Council Allows Ace Parking Project to Move Forward

Current Project Site

It spawned a far broader and far more important debate than the decision over a simple project that would create a parking lot with a 2000-square-foot shade structure at 815 Third Street for Davis Ace Hardware customers.  In the end, the council voted 3 to 1 with Robb Davis in dissent and Rochelle Swanson absent to deny the appeal and uphold the May 10 decision of the Planning Commission.

But, even within that agreement to support the project, both sides of the issue saw complexity and contradiction.

As staff explained, “The basis for approving the appeal would be a determination that the Planning Commission erred in its approval of the entitlements.”  And, based on their analysis, “staff cannot conclude that the Planning Commission erred in granting its approval of the applications.”

But even members of the council noted there were inconsistencies.  As Councilmember Frerichs put it, design guidelines “are not absolute requirements.

“This project is consistent with the zoning, therefore approvable.  It doesn’t need to demonstrate consistency with every design guideline,” he said.  “I think this proposal is an approval over what exists now.

“It provides needed short-term parking to Davis Ace,” he said.  He also doesn’t think it will preclude redevelopment to higher and better use of the site in the future.

Mayor Pro Tem Brett Lee pushed back when he believed that public commenters mischaracterized what the city did in regard to paid parking.  He said that the council clearly talked about a differential of rates to encourage shorter-term parking.  This, he said, included a discussion of parking validation to allow for potential waiver of fees for short-term parking.

Like many, the mayor pro tem felt that the appeal gave the community a chance to discuss critical issues regarding the Core Area Specific Plan (CASP) and the need for parking.

“Paid parking is a very important if not essential tool in the management of demand,” he said.  We don’t have a supply issue, we have a parking management issue.”

In the end, he was supportive of the project.

He said, “They are supporting their business.  What they are proposing makes sense from their perspective.  Given the sort of dysfunctional parking environment that we’ve created for ourselves because of our unwillingness to listen to what the experts on parking policy and good design have said, it’s understandable that they’ve made this request,” he said, noting, “I’m supporting their request for parking.”

At the same time, he was critical of Davis residents who claim to support science, but do not support the scientifically proven process for parking management.  When we move ahead with the CASP, he said, it’s important “that we give weight to what the experts say.”  He added that he was hoping people will work with them as they implement a paid parking strategy.

Like his colleagues, Will Arnold noted the use of some fallacious arguments in this process.  He read from the parking requirements and found them fairly unambiguous.  Councilmember Arnold said he’s a bit perplexed that, in this case, “the guidelines can be ignored or we ought to look or work around them (and these) are some of the same folks who opposed other projects saying we need to respect the zoning, we need to respect the design guidelines at all costs.

“The lesson here is that our design guidelines do not exist in a vacuum and they are not the end of the discussion,” he said.

He said there are considerations to make, including the viability of this long-time anchor to the downtown.

“It’s a business that has unique needs,” he said, that couldn’t be accommodated in even the most creative mode share options.  And he said that he had received plenty of input.

Mayor Robb Davis was in the end the lone dissenter.  He noted that he was pleased with the tone of the discussion, which he acknowledged in particular took place on the Vanguard.  He found the discussion to be passionate but also respectful and fairly substantive.

“People value the Ace Hardware business and don’t want to do anything to hurt it,” he said.

“Take this decision as an indictment of the work I’ve tried to do on parking in the downtown,” he said.  “It’s a finger pointing at a failure to move forward a  comprehensive plan that I helped to formulate before I was on council.

“This is a discussion about parking,” he said.  “We have options to expand our parking by several hundred spots, we haven’t done it.

“We have absolutely tied one hand behind our back by not instituting paid parking on block faces on the street,” he said.  “As Brett said, the evidence is clear on that.”

He noted this was the “accepted wisdom among all urban planners about the way parking should be handled today and going forward.”  He views this proposal as an indictment on what the council has not been able to do.  “This is an inevitable outcome – people see that they’re not having their needs met, so they take it upon themselves,” he said.

“I can’t vote with the planning commission on this, because I believe it goes against everything we should be doing on parking,” he said.  “But I do believe that we can achieve the ends that you want to achieve.  It takes the grand bargain.  It makes us take a step back and use the management tools that really do work in the real world.”

He said that he wants to consider a parking improvement district. He pushed for a grand bargain – an idea ultimately rejected by both the applicant and his colleagues.  Although, here too there was nuance.

The rest of the council, while not willing to vote against this project, nevertheless felt that the “idea of the grand bargain is important.”

Brett Lee said, “Even though on this one little piece of downtown we are probably not moving in a congruent way for what our vision is with the downtown, that doesn’t take away the fact that it’s important that we try to implement those recommendations because we know that in the long run that is going to be beneficial to the downtown.

“Regardless of what the vote is right now, we need to push forward on those recommendations,” he said.

“I don’t think the terms of the grand bargain are mutually exclusive to this project happening,” Will Arnold added.

The council then voted 3 to 1 to support the Planning Commission decision and deny the appeal.  But the issue of parking and the Core Area Specific Plan will remain.  The council thanked Mark West for the appeal, appreciating the discussion that it generated.

—David M. Greenwald reporting



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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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115 Comments

  1. Keith O

    Good, we know we have at least three council members who will step up and do the right thing when it comes to downtown parking,  Next we need to get them to stop the push for paid parking.

    1. Todd Edelman

      Civilly I say: Let’s have a “Keith O Day”!
      Where everyone drives as much as they want
      Actually everyone drives to prove that it’s good
      Never mind the present Unhealthy Ozone level in our neighborhood
      He exclaims: “Because freedom for self trumps freedom for all.
      Or feeling, and really, “cyclists”: Don’t tread on me.
      If you can find me, i.e. I’m more anonymous than thee.
      Yes here I stand in the shadows at my Orwellian peak
      Wondering how many children my car will save from starving this week.”

      1. Keith O

        Hey Todd, have a cup of organic coffee and chill, it looks like you need to relax.

        Myself I’m headed down to Starbucks on F St. in my truck and will park right in front in a free parking spot and enjoy my Misto.

