Remember the parking situation when you vote for our Second District City Council member on Tuesday, June 7! Ultimately, the City Council has the power to make parking worse, as has been the case, or to make it better. Take a moment to look at the candidates' websites and consider their priorities before voting. Give it your best guess!
Why City Council is important
Our current 2nd District City Councilmember Suja Lowenthal made some changes to help parking when she first got in office. However, she also made parking worse by pushing for the Downtown Plan that lowered the parking requirements for new developments while vastly increasing our local population. She also refused to make the kinds of major changes that would have actually made parking better. She said that we just need to get used to the poor parking because we live near the beach and it's too expensive to fix. She often told people that they had found over 1,000 new spaces but most of those spaces were in empty lots that were about to be developed. We are not anti-development; it just needs to be done with adequate parking. We are finding there are solutions that have worked in other cities but are being ignored here. The bottom line is that it's a matter of whose priorities are implemented.
There is hope!
We have met with both City Council Candidates. We offered to pay for them to speak to Mike Kodama (experienced parking planner) to hear the results of his preliminary evaluation, ideas that work in other cities, and funding options. As a result, both candidates have agreed to implement at least some of his ideas. That could be just campaign promises but they did speak about it on a recent TV debate. Here is an article about that.