More parking = more cars = gridlock

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I attended a Transportation Authority workshop last night on its new Mobility, Access, and Pricing Study (which, among other things, might recommend a fee to drive downtown, just like London, Rome, and Stockholm have) -- and I came away more convinced than ever that San Francisco is screwed if downtown greedheads fool people into approving Prop. H and defeating Prop. A.
Ours is one of five U.S. cities selected to collectively receive almost $1 billion in federal money to study and implement ways of reducing traffic congestion. Why? Because we're the second most congested downtown in the country after Los Angeles. Preliminary studies show traffic congestion cost San Francisco $2.3 billion in 2005 (in delays, fuel, health impacts, and slowed commerce), congestion consistently ranks as people's top concern in surveys, traffic has slowed our transit system to a crawl, congestion roughly doubles travel times, and half our city's greenhouse gas emissions come from cars. And if Prop. H is approved, there will be unfettered new parking construction, putting up to 20,000 new cars on our clogged roads, according to the Planning Department. This is madness!
I'm baffled why the Chamber of Commerce supports this because the evidence is clear it will hurt business (perhaps they're just blinded to reality by their slavishly doctrinaire devotion free markets and hatred of all things government). Study after study shows that more parking draws more cars, and in our built-out city, where there's no room for creating more lanes, that means more traffic congestion. And therefore slower Muni, which will cause more people to want to drive or ride bikes, which will cause even more congestion -- a feedback loop that leads to gridlock. C'mon everybody, think about this stuff for a second because it isn't rocket science. You can support more traffic or better transit, your choice.

Comments

More parking places mean more traffic.
Less parking places mean less traffic.

Add 500 parkingplaces and you simply have 500 more cars around.

This has been proved beyond doubt in a zillion studies.

In many European towns, (a classical example is Zürich in Switzerland) all new offices/enterprises are now compelled to reduce the existing private parking places by one half, else they won't be allowed to open at all.
Also, everytime there is some work in progress in a street (posing cables or so) the opportunity is taken and parking places are actively reduced (planting trees and/or dismantling the parking places in order to create a bus/taxi or bikes reserved lane).
The results are wonderful. You have now whole cities where it is next to impossible to park in the center, and people have therefore to use the common transportation system, or bike around. Far from damaging commerce, this has improved the atmosphere quite a lot, and city centers are much more lively and enjoyable. Also the number of bikers seem to improve every year, even in winter, and this also helps proximity commerce quite a lot.

Last but not least, the selling average value of a house situated on -say- a 4 lanes road improves quite a lot if that road's traffic is reduced to two lanes.
So inhabitants can easily be convinced :-)

Posted by Efraim on Jan. 28, 2009 @ 7:47 am

NMMC Standing Committee chairman Sandeep Naik Stays Controversial Parking Proposal
The NMMC administration has presented a rather controversial parking proposal to the Standing Committee for approval. For the second week in a row Chairman Sandeep Naik stayed the proposal. We get you a peek from this report from the weekly NMMC Standing Committee meet.

The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation presented the proposal of making its first multi level car parking facility in Navi Mumbai at Vashi. The contractor of the project M/s Ramratna Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. made a presentation on how the puzzle car parking would be to the members at the weekly Standing Committee Meet. Sensing that there was.......

http://sandeepnaik-navimumbai.blogspot.com/2009/01/nmmc-standing-committee-chairman.html
http://www.nmtv.tv/shownews.php?id=4376

Posted by jayanthudar on Jan. 21, 2009 @ 1:29 am