        1. Keith O

          Probably not for coffee but will for other things.  I’m on the edge of town and the Costco mall in Woodland is not that much farther with less stop signs and lights and it has FREE parking.

        2. Keith O

          There’s a lot of things we do that is called free that maybe you wish to call “unpaid”.  Who pays for the sidewalk that people walk on for free (unpaid), who pays for the bike paths that bikers ride on for free (unpaid), who pays for Central Park that people use for free (unpaid)……………there’s many things that people do and use for free (unpaid)

          Shall we start charging fees for everything that our tax money has built?

        3. Ron

          Keith:  ” I’m on the edge of town and the Costco mall in Woodland is not that much farther with less stop signs and lights and it has FREE parking.”

          Give it time.  More stoplights, development and congestion (and less farmland/open space) are coming, soon.  (Everywhere, actually.)  No end in sight. 🙂

    2. Michael Bisch

      Keith, the right thing? The CC’s position on downtown parking in general & paid parking in particular is polar opposite to yours. They reinforced this dichotomy last night clearly stating the Ace project approval is a one-off exception contrary to existing policies and future policies. They contradicted almost every position you have stated on this issue these past weeks. The only CC member that seemed to have a different view from his 3 colleagues last night was Lucas although his views weren’t entirely clear to me I confess.

      1. Howard P

        Of course it wasn’t clear… some folk want to be “all things to all people”…
        [which is not the same as compromise nor consensus, although it can appear to be…]

        1. Michael Bisch

          I want to clarify my Lucas comment to ensure it’s not misunderstood. I’m saying it was pretty clear there was daylight between him and his colleagues on the issue of whether the project failed to comply with existing and likely future policies. Lucas clearly stated he agreed with city staff and the PC that the Ace project complied with the city’s planning and parking polices whereas his 3 colleagues said the project did not. Lucas’ views last night on the city’s planning and parking policies in general is what’s unclear to me. I’m not suggesting he was being deliberately vague. I just don’t recall him expressing his views on those subjects whereas his colleagues did to varying degrees.

  2. Matt Williams

    “Mayor Pro Tem Brett Lee pushed back when he believed that public commenters mischaracterized what the city did in regards to paid parking.  He said, that the council clearly talked about differential of rates to encourage shorter-term parking.    This, he said, included a discussion of parking validation to allow for potential waiver of fees for short-term parking.”

    .
    As the primary public commenter who “mischaracterized” what the City did in regards to paid parking at the North G Street lot, I found Brett’s retort interesting to say the least.  It was even more interesting when taken in combination with the Mayor’s subsequent comment

    “Take this decision as an indictment of the work I’ve tried to do on parking in the downtown,” he said.  “It’s a finger pointing at a failure to move forward a  comprehensive plan that I helped to formulate before I was on council.”

    .
    The issue isn’t whether on December 20th the Council  said what Brett described as “thoughtful words” from behind the dais.  The issue is whether those thoughtful words have turned into thoughtful action.  In this case the owners of Ace Hardware very clearly did not see the thoughtful words Brett referred to turning into thoughtful action.  They perceived (rightly or wrongly) that the Council had unilaterally converted the North G Street Lot into a magnet for people looking to park their car for four hours.  As I pointed out in my public comment, each car that takes up a North G Street lot space for 4 hours is denying parking to at least eight Ace customers, because of the long history of the use of that lot for quick “in and out, I know what I’m here for” visits to Ace.

    What Brett appeared to be saying is that the Council discussion on December 20th did not raise the time limit to 4 hours in the North G Street lot.  But if you go to the City webpage announcing the December 20, 2016 changes (see http://cityofdavis.org/Home/Components/News/News/1657/2904), the documentation of the Council action regarding the North G Street lot is unambiguous.

    City Council Approves Expansion of Paid Parking to Downtown Surface Lots

    On December 20, 2016, the Davis City Council directed staff to expand paid parking into four city-owned downtown surface lots.

    After consideration of several on-street and off-street paid parking alternatives, the City Council settled on adding the north F Street, north G Street, south G Street, and Boy Scout Cabin lots (see map) to the City’s supply of paid parking and extending the parking time limit from two to four hours in these locations.

    .
    The impact of that announced change on Davis Ace and its customers was equally unambiguous.

    Last night Brett challenged the public commenters who “mischaracterized” what the city did to go to the City website video to confirm the “thoughtful words ” during the actual discussion on December 20th regarding the North G Street Lot. I will take him up on that challenge, and will forward the transcript of the video to him once it is completed. I suspect that transcript will show that the thoughtful words said that night somehow lost something in translation between that night’s discussion and the appearance of the documentation of the Council action on the City website.

    Unfortunately, Mayor Davis was right in his assessment.  The Council hasn’t translated the Downtown Parking Task Force’s thoughtful recommendations into action, and in the case of the North G Street lot, where they have taken an action, they failed to look at the micro-economic climate of the one business whose customers have historically filled that lot with short in and out visits.

    As I said in my public comment last night, in the 19 years I have been here in Davis, the owners of Davis Ace have not proposed, or even discussed publicly, putting a private parking lot on their property.  The North G Street lot was serving their customers well.  Those customers could wheel their purchased goods to their car parked either in the alley or in the North G Street lot.  It was a simple, functional, economical, long-standing system … that changed on December 20th.

    1. Michael Bisch

      Matt,

      Part of your comment is inaccurate. According to staff, Ace submitted their project application in February ’16, almost a full year before the December ’16  CC paid parking decision. This conversation has been riddled by misinformation from the get go, which continued right through last night and into today.

    1. Keith O

      Let’s not kid anyone here, in my opinion this isn’t about making downtown Davis better because paid parking won’t.  I think it’s all about the revenue stream because this is basically just another tax being levied.  Our taxes paid for the streets and parking spots and now we’re most likely going to be charged to use what we’ve already paid for.

      Will city employee raises come next?

      1. David Greenwald

        I really disagree with you. You’re not going to get enough revenue from paid parking to do much of anything.

