (and the bankers who finance them) must also join these programs. Mexico City residents say they’re on board. Before the regulations changed last week, builders constantly complained that onerous parking regulations made it harder for them to build the projects they wanted, says Andrés Sañudo, an independent transportation consultant who studies parking regulations. in Mexico. They now have the opportunity to prove that they want to build more housing.

A parking experience

The interesting thing about this plan? Mexico City isn’t quite sure what its citizens want, when it comes to parking. Before the mayor changed the bylaw, parking was always right there. “It was impossible to see what the real parking market was,” says Sañudo. “Everyone was providing what the rules said regardless of location or any other feature.” This is what makes the city plan a bit experimental. Hell, nobody knows how much parking the people of Mexico City to have right now.

But one study of American Cities by urban planners CJ Gabbe of Santa Clara University and Gregory Pierce of UCLA suggest that many city dwellers could do without parking. Nearly 710,000 U.S. tenants have access to parking spaces they don’t use, and because builders pass the cost of construction on to them, they pay an extra $1,700 a year for the pleasure. This represents a net loss of $440 million to the economy.

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Applications available for reserved parking spaces in Salem

SALEM, MA – Application forms are now available for those who wish to request a reserved parking space in the Museum Place garage or in the South Harbor garage. There are 30 spaces available in the Museum Place garage and 20 in the South Harbor garage. Spaces are $ 1,500 per year in both garages.

Those who currently have a reserved parking space in either garage that expires August 31, 2017 and wish to request another space reserved for September 1 must apply. Current placeholder permits are not automatically carried over. There are no guarantees or preferences for current placeholder permit holders.

Applications must be returned by noon on August 11. There is a limit of one request per person and only one place will be available per request. If there are more candidates than places available in one or the other garage, the City will organize a lottery to draw lots for the selected candidates. The lottery, if required, will take place at noon on August 14 at City Hall in the City Council Chamber. Those who receive a space must complete the payment and sign the reserved space agreement by August 31 in order to receive their permit.

Reserved space permits are valid until August 31, 2018. Applications are available on the The City Collector website here and in hard copy at the collector’s office at 93 Washington St. in Salem.

Image via Shutterstock

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How Taxing Atlanta’s Absurd Number of Parking Spaces Could Improve the City

If there was any doubt that Atlanta is a city built for cars, just count the parking lots.

It turns out that there is new parking spaces in town for each car.

With all of these lots devoted to parking, especially the valuable lots in the center of town, there has to be a way to encourage good development while encouraging more density and transit, and ultimately, by increasing the value of properties. To the right?

From an article on StreetsBlog, a former political adviser to Mayor Kasim Reed, Tom Weyandt, recently recommended following a method in other big cities of turning large parking lots into a precious resource: taxation.

The bottom line is that cities tax parking lots based on a percentage of their gross income. In doing so, cities encourage greater use of property and impose more property taxes, which ultimately allows for better urban infrastructure. Of course, serviced car parks have the added benefit of making the city a much more attractive place.

Weyandt argued that the program could guarantee some $ 30 million each year, diverting funds to help boost affordable housing and transportation.

With $ 15 million for affordable housing and an additional $ 15 million to subsidize MARTA trips to the city, the quality of life can be improved for many Atlanta residents, Weyandt says.

For a city struggling with paying for parking, the concept can be hard to digest. But it’s hard to say that in the future with more robust transit options, more affordable housing, and less parking, we’d all be better off.

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