Government Creating Chaos: Less On Street Parking/Denser Population

How do you create the slums, crimes, ghettos and chaos of New York City> Easy, get rid of on street parking, take car lanes and make them bike lanes, then increase the density of housing—put more people into a smaller space—just for the heck of it, knowing that these conditions are the perfect storm for economic disaster. This guarantees the poor in crime areas, the middle class leave the area and the rich live in suburbs and penthouses.

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“One of the old standbys of the Car Cult zealots is the cry that we can’t put in bike lanes, or wider sidewalks, or Complete streets treatments, if they will remove so much as a single curbside parking spot for cars. Likewise, calls for denser development, especially if accompanied by reduced parking requirements, inspire the usual bug-eyed rage and teeth-baring barks of, “Where will all the cars park?”

As President Reagan famously said, government is not the solution, it is the problem.

affordable housing

Parking Madness

Written by Richard Risemberg, City Watch LA, 11/27/15

JUST SAYIN’–One of the old standbys of the Car Cult zealots is the cry that we can’t put in bike lanes, or wider sidewalks, or Complete streets treatments, if they will remove so much as a single curbside parking spot for cars. Likewise, calls for denser development, especially if accompanied by reduced parking requirements, inspire the usual bug-eyed rage and teeth-baring barks of, “Where will all the cars park?”

Yet, it happens that most parts of most cities have far too much parking, and that parking helps create traffic congestion (through induced demand, especially when it’s offered at below-market pricing, or even free).  It also hurts development, making it too expensive for locally-owned businesses to establish themselves and enhance the health, wealth, and happiness of our communities—something corporate malls and bigbox stores simply cannot do (and don’t even want to).

The Pigeon’s own Josef Bray-Ali wrote an important article on this very matter a few years ago, which was published in the Los Angeles Business Journal. Alas, there it resides behind a paywall; but it’s been excerpted in another article posted by the Natural Resources Defense Council here

The NIMBYs, of course, want nothing more than fully-subsidized parking everywhere they might want to go—rather the attitude a three-year-old holds towards candy. The rest of us are to pay for the sequestration of that land from more productive use, as well as the costs—financial, social, environmental, and medical—that the resulting sprawl imposes on us all.

In regards to commercial establishments, the cry for more parking! is particularly focused: Black Friday—the day after tomorrow, counting from our publication date—is the day when all the parking lots and structures in America fill to overflowing with cars, “proving” that we need those gigantic asphalt wastelands to be reserved from any other use the other 364 days of the year.

The problem with that rationale is that is is so rarely true: most parking lots and structures, even at the most gargantuan of consumerist swamps, America’s declining malls, simply…don’t fill up.

And so, in response to the untested assumption underlying the NIMBY’s Black Friday battle cry, Strong Towns has for several years organized the Black Friday Parking event.

This is what you do to join in:

1) On Black Friday, go to a mall at peak shopping hour.

2) Wander the parking lot, smartphone or camera in hand.

3) When you see swathes of empty parking space—and odds are that you will—snap a picture.

4) Post said picture to social media with the hashtag #blackfridayparking and (preferably) location info.

That’s all it takes. A little dose of reality to help take the edge off the great American delusion about cars and parking.

 

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. You have to love these types.

    They are the same people that want to constrict street travel and intersections based upon the “lowest” average use. The argument is LOOK AT ALL THE WASTED SPACE.

    *Laugh*

    What happens when the majority of people want to get out and go? Where will be the street capacity? Shopping Centers plan their parking on days like “Black Friday,” Christmas holiday shopping, or Easter. Yesterday was Black Friday and the local shopping mall La Cumbre Plaza (Santa Barbara) has precious few parking spaces.

    But wait what the heck why make it profitable for businesses that hire workers and provide needed student part time work?

    Luddites are considered brilliant minds compare the the narrow minded proponents of “Return to the Past” instead of “Back to the Future.”

    They only represent at the most 15-20% of the population but gain 90% of the headlines because they really are not too smart.

  2. Barney DeSimone says

    Notice the use of over the top language, ” car cult zealots” rather than “drivers”, “NIMBY’s” rather than “residents”, “bug- eyed-rage” rather than “opposition”, and “asphalt wasteland” rather than “parking capacity”. Well it all sounds very reasonable and objective doesn’t it? This kind of demonizing language is a hallmark of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. What they are pushing is the destruction of Capitalism and of our quality of life. These are extremely dangerous people to you and your children.

  3. There is an abundance of parking, and uncrowded lanes…..
    in Texas.
    C’mon down y’all.

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