Los Angeles Faces The Parking Issue Part Two

The comments that followed the LA Weekly story about parking policies in downtown LA were a lot more thought out than the original piece. Hopefully people won’t mind me pasting in some of the best ones. Obviously, I think the issue is of universal interest and highlights an issue we will have to face. Follow this link to read all the comments. Needless, to say the fact that a much higher percentage of our parking lots are filled with non city taxpayers makes it even more important for us to think about.

“If, for just a few minutes, we turned and shifted perspectives, another story would come from this issue. I disagree with the author that taking away parking is a bad thing; I think this is okay. I think this because it is not about parking – it is about shifting one’s attitude and lifestyle in order to make things better, *in the long run*. My fear right now is that many Angelenos, and Americans in general, only live “in the now” and have a very hard time peering into the future and understanding what our actions today will mean tomorrow. If small villages (per the Gail Goldberg model of planning she created for San Diego) are created throughout our city, then people will (should) no longer have the need to drive 5 miles to a grocery, a cafe, the gym, etc. They would have the opportunity to bike or walk there because those services are just down the street or a few blocks over. Furthermore, if, as our current City Officials hope, neighborhoods become places where mixed incomes live, then more people will be working where they live, and again the need for driving is reduced. In January, I moved from 6 miles away to work to one block. I moved into a place with a co-worker, so we took 2 cars off the road. I bought a bike. I live in Culver City – this neighborhood has EVERYTHING! (the commenter who works here as well can validate that) – and I barely find myself driving at all. If more people had that opportunity and were open enough to changing their lifestyle and understanding the long-term impacts of their decisions, then taking away parking spaces is a non-issue.”

Posted on Friday, August 31, at 10:07 am by Sigafoos

“S.L. Morris sounds like Zahniser now. Since when did my forward-thinking LA Weekly become so repugnantly conservative and West LA centric? It’s embarrassing, actually. Our city is choking on too many opportunties to park and too few opportunities to live, work and recreate. We need less parking and (within walking distance) more services, more amentities, more housing opportunties, more jobs located in the immediate area of where we live, more places to purchase essential services, more public places to spend outdoors. The reason you need to get in your car in the first place is to drive somewhere that is too far to walk. Imagine if instead of having a parking lot twenty feet from your door, you actually had a market located their to buy your groceries. Our open space has been squeezed out to the hills to make room for parking. We work in small cubicles of 25 sq.feet while our cars have 80 to 100 sq. feet of premium real estate to be parked at all day. Many of us are appreciative that we have a civic leadership that is progressive and willing to establish/institutionalize policy that will eventually make for a more sustainable and more livable City. I encourage LA Weekly readers to visit www.parkingdayla.com to see how the other half thinks. Less parking means more parks! Less parking means more opportunities to access just about everything that you otherwise would need to drive to. For all of us out there who are not scared of change, we look forward to a City that becomes more accomodating to people and less accomodating to our machines. Morris’ and Zahniser’s myopic focus on the fact that we have a anemic transit system is misleading. It’s not about the need to get on a bus or a train, it’s about the desire to walk down the block and find what it is you are looking for – a community of people instead of a wall of cars.”

Posted on Friday, August 31, at 11:20 am by W. Wright

“I don’t think the author is realizing the inherent problem with parking. San Francisco’s Planning Department website does a good job of explaining: http://www.sfgov.org/site/planning_index.asp?id=25135 The brief synopsis: 1) It degrades the quality of urban places. 2) It GENERATES traffic. 3) It takes up valuable space. 4) It makes housing less affordable. “No great city is known for its abundant parking supply. If we had to rebuild a place like North Beach (in SF) under today’s parking requirements, as much as a third of the space where people live would be given up for parking. We would lose much of the street life–the shops and cafes, the vendors and the stoops–that make areas like North Beach vibrant and interesting. We don’t build places like these today because we require so much parking. There are plenty of examples of the kinds of buildings our parking requirements result in. We just need to imagine a city composed entirely of these buildings, and ask ourselves if this is the kind of city we want in the future.” I hope this helps to make my point.”

Posted on Friday, August 31, at 4:15 pm by NM

“It’s no wonder LA’s a mess. Los Angelenos like the author of this editorial are completely backwards in approaching city building and transportation planning. Removing parking requirements is “social engineering”? What a birdbrain. Parking requirements ARE social engineering. They subsidize automobile ownership. Do you really think developers are going to not provide ANY parking? Umm.. have you peaked your head outside of that dense layer of brown smog? Most cities that don’t have parking requirements actually have parking maximums because developers choose to provide not just some, but however much parking the public demands. Traditional city planning as we know it has screwed up this city. For once, city planners are taking a step in the right direction by eliminating a huge automobile subsidy.”

Posted on Tuesday, September 4, at 10:57 pm by Jayson

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