        I think the biggest part is as Brett Lee put it – “Paid parking is a very important if not essential tool in the management of demand,” he said. We don’t have a supply issue, we have a parking management issue.”

        Maybe you can start storing away some of that money to increase capacity down the line, but I tend to doubt it.

      2. Michael Bisch

        Well, Keith, 12-13 of your fellow citizens are in disagreement with you on this after having studied and debated the issue for 12 months. Are there any factual underpinning for your opinion or is your opinion mere speculation? As Brett and Robb said last night, the research and case studies are quite clear on the best practices. To properly manage parking, a pricing mechanism is required. Question: do you prefer driving up to a vacant parking space that has a meter or to a space occupied by a downtown employee that has no meter?

         

        Didn’t we debate this ad nauseam just a few years ago? Or is this residual trauma I’m experiencing from my year on the DPTF?

      3. Matt Williams

        Keith, paid parking will not create any direct net revenue for the City.

        The only way that paid parking will contribute any net positive fiscal impact will be if/when the perception that “I won’t be able to find a parking space if I go downtown.” disappears because there actually are available spaces when you get there.  The net positive effect will come from increased economic activity and the increased sales tax revenue that is a bi-product of that activity.

        In my opinion our downtown parking problem is overwhelmingly created by two factors (1) UCD students, faculty and staff commuting to Davis and NOT using UCD-provided on-campus parking, and (2) the metamorphosis of the Downtown into a Food Court, which creates pulsed demand peaks for customer parking during lunch and dinner, as well as pulsed food worker parking needs. 

        Currently we have food workers arriving at 4PM and occupying a Downtown parking for the duration of their shift.   Phase 1 of the Downtown Parking Task Force recommendations had key provisions including “extended hours of enforcement until 8PM” and “funding for increased enforcement hours/staff”.  As matters currently stand, we have spotty and inadequate enforcement efforts, as well as insufficient hours for weekend enforcement.   

        Every Downtown Employee who parks during their work shift under the clear provisions of an “X” permit in the “N” permit area north of Downtown, or under the clear provisions of an “X” permit in the “W” permit area west of Downtown, or under the clear provisions of an “X” permit in an expanded “R” permit area east of Downtown, will free up a space in Downtown for you and me and all the other customers patronizing Downtown businesses.

        Every commuting UCD student, faculty member or staff who redirects their vehicle to UCD-provided on-campus parking will free up a space for a Downtown employee to park under the clear provisions of an “X” permit in either the “W” permit area or the “N” permit area or the “R” permit area east of Downtown.

        http://www.davisvanguard.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/All-Zones-Permit-Parking-Map10-with-labels.jpg

        Those straightforward parking management steps will free up spaces in Downtown for you and me and all the other customers patronizing Downtown businesses.  It will end the inefficient practices we currently deploy.

        Bottom-line, we have an demand imbalance which is at the crux of the problem.

        Which brings me around full circle to your point about revenue.  The plan outlined above will only work if there is active, diligent enforcement using license plate scanning technology of parking rules from the beginning of the morning food window through the end of the evening food window. 

        That active enforcement costs money, and just like the sugary beverage tax, if the people responsible for parking demand follow all the rules, there will be no tickets issued and no ticket revenue collected.  The small cost associated with paying for conveniently accessible available parking spaces will offset the cost of the active, diligent enforcement.

        1. Keith O

          Like I said, everyone is saying that paid parking will create open spaces.  Why is that?Because less people will be going downtown to shop and eat.  How else will there be more open spaces unless less people are going downtown.  You guys are making the argument for those saying that paid parking will hurt businesses.

        2. Matt Williams

          Keith,

          A major component of the parking problem is that commuter students, faculty and staff come across the Yolo Causeway and instead of routing their cars to a UCD-provided on-campus parking lot, they exit I-80 at Richards, come through the tunnel, and then drive around the downtown and/or nearby neighborhoods searching for a parking space.  Once they find one, they exit their car, and walk to campus.  At the end of their campus activities they go back to their car and commute home across the Yolo Causeway … without shopping or eating in Downtown.  Every car that does that takes away a parking space from a potential downtown customer who is actually shopping or eating.

          A second major component of the parking problem is the employee of a downtown business who doesn’t park during his/her work shift in an X permit space outside Downtown, but rather parks in a Downtown space.  If we can get those Downtown employees to consistently park in the X Permit areas, then the Downtown spaces they are currently taking up will be unoccupied when a customer like you and me comes to Downtown to actually transact business.

          With the above said, there clearly are times when a Downtown employee patronizes another Davis business (shopping or eating) either before or after their work shift. So the freed up spaces won’t be 100%, but very close to 100%.

          The same can be said about a commuting UCD student, faculty or staff member coming across the Yolo Causeway.  Occasionally they will patronize a Downtown business (shopping or eating) before or after the duration of their campus activity, and in those situations they will use a Downtown space … as a shopping or eating customer.  When they are not being a customer they will park in the UCD provided on-campus parking lot.

        3. Matt Williams

          Keith, the UCD permits fees are available at http://taps.ucdavis.edu/parking/permits/rates

          I have grabbed the table from that page and pasted it below.  If you assume a 9-hour day times 21 working days per month (50 work week divided by 12 months) you get 189 hours per month.  Therefore an “A” permit costs 27.0 cents per hour, and a “C” permit costs 22.2 cents per hour.

          http://www.davisvanguard.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Screen-Shot-2017-06-21-at-4.27.27-PM.png
          .
          Right now paid parking in the E Street Plaza lot costs $1.00 per hour with a daily $10.00 maximum.  By comparison a daily Visitor Parking pass on the UCD campus costs $9.00.

          The City Parking Ticket Fee structure can be found at http://documents.cityofdavis.org/Media/Default/Documents/PDF/Finance/2016 – 2017 Master Fee Schedule/Police Fee Schedule 2016-2017.pdf which shows that a typical parking ticket costs $50.  Again, I have grabbed the table from that page and pasted it below.  Bottom-line, one City parking ticket is approximately equal to one month of “A” or “C” parking on campus.

          http://www.davisvanguard.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Screen-Shot-2017-06-21-at-4.38.44-PM.png

        4. Keith O

          Matt, aren’t we talking about the problem of students and faculty parking in the downtown where there’s a two hour limit?  Why are you giving me all day rates as a comparison?  We should be comparing rates for two hours on campus vrs. two hours in the downtown.

