The C Is for Crank
The C Is for Crank: Prickly, Parking, and Planning
Some weird things I noticed about double standards, "free" parking, and urban planning.
Three Weirds from Erica the C is for Crank Barnett:
Isn't it weird that when new Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant delivers an earnest inaugural addresses that plainly lays out her values—no to capitalism and corporate power, yes to higher wages for the working class—she is, according to the PI.com's Joel Connelly, being "harsh," "humorless," and "prickly" ...
But when Mayor Ed Murray delivers an (equally earnest) inaugural address that plainly lays out his values—collaboration, fair wages for all, police reform—he's being "nice," "traditional," and "a one-man symbol of sorting out divisions"?
Isn't it weird that Murray's supposedly (if you believe the pro-McGinn folks' anti-Murray rhetoric) anti-transit, pro-car transportation department just issued a jeremiad against homeowners who think they "own" the public parking spaces in front of their property?
As I've written before, the parking space in front of your house does not belong to you, even if you put out plastic chairs on the street to "reserve" it for your two Volvos (you know who you are). It's city property, which means it's everybody's property. Which means that you—yes, you—may have to walk a few hundred feet (or even a block or two!) to get to your house if you don't have a private parking space.
Or, as SDOT's (sadly anonymous) blogger puts it:
We frequently receive complaints from residents stating that their neighbors have taken over their parking space. Actually that space does not “belong” to the adjacent property owner or anyone for that matter. Sorry, but the public right-of-way is public, and is open to anyone on a first come, first served basis. As frustrating as that is, we all just have to abide by it.
Curb space is part of the public street system, and as such it is a public good that is available for all people to use.
In residential neighborhoods, the post continues, the priorities for curb space are, in order, transit use, loading zones for passenger and commercial vehicles, parking, and vehicular capacity.
Isn't it weird that Murray's new "Vision for Seattle" says the "urban village model," which promotes dense, walkable, mixed-used neighborhoods close to the center city, has been successful in other cities and " could be a successful model for managing growth in Seattle's neighborhoods as well"?
Seattle was actually a pioneer in creating urban villages; in fact, the city implemented its own urban village plan back in the early 1990s, under then-mayor Norm Rice.
Asked if the mayor is aware of the city's ongoing urban village program, Murray spokesman Jeff Reading said, "The mayor believes the city has strayed from the urban village concept and wants to re-engage and revitalize that as an approach to planning."