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Archive for the ‘parking’ Category

I am often troubled by the complete disregard many drivers have for pedestrians.

A situation I encounter on a regular basis is vehicles parking on the sidewalk. On my route between home and work, I walk by The Grateful Bagle, a bagel shop on Main Street. Given the form of the building my guess it was a service station back in the day. But today it’s a popular bagel shop. There is no indoor seating but there are tables in front of the store that are often filled with patrons.

I suppose it’s because of the former service station life of the property that drivers feel entitled to pull up in front of the shop, but many of them end up parking on the sidewalk. This happens all the time. img_20151012_101352009.jpgimg_20151022_080737406.jpgimg_20150914_081231457.jpgimg_20151209_082841202.jpgimg_20160127_130544562.jpgimg_20150910_082508032.jpgimg_20151015_134315108.jpgimg_20150914_081326859_hdr.jpgimg_20151214_082942606_hdr.jpgimg_20151015_134150526.jpgimg_20160411_081812938.jpgimg_20160406_123126960_hdr.jpgIt’s not that it’s impossible to get around the car, but I do feel that it shows a disregard for the pedestrian and the small amount of space in the public realm that is allotted to us. Most of the space on our streets is devoted to the car. the curb-to-curb width of Main Street in front of The Grateful Bagel is 50′. There are two 8′ parking lanes and two 17′(!!!) drive lanes. The sidewalk is about 6′ wide.

The Grateful Bagel does have parking in the back, and there is generally space nearby on Main Street. But still, people park on the sidewalk. And given the extensive curb cut along the side street it’s easy to pull right in. (It’s interesting to look back at these photos and notice that most of the offenders seem to be driving pick-up trucks…).

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I admit the parking lot is difficult to access from the side street as the curb cut is in the wrong location, but there is a curb cut on Main Street which leads to a driveway on the opposite side of the building from where the photo is taken. And it would not be difficult to add a curb cut on this street as well.

It would be easy enough to add a planter along the backside of the sidewalk along the side street and expand the amount of outdoor seating. I don’t believe this would hurt business, but actually would improve it as it would be a nicer place to sit without the imposition of a car or truck adjacent to your table.

I’m sensing an opportunity for some tactical urbanism…

 

 

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Sebastopol, like many other small towns, needs to get a handle on its parking requirements. Current zoning code parking requirements is often at odds with good urbanism. Without a mechanism such as a parking assessment district, or simply reducing on-site parking requirements, our attempts at creating good pedestrian-friendly urban environments fight an uphill battle. Sebastopol has several city-owned, free surface parking lots that, like surface parking lots everywhere, leave gaping holes in the urban fabric.

Main Street Sebastopol has almost 2 whole blocks without a parking lot or auto-oriented use. (The north end of the west side of Main Street has what used to be a gas station but is now a smog check business.) These two blocks are full of traditional zero-setback buildings, mostly one story with a couple 2-story buildings sprinkled in. And while I think the buildings could be taller, these 2 blocks generally work.IMG_20150718_113337891_HDR

IMG_20150718_113245274IMG_20150717_171825281_HDR IMG_20150717_171532233 IMG_20150717_171720942_HDR IMG_20150717_171707259_HDRUnfortunately, these two blocks could not be built today. Any new building needs to provide on-site parking. Now this isn’t 100% true. Sebastopol apparently did have some kind of parking district at some point, although it’s a little vague. My understanding is that once upon a time, downtown property owner’s were allowed (required?) to buy into a parking assessment district. They paid for a certain number of spaces to be allotted in municipal parking lots for their building. If one of these lots is redeveloped they can credit the number of spaces they had ‘purchased’ toward any new parking requirement.

I would like to look at one specific example. We have a live theater company in Sebastopol, Main Stage West. The theater is in a small 2-story building on the corner of Main Street and Bodega Ave. My understanding is that the ground floor was originally a pharmacy with offices on the second floor. The offices are still on the second floor, but the ground floor has been converted to an intimate theater. It’s a great resource to have in such a small town, and does provide some after hours activity downtown. I don’t know the exact seating count, but I think it’s around 80 seats. The building takes up it’s entire lot. There is no parking on the property.

Main Stage West Theater. The theater is on the ground floor with offices above. The building takes up the entire lot.

Main Stage West Theater. The theater is on the ground floor with offices above. The building takes up the entire lot.

