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ABNA speaks up about parking study

Thank you to ABNA for hosting the meeting on February 8th and giving the community a chance to meet with KOA (the parking planners that are doing the parking study), TAPS, and Mike Kodama!

There was an impressive amount of knowledge among the audiences at these neighborhood association meetings. This participation will help get the best outcome for the solution-oriented parking study if our City staff and leaders are willing to listen!

Anthony Formoso, a representative from our City Council District 2 office, gave an update about the District in general. When people asked him questions about the Broadway corridor project, he appeared to be new to the subject and didn't know more than what was on his written page. He did a great job listening to the audience. He said he'd be in the office in the morning and will get answers, encouraging people to call.

He said this about the Broadway Corridor project:

  • they will take out a lane on each side of the street and add bike lanes

  • the street will have a left turn lane

  • over 100 parking spaces will be added on 1st and Second. Kirk from the audience said he counted 600 parking spaces on Broadway now but couldn't get an answer as to how many would be lost to this remodel. He then sent a list of questions to Sean Crumby and is awaiting an answer.

  • passed around drawings. When someone asked what was the location in the drawings, it was determined that the drawings were of a fictitious location.

TAPS board members Laura and Debbie gave a summary of

  • who TAPS is

  • how the City's policies are making parking worse

  • what the parking study could do

  • why we need the public's help

We passed out

  • flyers that show people how to access the public input that we gave to the City and KOA before they started the study. Those flyers also show 4 ways that the City could take immediate action to prevent more new buildings from adding to our parking issues.

  • TAPS passed out 2 maps.

  • The Downtown map shows the 33 new buildings that are coming to Downtown.

  • The second map shows how City actions have taken away parking from residents in the southeast corner of downtown, pushing hundreds of people to look for parking in neighboring Alamitos Beach.

TAPS emphasized that we will need the public's help to fill out the surveys and to convince our city leaders to pass a comprehensive parking plan with many components working together.

Mike Kodama from MK Planners (TAPS parking consultant) answered questions from the audience. He stressed that the City needed data like inventory and occupancy counts in order to make effective decisions and find solutions. He said the City needs someone who understands parking to manage parking.

KOA representatives Frank and Karen described what they are doing during the parking study:

  • They have physically counted all on-street and off-street parking spaces

  • They have collected info about the parking restrictions. They counted and measured the restricted areas.

  • They took occupancy counts at different times in the day.

  • They are still analyzing and reviewing the data to guide their recommendations. They are doing preliminary recommendations.

  • Their public outreach is in 2 parts:

  • Neighborhood Association meetings - they reached 5 neighborhood associations

  • Surveys - a hard copy "intercept survey" and an online survey. KOA worked with the city to develop the questions. People can fill out one of each survey.

  • Intercept survey was done by staff asking people they meet on the street to fill out the survey. It asks questions about their parking on that day.

  • Online survey - more general questions for residents and businesses. It's not online yet; will be sent to neighborhood associations. It will be online for one month. (At the ORCA meeting on January 22, they said it would be online for 2 months, then said 1 1/2 months.) Translated into 4 languages. There will be a comment box. It will have a link to an online map so people can point to an area and tell KOA about problems in that area.

  • The audience asked the KOA reps questions:

  • Will the study data be online? A - no.

  • When do their recommendations go to the city? A - in September.

  • Who do we talk to to get the peak time changed? This question was regarding the statement that the intercept survey started at 9 am and stopped at 6 pm but people said the parking is much worse just before and later than that. A -- KOA did a pilot study to determine times. They already started data collection so they can't change the time now.

  • Several comments were made about the lack of outreach for both the meetings and the surveys.

The Community members filled out surveys. These were the "intercept surveys".

Lots of people hung around afterwards asking more questions and discussing future actions.

Each of you can participate in your way. Pass the online petition to friends once it's up. Follow, share, tweet, etc. Together we are stronger.

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