By Garlynn Woodsong Chair, CNA LUTC
Parking in the neighborhood was the focus of the Concordia Neighborhood Association (CNA) general membership meeting Sept. 6.
Guests for the evening were Jay Rogers from the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), and Tony Jordan from Portlanders for Parking Reform. They joined a room full of neighbors who came to discuss residential on-street parking.
The PBOT representative walked folks through the current city of Portland policies related to on-street parking, as well as the pilot project currently authorized by city council and underway with residential permit parking in northwest Portland’s Alphabet District.
The current policies – outside of the Alphabet District pilot project – were developed in the 1980s and are largely focused on areas adjacent to downtown that experience large volumes of commuters driving in to park while at work.
These 30-year-old policies were not developed to address parking problems related to large amounts of visitors – for various purposes – at many times through the day and night, week and weekend. The policies were not developed to address the situation of greater residential demand for than supply of on-street parking.
The Portlanders for Parking Reform representative then laid out the basic policy points of the residential on-street parking policy toolbox that city council requested, staff developed, and that city council then failed to adopted last December.
This toolbox was developed specifically to address the parking problems on residential streets in Portland today, including how to handle the needs of residents and visitors in neighborhoods that don’t just see commuter-related parking issues.
The toolbox would empower neighborhoods to work directly with PBOT to develop tailored policies to fit the problems they see in the places where they see them. That includes the ability to design policies to match the results of surveys of on-street parking use on individual block faces.
Neighbors had many questions for both guests about parking. A civilized, neighborly discussion ensued concerning what would happen under a residential permit parking system:
- What the money would be used for
- How a parking benefit district would operate
- How the neighborhood could design policies to mitigate the impact on lowincome residents
- What the equity impact would be on property owners
- Whether the revenue would be primarily to benefit the city or the neighborhood
- Many other related issues
By the end of the evening, it seemed clear that neighbors wanted to see the parking policy toolbox adopted by city council.
Then they would have the option to decide for themselves what parking policies to implement in the neighborhood – when, how and where. That would also include the details of how much it would cost, how the funds would be used and who would pay.
The CNA Board of Directors recommends Portland City Council put the Parking Policy Toolbox back on its agenda, and vote to pass it ASAP.