If someone wanted to build a theater of this size on Main Street today, they would have to provide on-site parking. The Sebastopol Zoning Code requires 1 parking space for every 4 seats in a theater. For the Main Stage West theater, this would require 20 parking spaces. for the roughly 2,200 sf second floor offices you would need 6 parking spaces (1 per 400 sf). That’s 26 parking spaces total required for this building. You couldn’t get 26 parking space on their existing site even if there was no building. The lot is 25’x87′. you actually can’t even make a parking lot with those dimensions. Assuming you could line up parking spaces in the 87′ dimension and just pull in off Bodega Ave you could get 8 parking spaces. But no room for a building, unless you built it above the parking lot. Theoretically, the building could have purchased some parking spaces when the parking assessment occurred, but I’m fairly certain they did not purchase 26 parking spaces.

We’ve essentially made the Main Street we love today impossible to build.

There is a very underutilized property at the opposite end of the block the theater is on. It had been a gas station but today is a smog check station. (Great use for Main Street, right?). The lot is about 59′ wide and 165′ deep. 9,735 sf. Say the theater wanted to move and build a slightly larger facility, assume 150 seats. That would require 38 parking spaces. If you wanted second floor offices about 24 parking spaces. Total 62  parking spaces required. I’m pretty sure that since the site had been a gas station, they never bought into the parking assessment district and would be required to supply all 62 spaces on-site. Impossible.

Smog Check property

Smog Check lot

Smog check lot

Smog check lot

Forget the theater. Make the ground floor retail with 1 floor of office above. 48 parking spaces would be required. Maybe you just make the ground floor parking and build above with a small retail space along the sidewalk to screen the parking behind. Say 800 sf of retail with 9,735 sf of office above. 26 parking spaces required. You could fit about 14 spaces on the ground floor behind the retail. That doesn’t work either. It is impossible with today’s zoning code to build a good urban building on this site.

This is not right and needs to be fixed if we have any hope of creating a good walkable people-centric downtown. Sebastopol needs a parking assessment district where downtown property owner’s are required to pay a fee that will be used to construct and maintain a municipal parking garage. And the parking garage must NOT be free. People that choose to drive and park downtown should be required to pay for the privilege and for the financing and maintenance of the parking facility. We cannot have good urbanism with the current parking requirements downtown.

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I like the way this blog post illustrates what would happen if our traditional downtowns were required to provide parking at today’s zoning code parking ratios. You can understand why we have so much strip commercial development. This is something I struggle with when considering infill development opportunities in Sebastopol. Any new development will essentially be required to provide the parking required by our current zoning code on it’s site. This will not create a good walkable environment. We need to get a handle on downtown parking.

Surrey Parking Standards.

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Today’s post is inspired by an item on last night’s Sebastopol City Council agenda. The item was on the ‘Consent Calendar’ which is reserved for items that are expected to be non-controversial and approved as a matter of course. The name of the item is ‘Approval of Pedestrian, Bicycle and Traffic Improvements.’ Who can argue with pedestrian, bicycle and traffic improvements? Sounds good. Of the 5 requests in the item there are 2 that I have concerns with.

The first concern I have is a request by a business located on Main Street, outside of the ‘core’ downtown zone, to establish a 24 minute parallel parking space directly in front of their shop. The request state that ‘The owner of the business reports that vehicles often park in that space for long periods of time, thereby limiting easy parking for potential customers.’ The business is a mailing/packing center and while I can appreciate that they may have customers carrying packages to be mailed there is generally always parking in the vicinity of the business even if the space directly in front of the business is occupied. I live and work within 2 blocks of the business in question and walk the block frequently. There are 13 parking spaces in this block (both sides of the street) and the density of businesses is low, certainly not as dense as the central blocks of Main street. This photos shows a typical condition. If your business needs ‘easy parking’ you should probably locate your business in a strip shopping center which tend to have way more parking then they ever use (see black friday parking),

South Main Street. The business in question is in the beige building to the right of the photo.

South Main Street. The business in question is in the beige building to the right of the photo. Doesn’t seem to be a lack of parking in the vicinity. There is also a free public lot that ALWAYS has space available behind the green-gray building to the left of center of the photo.