        5. Matt Williams

          Keith, I’ve gotten to know you far too well for either of our health … which is why my comment covered the whole waterfront.  The answer to your question is in the paragraph below the first graphic.  “Right now paid parking in the E Street Plaza lot costs $1.00 per hour with a daily $10.00 maximum.  By comparison a daily Visitor Parking pass on the UCD campus costs $9.00.”

          With that said, assuming a 8-hour work/study day (on the job), why would any faculty, staff or full-time student want to pay daily rates?

        6. Keith O

          My point is a student can park for two hours downtown for $2 or park on campus for two hours for $9.  Is that about right?

          Where do you think that student is still going to park?

        7. Cindy_Pickett

          On-campus metered parking is $1.50 an hour, much closer to the students’ classes, and can be done easily with a personal parking meter (PPM) so they don’t have to scrounge for change or pay for unused time.

        8. Matt Williams

          Keith, as Cindy has pointed out, if you are going to devolve down to an hour-by-hour basis, the comparable rates are $1.50 per hour metered on-campus and $1.00 per hour metered downtown.  28 hours of parking at $1.50 per hour equals $42.00, the cost of a monthly “C” permit.  If you are parking any more than 28 hours, the cost for a “C” permit is a much better deal.  If you (like Cindy) qualify for an “A” permit then the break even is 34 hours.

          With that said, perhaps you and I have very different perspectives on the activity profile of the typical full-time UCD student who commutes across the Yolo Causeway to get to campus. I expect the typical course load of such a student will be 18 credits, and on average that means 18 hours of in-class time per week.  Walking to and from those classes, and then an hour in the library for every hour in class means a lot of feeding the meter … either that or the student isn’t serious about their education.

          Colin would throw in some time spent in intramural athletics as well.

          Lots of quarters.

        9. Michael Bisch

          Cindy, would you puhlese stop interjecting with these pesky facts? We’re trying to conduct an irrational debate here based on pure speculation. This is an alternative facts zone.

        10. Keith O

          Matt, you’re missing the point.  You say the problem is students and faculty are parking downtown.  But they can’t park downtown for more than two hours because there is a 2 hr. limit.  Do they move their cars every 2 hours during their 8 hr. day or are a lot of students parking downtown because they’re only going to one or two classes?

          Therefore it matters what it cost to park by the hour in the downtown vrs. what it cost by the hour on campus.

        11. Matt Williams

          Keith, you haven’t been paying attention.  For the people associated with the University who exit I-80, stream through the tunnel, there is little discrimination regarding where they park.  The active patrolling that is done in Downtown isn’t done anywhere near as actively in the residential neighborhoods around Downtown.  So spaces in those neighborhoods are the first choice.  Spaces in Downtown are second choice because of the increased risk of getting a ticket (and in many cases a longer walk to campus.  Rededicating those “excess” neighborhood spaces (excess over what the actual resident neighbors have signed up for permits) to employee parking is one of the key steps that gets the employees of the Downtown businesses out of the Downtown spaces.

          For example, according to the June 2013 Staff presentation to Council there are 437 parking spaces in the Old North Davis Parking District, but the residents of the 208 homes in Old North Davis only purchased 177 “N” Permits.  That leaves 260 spaces, most of which can be formally assigned to Downtown businesses for the parking of their employees.  Right now, many of those spaces are being filled by UCD students, faculty and staff.  Make all those spaces preassigned and actively and consistently enforce the assigned parking there and you have freed up approximately 240 Downtown spaces.

          The University Avenue neighborhood has approximately 201 parking spaces.  Applying the Old North proportions that means approximately 81 neighborhood residents purchase “W” permits, leaving approximately 120 spaces, which again can be formally assigned to Downtown businesses for the parking of their employees.   That would free up approximately another 100 Downtown spaces.

          Approximately half of the Old East Davis neighborhood is currently in the “R” Permit area, which has approximately 200 spaces.  The other half of Old East Davis is a first-come, first-served, free-for-all.  Together, those two areas could free up approximately 200 Downtown spaces from their current usage by Downtown employees.

          ———————————————–

          With the above basic mathematics laid out, and knowing that your natural tendency is to look for the flaws what has been laid out for discussion, let me ask you a question … “How would you approach/address the Downtown parking problems we currently experience every day?”

          You may have a much better approach than I’ve laid out here.  If you do have an approach, I truly want to hear it.  I am open to any possible solution that can/will improve the current mess.

          The truth is that the best solution is almost surely going to be pieced together from the ideas of many people who care … and for all our differences, one thing I respect about you is how much you care.

          I look forward to your input.

      4. darelldd

        You say that paid parking will not improve things in town. You say this unequivocally, and in the face of a mountain of empirical evidence to the contrary. Davis won’t be the first city to charge for parking. This has been in play for ages, so there really are no surprises. Except, I guess, to you.

        Yes, our taxes are already paying for the parking spots. And that means that I am paying for you to park in town. I’m wondering if you could at least buy me a beer every now and again as a thank-you.

        If our taxes really are enough to “pay for our streets,” why are they still in such horrible condition? Far from a “money grab” paid parking will – at best – earn single-digit percentages of what it costs to actually maintain the pavement.

        1. Keith O

          And that means that I am paying for you to park in town. I’m wondering if you could at least buy me a beer every now and again as a thank-you.

          I’m paying you to ride and park your bike in town and walk on the sidewalks in town.  How do you plan on compensating me?

          I like craft beer.

  3. Ron

    From article (and repeated by others):  “Paid parking is a very important if not essential tool in the management of demand,” he said.  We don’t have a supply issue, we have a parking management issue.

