Could this parking study actually work?
That sounds like an odd question coming from us considering all of the effort we put into this. Our previous experience with the City is that even when it sounded like someone might help, the follow-up usually wasn't there. We now know that there is a strong push among some at the City to purposely cut down on parking in an effort to cut down on vehicles.
After our meeting yesterday with KOA (the firm doing the parking study) and City Staff members (different than the usual ones), we are cautiously optimistic. The group of people at that meeting all seemed genuinely enthusiastic about finding a well-balanced, comprehensive collection of solutions to our parking issues.
The kickoff meeting between KOA and city staff was 2 months ago. Since then, they have been building up their data base. Once they have more data, there will be neighborhood outreach meetings. KOA will provide an online survey. KOA will interview people to collect info about their commute and parking habits.
TAPS sent KOA and city staff our collection of info from the public, including the parking impacted stories, parking improvement suggestions, and even some specific locations where parking may be shared or added. We sent them documents showing some issues that we mentioned.
KOA and both of the City staff members discussed specific issues that we brought up. They didn't just say they'd look into it, a response that we usually see. These people asked lots of questions and made creative suggestions. New approaches emerged.
Once all the data and info is collected and analyzed, KOA will have a creative workshop before deciding on recommendations.
Of course, any changes to city policy will need to pass City Council and the same people who have fought changes to their current parking policies.
For that reason, we think public pressure will be needed. Watch for updates so you know when to write letters!
Thanks for you continued support and participation, it DOES matter.
The lady who sent us this photo has waited 5 months to get a night space in the City employee lot at the end of this street. She's one of the lucky ones because at least development won't take away that lot. One lady said she waited over 3 years to get a space in another lot, only to have it taken away by development a few months later. There are many, many more like her.