Parallel parking on a public street is public. Approving the request sets up a precedent for all businesses to attempt to ‘reserve’ the space in front of their business for ‘their’ customers. There seems to be a strange assumption by businesses fronting streets that the parking in front of their business is for their customers only. This also extends to residential neighborhoods as well. People often expect to always have the parking in front of their home available for their car, or for someone visiting their house. There is no legal precedent for this. The streets are public, and anyone may park there as long as they are complying with any posted restrictions. It would be silly for the City Council to approve this request, but in fact, they did. Apparently it was pulled from the consent calendar and there was some discussion. But in the end it was approved unanimously.

The second issue is that the City Council was asked to set aside a parking space in the public parking lot closest to city hall for city hall employees. This is arguably the most popular parking lot in town. It is directly behind the primary commercial block of Main Street and adjacent to the library. The lot is small, 43 spaces. While only 1 parking space was requested to be reserved, I don’t think this is wise. Again, it’s a public parking lot and should be reserved for the public.

CITY HALL PARKING-EXHIBIT

Aerial view of the parking lots near city hall. The red line indicates the 650′ walk from the South High Street lot to city hall.

Several years ago the city removed time restrictions at two underutilized public lots to encourage downtown employees to park at the edge of downtown rather than occupy street parking spaces or spaces in one of the more popular, centrally located downtown lots. The idea being that the popular lots should be available to patrons of downtown businesses. Employees can be asked to walk a little farther. City Hall employees should be setting an example by using the South High Street lot to park in. It’s about 1 1/2 blocks from City Hall (650′ as measured on Google Earth).

Public parking should remain available to the public. We should not be reserving downtown public parking for specific businesses. If private businesses are going to ‘claim’ public parking spaces for their customers or employees, they should be financially responsible for the maintenance of and enforcement of the time limits for those parking spaces.

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The blog today comes from a parklet constructed by the CORE Project for PARK(ing) Day. The original PARK(ing) Day was started by Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio and has now spread around the world, always occurring on the third Friday in September. The idea is to concert a public parking space into a park for a day. Taking space away from the cars and giving it back to the pedestrian. We hope the parklet will spark ideas about the use of our streets and reconsider how we think about urban design and placemaking in our communitites.

 

Sebastopol PARK(ing) Day 2014

Sebastopol PARK(ing) Day 2014

The parklet has been well received so far by locals. People are of course curious to see what this structure is in the parking space. We setup the parklet in front of West County Cycle Service, our Main Street bike shop. The owner is a very enthusiastic supporter of the idea. Several nearby business owners asked us if we could move it in front of their business. Most people are disappointed to learn the park will only be up for the day.

Sebastopol PARK(ing) Day park on Main Street

Sebastopol PARK(ing) Day park on Main Street

The CORE Project has been trying to support the idea of permanent parklets in Sebastopol. They would be a great addition to our downtown and help reclaim some of our right-of-way for people. The city council is supportive of the idea, and wants to create an ordinance to allow people to construct parklets in downtown, similar to the successful Pavement to Parks program in San Francisco.

This has been a fun place-making exercise and it’s been great to see the community’s response. Hopefully this will push the idea of a permanent parklet in Sebastopol a bit further.

Sebastopol PARK(ing) Day at West County Cycle Services

Sebastopol PARK(ing) Day at West County Cycle Services

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On my walk to the cafe this morning I walked by my inspiration for today’s post. As much as I’d love to get rid of all cars downtown, I have to acknowledge that many visitors to downtown Sebastopol arrive by car and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Parking in Sebastopol does not feel like it has been planned intentionally but more that it has been allowed to happen. We need to be more pro-active about where we are providing parking and the impact of parking on the pedestrian experience and surrounding uses.

 

Sebastopol public and private parking lots

Sebastopol public and private parking lots

 

Sebastopol has 6 city-owned parking lots all of which are free. There are also several private lots like the Rite Aid, Safeway and Whole Foods lots that I imagine are intended to be used exclusively by patrons of those businesses. I know people use the Rite Aid lot when going to other downtown businesses and I think Rite Aid generally acknowledges and accepts this, as they should. Their parking lot has destroyed the Main Street experience so the least they can do is allow people to park there when frequenting other businesses. I’m sure people parking at the Whole Foods center lot which is directly across the street from the plaza, also walk to other locations downtown. The ‘Tacqueria’ site on South Main street is also private, but is utilized by people frequenting the businesses on site as well as other nearby businesses including the post office. The city-owned lots are scattered around and include the parking lot surrounding two sides of the plaza. An important consideration for the future of parking in Sebastopol is the construction of a parking garage which would allow some, if not all, of the existing city-owned lots to be put to higher and better uses by consolidating the parking in a structure. There are two sites downtown which offer the best opportunity for structured parking.

