Friday, November 21, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Free parking is no myth

By Glen Holstein

Barbara West’s April 17 opinion piece claiming free parking is a myth mixes the obvious with the misleading.

Parking lots do cost for land and construction but mall stores gladly provide free parking because it increases sales more than enough to offset its costs. Street parking is different. Roads and streets are built with taxes for transportation but have edges providing the ancillary benefit of parking where it’s allowed. This isn’t a width function since parking is permitted along some narrow Sacramento streets but not on our widest thoroughfares — the freeways.

Taxes pay for Davis streets, so parking along their edges, contrary to West, isn’t a free ride.

In the past 15 years, the Davis commercial core bounded by E, F, Second and Third streets has seen a series of tax-funded projects that halved its parking capacity. Some were worthy and others not so much but the result is a parking problem artificially created by city staff, who now propose solving it with a million-dollar parking meter project.

When the Davis Parking Task Force was starting, some members invited me to attend because it lacked parking consumers. At an initial meeting, questions I asked city staff about their commercial core parking reduction were as popular as innocence evidence is to prosecutors after convictions.

It would have been easy to fix the task force’s lack of parking stakeholders at this early stage by including me, but it didn’t happen. At the very next meeting’s start, a pre-orchestrated vote (likely a Brown Act violation) specifically excluded me from the task force and erased the record of all I’d said at the last meeting. This wasn’t because I’m a disabled senior. The issues I’d raised were so dangerous they were flushed down the Orwellian memory hole.

A group of “bicycle advocates” could facilitate this vote for staff because they were so over-represented on the task force they could dominate it despite hating cars and parking. Bicycles are a fine way to travel but their task force advocates seemed to value them most as icons of their moral superiority to those of us benighted enough to drive and park cars.

Cultural historian D.H. Fischer described how persistent colonial folkways are in the modern secular world. An example is how American higher education carried folkways from its Puritan New England beginnings to college towns across the country like Davis. No doubt task force “bicycle advocate” leader Robb Davis wants to rid Davis of its cars and their drivers as dutifully as old Salem wanted its “witches” gone. If you vote for Robb, don’t say you weren’t warned.

West also misleads by claiming Donald Shoup’s big-city parking work applies to Davis. It’s obvious that street parking is inadequate where high-rises densify population. That’s where Shoup does his research. San Francisco is so hemmed in by water and mountains it can never sprawl or have adequate street parking. Shoup is right that pricing meters high enough opens a few spaces but it also helps drive all but the wealthy out of this city.

The other place West mentions, Pasadena, is a lot more like San Francisco than Davis. It’s so hemmed in by mountains and old, established communities that it can’t sprawl. It’s also the regional center for northeastern Los Angeles County, which is more populous than all but eight states.

At the other extreme, numerous rural towns were once commercially viable in the days of horses and trains but are now in terminal declines that parking meters only accelerate. Esparto and Arbuckle are examples that survive by being on busy highways.

Intermediate towns like Davis, Napa and Livermore can readily sprawl but retain fragile but viable downtown cores. Napa tried to make its core more “walkable and bikable” by restricting car parking but no one wants to walk or bike to its now-vacant storefronts. In contrast, Livermore, which encourages parking by keeping it free, has a vibrant core full of people that competes effectively with nearby malls and has become the go-to place for even bicyclists and walkers.

Davis is at the crossroads of choosing the Napa model or the Livermore model. Will it be climate change-exacerbating sprawl that destroys carbon-sequestering farms and habitat while promoting long, fossil-fuel-consuming car trips, or the other path of embracing a sustainable, compact and vibrant core kept economically viable by free parking?

— Glen Holstein is a Davis resident.

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    UC regents approve 5% tuition increases

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
     
    California unemployment steady at 7.3 percent

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
     
    A new home for the holidays?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Explorit: Lecture illuminates state water bond

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A3

     
    Apply now to take Master Gardener training

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Yolobus will reroute Saturday morning for Turkey Trot

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Help feed the hungry at Saturday’s food drive

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Volunteers sought to advocate for kids

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Village Homes gets crafty

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    Nowhere to go, nothing to do

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Davis voices concerns over new oil-by-rail proposal

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    Cheers and Jeers: Katehi front and center

    By Our View | From Page: A10

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    Council misses an opportunity

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Together we can do so much

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Have you read this book?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    We DO have a water shortage

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    .

    Sports

    UCD men get to 2-0

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Silveria has been there through thick and thin

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    Whose seniors will go out in style at Causeway Classic No. 61?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    LBSU takes down UCD in matchup of Big West’s best

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Wire sports briefs: Kings cruise past Chicago

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Raiders beat K.C. to snap a 16-game skid

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Aggie women start 4-game homestand Saturday at 11 a.m.

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

     
    The Purple Ones to play tribute to Prince

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1′ fails to catch fire

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    Wealth of Nations show is Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Davis Feminist Film Festival accepting submissions

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Come ‘Home for the Holidays’ and benefit school arts

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

    Founding pastor of UCC’s now-famous painting on display

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Automakers debut key models at L.A. Auto Show

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, November 21, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Real Estate Review

    Featured Listing

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER1

    Professional Services Directory

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER2

    Lyon Real Estate

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER3

    RE/Max Gold

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER4

    Kim Eichorn

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER5

    Joe Kaplan

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER6

    Melrina A Maggiora

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER6

    Marcelo Campos

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER7

    Lennar Homes

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER7

    Tracy Harris

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER8

    Yolo FCU

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER8

    Team Traverso

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER8

    Travis Credit Union

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER9

    Coldwell Banker

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER10

    Ciana Wallace

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER12

    Diane Lardelli

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER12

    Jamie Madison

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER12

    Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER13

    Malek Baroody

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER13

    Julie Partain

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER14

    Coldwell Banker

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER15

    Cynthia Gerber

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER17

    Karen Waggoner

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER17

    Jamie Madison & Associates

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER17

    Dana Hawkins & Caitlin McCalla

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER18

    Chris Snow

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER18

    Open House Map

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER19

    F1rst Street Real Estate

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER20