Morning Fizz

Less Parking, More Light Rail, and No Solution for Homelessness

I've got some more advice for SDOT.

By Josh Feit September 22, 2016

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 1. Okay. So, I’m still on a parking jag. (Yesterday, Fizz devolved into a bit of an editorial about why the Seattle Department of Transportation was wrong to shoot down the Capitol Hill Housing proposal for a Parking Benefit District. The short answer can be found in CHH’s name: Housing!)

My parking agitation was rekindled this morning when I read about the new parking regulations that the Oakland City Council just passed.

Seattle does some of this stuff already. They've lowered parking mimimums in places near transit (though appropriate maximums would be better.) And they do flat out not require any parking in some transit zones; developments within a quarter mile of bus stops don't have to provide parking.

(We still require an off-street parking spot for DADUs, though, which seems silly given the availability of parking in single family neighborhoods—and prohibitive when it comes to adding these mini and affordable housing options to our stock.)

But, SDOT should get on board with Oakland’s “Transit First” principles en masse.

Check out some of these Oakland innovations:

 •20 percent reduction in minimum parking requirements when a car sharing space is provided (ie Zipcar, Bay Area Carshare, Getaround, etc)

•All new parking is unbundled, meaning renters must pay for it separate from their rent – And it is optional.

•Businesses with parking are allowed to share spaces with the neighborhood.

 That last one is especially relevant, as SDOT is currently reviewing another CHH proposal for shared parking districts. The idea is—just like it sounds—letting buildings share their parking spots with people who don’t live there, like people who work in the neighborhood or are shopping there. Part of the problem is that paid and reserved parking spots come with tax and permitting guidelines that work at cross purposes with widespread implementation. It sounds like Oakland got rid of those regulations.

As I’ve documented: Parking lots in buildings in transit friendly neighborhoods are underutilized. For the record, I got the idea from CHH, and they documented it on a much grander scale!

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2. WHEREAS the suburbs support light rail.

Add Redmond to the list of Eastside suburban cities whose city councils have officially endorsed ST3.

Earlier this week, on Monday, the Bellevue and Issaquah councils formally endorsed regional light rail expansion (4-1 and unanimously, respectively.)

On Tuesday, Redmond followed suit, voting 5-2: 


Section 1. The Redmond City Council takes an official position supporting Proposition No. 1 concerning Sound Transit light rail, commuter rail, and bus service expansion, commonly known as ST3.

Section 2. The Redmond City Council encourages voters to support Proposition No. 1 concerning Sound Transit light rail, commuter rail, and bus service expansion, commonly known as ST3, due to the transportation and mobility benefits provided to Redmond residents.

3. The mayor's task force on establishing new protocols regulating sweeps of unauthorized homeless encampments—which is in competition with a council legislative push of its own—appears to be a bit of a mess.

The Stranger's Heidi Groover  and local blogger Erica C. Barnett tweeted a play-by-play of last night's latest free-for-all.

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