There are two vacant lots on Brown Street which is a kind of an alley a block off the plaza and a common route for me to get the the cafe in The Barlow where I often write this blog. Both lots are dirt with a hedge of blackberries along the property line separating the two. They’ve been in this condition for as long as I’ve lived here which is 12 years, and I’m sure for much longer.

 

Brown Street Vacant Lot

Brown Street Vacant Lot

CPS Parking Lot

CPS Parking Lot

The 0.21 acre site in the middle of the block has been for sale for some time. The other 0.28 acre lot is posted ‘Parking for CPS’ only (CPS is a real estate office located a very short block away). The site is a little over a quarter acre. You could easily park 25 cars on this lot. Does an approximately 3,500 square foot real estate office really need parking for 25 cars? The zoning code would require 4 spaces for every 1,000 square feet which would total 14 spaces and that’s probably more than they need as well. I’m not sure if CPS owns the property or if they rent it for their parking purposes but it seems like they could be a good neighbor and allow anyone to park. Both sites should allow public parking as a first step. It’s a convenient location, located 1 short block from the plaza and another block to Main St. The movie theater is a block away as is the west edge of The Barlow. I wouldn’t mind if they put out a fee box and charged for parking. In fact I’d encourage it, although given the fact that the rest of the parking in town is free, they may have a hard time getting takers. But allowing parking here will plant the seed in the community that these lots should be utilized for parking. The next step would be to build a parking structure.

 

Proposed Brown St. and South Main parking structures, in yellow.

Proposed Brown St. and South Main parking structures, in yellow.

Generally, I’d suggest a good mixed-use project on an urban infill site, but even though this site is only a block off the plaza, it does not seem like a place where retail or other uses would be able to thrive. It is a corner lot, but the two streets function more like alleys. Brown Street is 2 blocks long and the block to the south is one-way in the opposite direction fronting a 2-story commercial building. Depot Street is the other street which dead ends a block to the east at what feels like the back of The Barlow. The south side of Depot street is the back of a Napa Auto, Goodwill and a mini-market/deli. The north side of the street is a cast concrete manufacturer, Barlow parking lot and a Barlow building.  Locating a parking structure on this site would not interrupt current or potential pedestrian connections or vehicular flow.

A parking structure on this site could also provide the parking for the property on the opposite side of Brown Street which is ripe for redevelopment. It’s currently a tractor sales store (great use for the property fronting your town plaza!) and was originally a lumber yard. To be fair, the plaza was not there when the lumber yard was built and this was the edge of a light industrial district to the east of the main street commercial district. The site is 2.5 acres and should be developed with ground floor retail with several floors above. The city conducted a public workshop recently to get community feedback on what they would like to see on the property. The city does not control the property, but the property owner is interested in learning what the community wants for the site which could help market it to potential developers. The site is large enough that it could possibly include it’s own parking structure, but utilizing the two other Brown Street properties would allow more of the site to be developed with higher value uses.

The other site that is a good opportunity for a parking structure is the city parking lot at the corner of Main Street and Burnett Street. The current parking lot is the beginning of the end of the Main Street commercial area. It is about 265′ from the intersection of Main and Burnett to the first building on this side of the block, which is a single story office-building of approximately 1,500 sf. It takes the wind out of your sails as a pedestrian traversing this distance with nothing but parked cars to look at. The West County Museum, located in the former passenger rail depot, and Chamber of Commerce would probably see more foot traffic if this ‘gap’ in the pedestrian fabric was filled in with a building. Now this site would be more appropriate for a parking garage with some mix of uses lining the street frontage with the parking in the center of the block. The ground floor retail would extend the pedestrian experience and mirror the buildings on the opposite side of the street which already have good pedestrian frontage. The upper levels could accommodate office and/or residential along the edges, again with the parking on the interior of the property.

Structured parking is probably a long way off for Sebastopol, but we should be thinking about it now and make necessary preparations. Structured parking would allow existing surface lots to be redeveloped and improve the pedestrian experience downtown. Structured parking would encourage a park once and walk by eliminating options for moving your car around downtown. We must be intentional and strategic in developing parking downtown. And we must develop parking in a way that supports rather than compromises the pedestrian experience if we want to improve the economic vitality of our downtown. We also need to rethink our downtown parking requirements, which will be a good discussion point for a future post.

