[Carfreeliving] Newsom opposes alternative transportation
dave at livablecity.org
Thu Jan 12 12:57:29 MST 2006
You can't have it all. With Newsom's strongly worded opposition to
the limits on parking in new downtown development, he has finally
showed he hasn't changed his attitude on transportation since he
voted against the Polk Street bike facility and drove an SUV to work
on Bike to Work Day.
Without limits on parking, new residences downtown will bring choking
traffic congestion, rendering more difficult if not impossible the
range of livable city transportation proposals TLC supports: lane
reductions on 2nd St., 5th St., Montgomery, Sansome, Battery, and
others, to put in bike lanes; car restrictions on Market Street to
put in bike and transit improvements; uncongested streets for transit
and emergency vehicles; and affordable housing for people without
cars. His language in support of car-sharing and bike parking is
meaningless without parking restrictions.
Perhaps the Mayor knows better, but is doing a political calculation
that SOS and BOMA are stronger than that Bike Coalition, TLC, Walk
SF, and other groups that support the parking restrictions. TLC will
lead the effort to change that political calculus. Unfortunately, TLC
has just 160 members. If you're reading this and not a member of TLC,
please join today. I'll post the Mayor's letter below, as well as a
link to Supervisor Daly's comments on the topic:
January 10, 2006
I write to share with you my position on parking restrictions in our
city's C-3 (downtown) zoning
district. As you know, an ordinance addressing this issue is pending
at the Land Use Committee (file
As I explained in an earlier letter on this subject, dated December
7, 2005, I strongly support our
city's Transit First policy. Along those lines, my administration is
actively working to strengthen
public transportation and promote non-automobile forms of
transportation. Elements of the
current legislation appropriately advance these goals, including the
'unbundling' of parking so that it
must be leased or sold separately from dwelling units and minimum
requirements for carshare and
bike parking in all new developments.
However, as a whole, I believe the current legislation overreaches.
Its unprecedented limitations on
parking in new residential housing downtown threaten housing
production and housing
affordability-particularly much-needed family oriented housing.
Furthermore, with several major
retail developments opening soon downtown and our restaurants and
hotels rebounding from
economic difficulties earlier this decade, these parking restrictions
threaten critical economic growth,
job creation and much-needed tax revenue.
While I must oppose the current legislation on this issue, I fully
support alternative legislation
sponsored by Supervisor Alioto-Pier. This ordinance makes several
meaningful changes to the city's
parking policies- including provisions mentioned above-while avoiding
the restrictions that
threaten housing production and affordability, and our local economy.
Additionally, the legislation
includes several innovative provisions to encourage non-auto
transportation, including minimum
requirements for car share and bike parking in developments
citywide-not just downtown-and
incentives for minimizing parking through density bonuses. I believe
this approach moves our city
forward on our Transit First path without creating barriers to
housing production and continued
Thank you very much for your consideration.
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