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I’ve recently read ‘Walkable City’ by Jeff Speck. It’s a great book with a lot of information and inspiration about how to create more walkable places. There is chapter in the book entitled ‘Getting the Parking Right’. When creating a walkable urban environment, it is extremely important to ‘get the parking right’, and many of our communities have been getting it wrong for decades at the expense of the pedestrian. Jeff acknowledges Donald Shoup as being the inspiration for much of the information in the chapter. Donald Shoup is a parking ‘guru’ who has written a book called ‘The High Cost of Free Parking’ which goes into great detail (in 751 pages) on how we’ve been getting parking wrong, and what we need to do to get it right.

Jeff spends a good deal of the chapter discussing the economics of parking. Because parking is so plentiful and, more often than not, free, most of us take it for granted and assume it must cost little to build and maintain. As Jeff points out, this is far from the truth. Parking is expensive to construct, especially when it is structured parking, and maintain. A space in a surface parking lot on inexpensive land costs about $4,000 and parking space in a structured parking garage can cost over $15,000 per space. And land in most urban locations, even a small town like Sebastopol, is not inexpensive; it’s generally some of the most expensive land in a community. And the long and the short of it is we all end up paying for these costs, even if we do not use it. Developers do not build parking spaces and donate them. They pass the cost on to the tenants who then pass on the costs to their clients. We all end up subsidizing the ‘free’ parking when we shop in a business with a parking lot, even if we walked or biked. Maintenance of public parking lots and street parking comes from the city’s coffers. So a portion of your tax dollars are used to subsidize the ‘free’ parking whether or not you ever use a public parking space. As Speck writes, ‘People who walk, bike or take transit are bankrolling those who drive. In so doing, they are making driving cheaper and thus more prevalent, which in turn undermines the quality of walking, biking and transit.’ It becomes a downward spiral.

Now obviously there are other city services my tax dollars pay for that I do not necessarily benefit directly from. I hope to never need to use the fire department, for example, but I’m happy my tax dollars go to the support of one. But parking is an easy ‘service’ the city can change to a fee-for-use format rather than fully subsidizing. People don’t expect city provided water service to be free. I may grumble about the cost, but I pay my water/sewer bill each month, based on the amount I use and I’m happy that city water is available. Why should I have to support someone the parking habits of drivers when I walk or ride my bike around town?

It is generally assumed that merchants will do all they can to prevent the implementation of paid parking whether it be street parking or parking lots. They are concerned that as they compete for clients with suburban shopping centers with seas of free parking that they will lose business. Jeff discusses the situation of Old Pasadena and Westwood Village in his book. Both these shopping districts, located in Southern California were economically challenged in the 1980’s. In the early ’90’s, Old Pasadena installed 690 new parking meters and it allowed developers to pay in-lieu fees in support of municipal parking lots rather they build the parking required for their projects themselves. While the merchants of Old Pasadena were originally vehemently against the installation of the meters and the elimination of free parking the change was the beginning of a revival of the neighborhood. The city committed to spending the revenue from the meters on physical improvements and services in Old Pasadena. Millions of dollars a year were put into improving sidewalks, new lighting, landscaping and street furniture. As evidence that the meters were not in fact keeping shoppers away, sales tax revenue tripled the first six years after the meters were installed. Westwood Village’s response was to cut the price of on-street parking and enforce its ‘replacement parking’ policy which requires developers building on a parking lot to both meet their parking requirement in addition to replacing half of the removed spaces. This effectively makes redevelopment cost-prohibitive forcing construction of expensive parking garages in an area with a demonstrated over-supply of parking.

I do not believe that making drivers pay for parking would harm business in downtown Sebastopol in the least. It is a desirable and unique shopping experience and people in the area are very committed to shopping locally and supporting our local businesses and would continue to do so even if required to pay a nominal parking fee. And we continue to attract more tourist traffic which would not avoid Sebastopol if they were required to pay to park. If the money collected by the city for parking were put into improving sidewalks and crosswalks, installing nice lighting and landscaping and put into a fund that would be available to businesses for facade improvement grants, or low-interest loans it would be a huge benefit for the community in the creation of a more pedestrian-friendly experience which would most certainly translate to increased business at downtown merchants.

A central argument  by Shoup and Speck is that parking should function based on free-market principles of supply and demand. They propose to set the cost of parking to influence the behavior of people who drive. Parking, they suggest, should be priced such that the cost of parking should be set at a level such that an occupancy rate of 80% is established. This would allow that 1 or 2 spaces per block would be available at all times which would reduce the amount of time (and gas) people spend looking for parking. In many communities people are willing to circle in search of the inexpensive street parking space. This increases congestion and pollution and decreases the safety of pedestrians due to more cars on the road (plus the fact drivers looking for parking seem to be so focused on their mission that they tend to ignore pedestrians even more than usual). San Francisco is experimenting with a system that prices public parking in response to demand. SFPark has been adjusting rates at 7,000 parking meters and 12,250 parking garage spaces in response to demand with the goal to encourage drivers to park in underused areas reducing demand in overused areas.

Public parking lots in Sebastopol. The Chamber and South High street lots are near the bottom of the image.

Public parking lots in Sebastopol. The Chamber and South High street lots are near the bottom of the image.

In Sebastopol, all parking is free, but people still spend time circling looking for the closest parking space to their destination, rather than park in a parking lot where they are all but assured of getting a parking space. Preferred parking lots are the lot around the plaza, the North High Street lot adjacent to the library and the South Main Street/Burnett Street lot and of course the street spaces on the 2 center blocks of Main Street. There are 2 public parking lots in Sebastopol that pretty much always have availability, South High Street and the lot behind the Chamber of Commerce. They are both located toward the southern edge of what I would call the downtown core of Sebastopol, but certainly within a 5-10 minute walk of most downtown destinations. A parking study undertaken by the city in 2011 showed that these lots have an average occupancy of 22% and 10% respectively. The only parking lot with an average usage above 80% is the plaza parking lot (87%).

Chamber parking lot at 4:00 on a Friday afternoon. There was probably someone looking for a parking space on Main Street and cursing how there is not enough parking downtown.

Chamber parking lot at 4:00 on a Friday afternoon. There was probably someone looking for a parking space on Main Street and cursing how there is not enough parking downtown.

South High Lot Friday 4:30. Again, someone was probably cursing the lack of parking in Sebastopol during this time. And if not this specific time, then some other time when this parking lot looked like this.

South High Lot Friday 4:30. Again, someone was probably cursing the lack of parking in Sebastopol during this time. And if not this specific time, then some other time when this parking lot looked like this.

I almost always see vacant spaces downtown, in lots and on the street, but people do complain that parking is difficult here. To those people I say, park in the South High Street or Chamber parking lots and you will find a space. Years of parking in suburban parking lots have led to a belief that we should be able to park adjacent to any destination. Even though we are willing to walk 200′ or more from a parking space at Costco, then another 1,000′ or more walking to the back of the store and back to the register and then 200′ back to our car, for some reason, walking the same distance from the South High Street or Chamber parking lots to the Main commercial block of Main Street seems ‘too far’. I suppose this is part of what defines us as Americans.

As happens far too often in our communities, our parking system favors convenience for the automobile driver at the expense of the pedestrian. Surface parking lots, parking garages and driveways are detrimental in the creation of good walkable places. Surface parking lots are particularly deadly in the impact they have on the pedestrian. Streetscapes need to be interesting to keep the pedestrian engaged and there is not much less interesting than walking along the edge of a parking lot. Surface parking lots create dead zones that discourage pedestrian crossing. A commercial street with surface parking on its frontage creates a dead zone that pedestrians will avoid to the detriment to the businesses on the opposite side of the parking lot. Surface parking lots spread out destinations making it further to walk between destinations.

Parking needs to be carefully considered when trying to create a walkable/bikeable/transit friendly environment. Too often we require suburban parking standards in these areas to the detriment of the pedestrian experience. Parking needs to be looked at wholistically, and should be made available and priced to reflect the market demands for it. Too often our communities are overparked and underpriced because that is what we’ve been doing for years. And because lack of parking availability is such a common complaint city leaders are often adverse to doing anything that might be construed as to be anti-parking. Even in light of the parking study in Sebastopol that showed less than 80% average occupancy in almost all the city lots some city leaders feel we need more parking.We must change our parking policies so that they support communities designed to the benefit of people and not cars.

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