    Still not sure what the goal is, here.  Is it to “speed people up”, when parking downtown?  (In other words, “keep ’em moving”?  Don’t take up a spot for too long?)  What might that do, in terms of discouraging business, downtown?

    Several commenters have noted that they tend to park for significant periods, when visiting businesses downtown. Is the “plan” to discourage this?

    How does that fit into the “park in one spot” (and visit multiple locations) strategy/goal?  Will we now have to ensure that whatever businesses we’re visiting will validate parking?  (And, if they do, will the goal of “turnover” be achieved?) Will we have to essentially purchase some kind of unneeded knick-knack, to get validated parking (at businesses which offer it)?

    “Keep ’em moving” is not something which discourages driving (if that’s the goal).

    1. David Greenwald

      Right now there is a cost to each parking space that is undistributed to the consumers of those spaces.  By charging, it more realistically distributes a scarce supply.

      1. Ron

        David:  In terms of facilitating business downtown (and ensuring that residents have reasonable access), should the supply be “scarce”? Is that the goal – make it more difficult?

        Also, since it benefits businesses, might they be interested in contributing adequately to the solution (as Davis ACE is attempting to do)? (Or, by paying an adequate in-lieu-of fee, to build parking in nearby, appropriate locations?)

        1. Michael Bisch

          12-13 of your fellow citizens studied and debated the issue for 12 months (i.e. the DPTF). As Brett and Robb said last night, the research and case studies are quite clear on the best practices. To properly manage parking, a pricing mechanism is required. Question: do you prefer driving up to a vacant parking space that has a meter or to a space occupied by a downtown employee that has no meter?

        2. David Greenwald

          Ron: If you have a finite supply that seems to be sufficient most of the time, but a distribution problem, then you can solve that by redistributing demand.

        3. Ron

          David:  What it means is that people will avoid going downtown, during busy periods.  That will have an impact on businesses, etc.

          In general, “forced (and unnecessary) scarcity” is not a good plan (especially for multiple businesses, downtown).

          Supply which is “periodically” in excess is not harmful, nor is it a detriment to those whose goal is to densify downtown.  It does, however, require sufficient financial contributions to ensure that appropriately-located supply is created, to accommodate increased demand (and loss of existing “parking craters”).

          Managing existing (and perhaps “dwindling”) supply in the face of increasing demand (via a more complex game of “musical chairs”) has its own costs related to enforcement, loss of business, impacts on residents, etc. “Keep ’em moving” does not decrease driving, either.

        4. Keith O

          Right now there is a cost to each parking space that is undistributed to the consumers of those spaces. 

          Us taxpayers have already paid for those parking spaces.  The city will be charging us to use something we’ve already paid for.

        1. Matt Williams

          Keith O said . . . “We’ve paid for the streets already. That’s where people park.”

          ‘What you mean, “we,” Kemo Sabe?’

          Todd, maintaining the roads is another issue. I was referring to the cost of actually building new roads. For example, who “paid” for the roads/streets in The Cannery? Or is paying for the roads in Grande? Or the roads in Chiles Ranch?

        2. Todd Edelman

          Don’t you see? The roads all over the country are crumbling, bridges are falling into rivers and so on because first all taxpayers support construction of all infrastructure – i.e. non-drivers pay for drivers – and second, we’re not able or unwilling to pay for the upkeep. What use is infrastructure that does work as designed? Does health coverage for children end when their umbilical is cut?

        3. Matt Williams

          That’s a different issue Todd.  As I’m sure you know, your point resonates with me.

          But it is a different point than the one Keith was making.

        4. Matt Williams

          Yup, but wanted you to explicitly say it, so I could explicitly respond “For the most part in Davis, taxpayers did not (do not) pay to build the streets/roads.” 

          Howard P may have some exceptional examples where a street/road was built using tax revenues, but those examples are few and far between.  The building of streets/roads are almost always paid for by private developers.

          The closest we have gotten to taxpayers paying to build streets/roads has been the Cannery CFD, but as criminal a ripoff as that was, I don’t think any of it went for streets/roads … but rather parks and the like.

          1. David Greenwald

            But who built the major thoroughfares – Covell, Russell, Pole Line, Richards, etc.?

    2. Howard P

      Do you remember dial-up, low bandwidth?  There are a lot of ‘campers’ using DT parking… spend 4 hours downtown in a space, purchase ~ $10 in goods and services.

      Most downtowns switch to paid parking when they reach 50k to 75k population in their city.  Guess what?  Pricing ‘sweet points’ are key… high enough to keep opportunities for parking access (discouraging the ‘campers’), low enough so as not to discourage commerce.

    3. darelldd

      It may help to think of this as un-metered, vs metered municipal water. Have you seen what happens to consumption when there is no value placed on the product, vs what happens when there IS a value placed on it?

      We’re treating parking as if everybody who today drives into town and parks for free has no other option to reach downtown.

  4. Cindy_Pickett

    Ron – Here is what I understand from what I’ve read here and elsewhere about how this is all supposed to work:

    1. With paid parking, people will be more discerning about how long they stay in their spot. The assumptions seems to be that when parking is paid, people will only stay in the spot for as long as they are actually shopping and enjoying downtown — no just leaving the car there. This creates more efficient use of the existing spaces.

    2. Paid parking will actually draw people to downtown because it will mean that street parking is not at capacity and people will know ahead of time that if they drive downtown they can find a paid spot pretty easily and won’t have to circle endlessly (this to me, is a huge benefit of paid parking). So, the logic here is that paid parking = MORE downtown shoppers because they can finally find a parking spot. In other words, parking will be LESS scarce with paid parking.

    3. With paid parking in the core area, people will engage in a cost/benefit analysis about how they choose to get downtown. They won’t automatically drive, they will be more likely to consider ride sharing, bus, Uber, etc. This will also free up spaces for the people who really want to drive thus supporting item #2 above.

    4. If parking is free in the periphery of downtown, it also means that people are likely to park there (e.g., 4th & G garage) than in the highly congested areas. So, our core areas won’t be so clogged with traffic. But again, if someone wants to park close to a store, they also know there is a space for them because metering has freed those spots.

    So, in general, paid parking should make it easier to park downtown should one choose to do so, make more efficient use of existing parking spaces, and also promote alternative forms of transportation. I don’t see the goal of paid parking as revenue generation as much as making downtown a nice/easy place to visit.

    1. Keith O

       people will only stay in the spot for as long as they are actually shopping and enjoying downtown — no just leaving the car there. 

      There’s no just leaving the car there now unless you want a ticket.  Most spots have a 2 hr. limit.

      They won’t automatically drive, they will be more likely to consider ride sharing, bus, Uber, etc.

      I seriously doubt anyone is going to ride share to get a coffee at Starbucks or a beer at the Bistro.

      1. darelldd

        “I seriously doubt anyone is going to ride share to get a coffee at Starbucks or a beer at the Bistro.”

        Did you see the “etc” at the end? Is coffee and beer all anybody goes into town for? I can’t even imagine driving a car to pick up coffee or have a beer (purchases that I make regularly in town), so I’m pretty sure that there are options available to able-bodied people. And… even to people with bodies like mine….

  5. Ron

    Michael:  “Question: do you prefer driving up to a vacant parking space that has a meter or to a space occupied by a downtown employee that has no meter?”

    Of those two choices – the one with the meter.  However, I’d probably select the “other” option more frequently – the  free and available space (with perhaps better prices and selection of products/services) in an adjacent town.

    Question for you – where are the “downtown employees” going to park, under the proposed plan?  Will nearby neighborhoods now have to shoulder that responsibility?  What ramifications would that have? If parking is restricted (to employees and residents) in surrounding neighborhoods, what impact would that have for residents (and visitors of those residences)? How is the cost of enforcement accounted for?

    1. Michael Bisch

      Additional employee parking supply was provided for by the DPTF. I don’t recall the Recommendation numbers, but the X permit area was expanded, the city was supposed to lease additional X permit spaces in the G Street garage and yes, additional capacity was to be provided by nearby neighborhoods. It’s interesting that you describe it as “shouldering”. One of the neighborhoods, Old North Davis, was the one to propose the idea.

      Permit enforcement already exists in one or all of those neighborhoods.

  6. Ron

    Cindy:  Thanks for the response.  A couple of questions immediately come to mind:

    Cindy:  “The assumptions seems to be that when parking is paid, people will only stay in the spot for as long as they are actually shopping and enjoying downtown — no just leaving the car there.”

    Who is just “leaving the car, there”?  (Note – I’m one of them.  I thought this was to be encouraged, under the plan to  “park in one spot” while visiting downtown.)

    Cindy:  “If parking is free in the periphery of downtown, it also means that people are likely to park there (e.g., 4th & G garage) than in the highly congested areas.”

    Does the existing garage have an “excess” supply of parking spaces?  If not, where is the “free/relatively unrestricted” parking near downtown?  (I’m pretty sure that those spots will be impacted.)

    I avoid driving downtown, now. (As soon as I can park the car – usually on the street somewhat near my destination, or in the lot adjacent to ACE), I usually do so and walk from there. I am often visiting more than one business in a single trip – including restaurants, etc.

     

     

     

    1. Michael Bisch

      The G Street parking structure can absorb significant additional demand. I don’t have the counts in front of me, but I believe it varies between 100 – 200 vacant spaces.

        1. Matt Williams

          That is correct Keith … and where do you think those employees are currently parking?

          Wherever they are currently parking, when they change to parking in an X permit space in the G Street garage, the space they used to occupy will become available for you and me.

        2. Michael Bisch

          Yes, Keith, the intent is to use a carrot and stick to get the employees to park in the G Street garage thereby freeing up the prime on-street parking in front of the stores and restaurants for shopper & diners.  Isn’t that what you, Ron and the others wanted?

        3. Ron

          Michael:  As Keith pointed out, you’re stating that the G Street garage has an “excess” supply, but that it will be (at least partially) “used up” by employees.  (That is, unless they choose to park in surrounding neighborhoods as part of the “X-permit” program.)

          I don’t think that Keith can answer for me (or vice-versa).  In general, I “object” to developers who don’t want to contribute sufficiently to offset their impacts (e.g., via the elimination of “parking craters”, and increased density).  I find it even more “objectionable” when they try to prevent other businesses from offsetting their impacts (e.g., Davis ACE), or suggest a program which formally ensures that neighborhoods shoulder the responsibility (that developers who create impacts should assume).

        4. Michael Bisch

          Yes, Ron, the employees will be taking up 100-200 spaces in the G Street structure thereby freeing up 100-200 spaces for shoppers and diners on-street in front of stores. Isn’t that an effective solution in your view?

        5. Ron

          Michael:  What that tells me is that visitors to downtown will have a much more difficult time parking in the G street garage.  One less option. And, that some developers are still trying to avoid responsibilities/impacts created by their developments, and are shifting those impacts to surrounding neighborhoods and visitors (and ultimately, to existing businesses).

        6. Michael Bisch

          Ron, once again your conclusion/opinion is polar opposite to the research and best practices. The studies show visitors prefer to park on-street, in front of their destinations. You, with your contrarian approach, then argue the best policy is to direct the visitors to the parking that they prefer the least (the G Street parking structure).

          As Brett Lee pointed out last night (I’m paraphrasing), “We have all these Support Science lawn signs around our city yet those same individuals reject science when it comes to parking policy.”

          Let’s see whether the CC chooses to make policy based on Ron’s uninformed opinions or based on research and best practices.

        7. Ron

          Michael:  You do better in your arguments, when you leave out the insults.  Not sure that you’re qualified to refer to science, or parking management.

          So, no “customers” park in the G Street garage, now?  And, no customers will be further tempted to do so, when fees are instituted for other options? (Especially if developers who are advocating for the elimination of “parking craters” and increased density fail to adequately offset their impacts via other options (e.g., long-term options, on the periphery)?

           

        8. Michael Bisch

          Ron, you appear unsure about a lot of things. My qualifications on parking management are limited to my 1-year service on the DPTF; countless interactions with traffic and parking consultants, city officials and urban planners; daily interactions with downtown business owners, developers and property owners. Not sure where I stack up against anonymous bloggers.

          1. Don Shor

            my 1-year service on the DPTF; countless interactions with traffic and parking consultants, city officials and urban planners; daily interactions with downtown business owners, developers and property owners.

            How do those credentials stack up against Jennifer Anderson’s?
            Do you have daily interactions with retail customers? What’s your retail business experience?

        9. Ron

          Michael:  Do those “daily business interactions with downtown business owners” include the owner of Davis ACE?  (Weren’t you part of the effort to deny Davis ACE’s plan to accommodate their own customers, on their own property?)

        10. Michael Bisch

          Yes, Ron, my daily interactions with downtown business owners include the Ace owners. Doby, Jennifer and I have discussed parking numerous times. We agree on some parking policies and disagree on others. Jennifer and I also served on the DPTF together along with Mayor Davis.

          Yes, Ron, I was part of the coalition that the City Council majority thanked repeatedly for appealing the Ace parking project approval. The majority agreed with us that the planning commission was in error. They said the project did violate numerous policies, there were broader policy considerations that needed to be addressed, and the city council was the proper body to be making the decision. Watch the tape, Ron.

          And, Ron? You might give some thought to Will Arnold’s “reprimand” of those Ace project supporters who cited private property rights for the Ace project, only to argue the exact opposite on projects that they opposed. He went on to say there were a number of upcoming projects in the pipeline and he would be keeping these obviously contradictory positions in mind when these projects came before the Council. It was one of the highlights of the evening.

        11. Ron

          Michael:

          Thanks.  This really isn’t about you or me (or any other individual).

          Honestly, I didn’t pay much attention to the guidelines you cited.  It was more of a “common sense” thing, regarding a key and historic business, downtown.

          Regarding “private property rights”, you (and Will Arnold) have a point.  However, it seems that the appellant in this case frequently cites them.  That’s the “contradiction” that stood out most for me, and is the primary reason that I mentioned it. This was a case in which a private business was attempting to make a significant investment and act responsibly, which was oddly opposed by “free market” advocates.

          Regarding Will Arnold, I like him, along with most of his arguments.  I find him to be quite a forceful speaker, as well.  I wouldn’t expect to “agree” with every single statement or decision that any council member makes.

        12. Michael Bisch

          Yes, Don, I have daily interactions with retailers (most of them homegrown). I advise them on their facility needs and store locations; negotiate their leases and property acquisitions; provide input on tenant improvements; storefront improvements; signage; marketing; etc. I offer similar advice for landlords and developers.

          I don’t know how my parking knowledge stacks up against Jennifer Anderson’s parking knowledge. Is there some kind of parking management acumen test that we can take?

          And I’m not sure what any of this has to do with Jennifer Anderson. I have not offered her any retail advice. And I have only offered her leasing advice on a few occasions when she solicited my advice.

          Why are you asking?

          1. Don Shor

            Why are you asking?

            Why were you citing your qualifications?
            I think the owners of Davis Ace have considerable understanding of the importance of parking near their business.

            Yes, Don, I have daily interactions with retailers

            For the record, this is what I asked: “Do you have daily interactions with retail customers?” (emphasis added this time).
            Have you ever owned or managed a retail business?

        13. Michael Bisch

          “That’s the “contradiction” that stood out most for me…”

          Complexity and nuance is lost on many people. Mark made no contradictions. He has consistently said goals (ends) trump policy (means). It’s pretty obvious that many participants in Davis community conversations confuse ends and means, so it’s understandable that they find Mark’s positions contradictory.

          In this instance, Mark stated repeatedly that the Ace parking project was clearly inconsistent with city policy. It also undermined stated city goals. That being the case, he posed the question, “What is the overriding consideration?” The planning commission had no coherent answer other than, “The Earth is flat don’t you know!”, which then triggered the appeal.

          The Council majority stated last night that they agreed with all of the above and thanked Mark repeatedly for having appealed the project. It was pretty remarkable.

        14. Michael Bisch

          Yikes! I got snared in moderation because I wrote “sure as sh–). 2nd try.

          Don, I don’t understand your line of interrogation. But I’ll play along for a bit. Ron questioned my knowledge of parking management. I provided an answer. Did I misrepresent my experience? If not, why are you asking follow up questions?
          Then you asked me how my parking “credentials” stacked up against Jennifer Anderson’s. I provided an answer although I thought it was a weird question.

          You also asked me what my retail experience is. I said my experience is as a service provider to retailers and as an adviser to retailers. Is your follow up question to tease out that I have never operated a retail store? Guilty! I would have thought the answer is obvious from my first response. But perhaps not, did you get me somehow and I’m just too dumb to notice?

          And then you go to the strawman argument: “I think the owners of Davis Ace have considerable understanding of the importance of parking near their business.”

          So what? It’s pretty funny because that statement was made repeatedly by project supporters last night during public comment. I kept looking around the Council Chambers to see who they were arguing that point with. I didn’t see a counter-party. Fill me in, Don? Who among the folks that appealed the Davis Ace project was denying Davis Ace have considerable understanding of the importance of parking near their business? It wan’t me and it sure as sh– wasn’t the retailers who were included in the coalition appealing the project.

          Don, I’m pretty sure if this was a court case the judge would have cut off this line of inquiry by now for being irrelevant and a waste of the court’s time.

        15. Matt Williams

          Michael Bisch said . . . Mark made no contradictions. He has consistently said goals (ends) trump policy (means).  […] In this instance, Mark stated repeatedly that the Ace parking project was clearly inconsistent with city policy. It also undermined stated city goals. That being the case, he posed the question, “What is the overriding consideration?”

          One of the very interesting (and highly illuminating) moments in the Council discussion last night came when Lucas Frerichs gave a brief explanation of “how he sees things” regarding how the General Plan and the Core Area Specific Plan and the Design Guidelines and the Zoning Code all fit together. He said,

          “So the General Plan operates at the 50,000 foot level.  The Core Area Specific Plan more at the 30,000 foot level.  The Design Guidelines are more the 5,000 foot level, and the Zoning is basically at ground level.  That is how I view these different items”

          .
          That is an excellent description of what Michael has described as goals (ends) and policy (means).  California Law clearly states that Zoning Code must be consistent with and flow from the General Plan.  Zoning Code is meant to provides specific granular descriptions of the broad outlines provided by the General Plan.  Each level of Lucas’ hierarchy provides more specific guidance.

          So, here we have a situation where the General Plan says “shall not” and the Core Area Specific Plan says “shall not” and the Design Guidelines say “shall not” but Section 40.14.050 of the Zoning Code says:

          “the following conditional uses may be permitted in the C-C district and planned development districts with the same underlying zoning:

          (c)  On-site grade-level parking.”

          .
          When that section of the Zoning code was approved (whenever it was), a fundamental legal and planning step was not completed.  A General Plan Amendment should have been passed by Council at the same time the zoning was approved, so that the General Plan and the Zoning did not contradict one another.

          As Yul Brynner would say, “Planning in Davis … it’s a puzzlement!”

          1. Don Shor

            I think that a conditional use is fully intended to state when “shall not” doesn’t necessarily apply, or when a variance can be granted to it. But I now feel, specifically because of what was done in this instance, that each use of the term ‘shall’ or ‘shall not’ needs to be reviewed and — in most instances — replaced with ‘should’ or ‘should not’.
            That is the difference between principle and policy. The actual policies require flexibility and consideration of unintended consequences.

        16. Michael Bisch

          Thanks, Matt, for re-introducing substance. The contradictions are even worse than you describe.  There are even contradictions at ground level. Here’s a slide that staff chose not to include in the presentation. Note the phrase “the requirements of this section shall prevail in case of conflict and see sub-paragraphs a) and c).

           
          40.14.090 Parking requirements.

          Off-street parking and loading facilities shall be required for all uses, subject to the requirements set forth in Sections 40.25.010 through 40.25.120, and the requirements of this section. The requirements of this section shall prevail in case of conflict.
          (a)    Construction of on-site parking shall not be allowed for office or commercial uses unless below grade or above the ground floor or an integral part of the building structure. Participation in a parking district as per Section 40.25.050, or in-lieu-of payments as per Section 40.25.060, shall be required.
          (b)    Parking for residential uses shall be provided on-site in accordance with Section 40.25.070, or in an off-site location as provided for in Section 40.25.050(e).
          (c)    For projects within the downtown core district as defined within the downtown and traditional residential neighborhood design guidelines, access to on-site parking should come from an existing alley or non-prime retail storefront street.

        17. Matt Williams

          Don, I would agree with your immediate conclusion if the existing language was/is “should not.”  That clearly leaves room for conditional uses.

          Unfortunately, in this case through all the 50,000 foot and 30,000 foot and 5,000 foot layers the wording is explicitly “shall not.”

          Therefore, as a going forward activity, I agree with you that the wording should be reviewed to be sure it says what the community wants it to say.

          Unfortunately, the current approach of doing a CASP Update without a General Plan Update in place (or well under way) is like building a house on a foundation of sand.  Whether “shall not” or “should not” is appropriate is a question that should be dealt with at the General Plan level.  Those are “What do we want to be when we grow up?” questions.  Our currently inefficient and ineffective approach to parking can be addressed at the CASP-level, but unless we address the more holistic questions our community faces, anything we do about parking will only be a band-aid.  An important band-aid, but a band-aid nonetheless.

        18. Michael Bisch

          Or you can leave it at “shall not”. That way it remains clear to staff, planning and HRMC commissioners that they have no authority to overturn Council-created policy. The applicant can still appeal to the Council, who can grant an amendment or variance at will. That is the proper way to go about this and that is what should have happened in this instance. Instead, we had a sh– show. Mark’s appeal should never have been necessary. Staff, planning commission and HRMC were all required to determine that the project ran afoul of  numerous policies. The applicant would then have appealed to the Council on the grounds of some overriding consideration and the Council would have then approved the project. And that is exactly what the Council majority said last night and that’s how the Council acted and all has now been re-set in its proper order.

          1. Don Shor

            If this was all about process, then why were there all those articles about planning theory in the preceding weeks? This wasn’t just a paperwork issue.
            Mark’s appeal wasn’t necessary, so far as I know: the council can, at any time of their discretion, review and overturn any commission’s decision. No council member considered this issue worth that effort. Perhaps they were concerned about the precedent that it would set. Perhaps they felt there were better uses for their time.

        19. Colin Walsh

          What I would like to know is why did Mr. West file an appeal on the May 2017 Planning Commission decision to approve the revised Ace plans, but Mr. West nor anyone else filed an appeal on the original Planning Commission approval in June 22, 2016 that  included similarly configured parking. No one even made public comments opposing the proposal in June 2016. What changed?

        20. Michael Bisch

          Don. You’re wrong about that too. Council members did inquire about reviewing the project. An appeal was required for council review. Brett stated so publicly last night when he thanked Mark West.

          1. Don Shor

            As far as I can tell, any member of the public can file an appeal, and that would include any sitting council member. I know some planning commission decisions are binding unless they are appealed, but I don’t think there is any constraint on who can appeal them.

        21. Mark West

          Don: “As far as I can tell, any member of the public can file an appeal, and that would include any sitting council member. I know some planning commission decisions are binding unless they are appealed, but I don’t think there is any constraint on who can appeal them.”

          That is true, but once a sitting council member files the appeal, they must recuse themselves from the discussion and the judgment of that appeal. That should be obvious.

        22. Mark West

          Groc: “What I would like to know is why did Mr. West file an appeal on the May 2017 Planning Commission decision to approve the revised Ace plans, but Mr. West nor anyone else filed an appeal on the original Planning Commission approval in June 22, 2016 that  included similarly configured parking. No one even made public comments opposing the proposal in June 2016. What changed?”

          Why does it matter to you? I have a life that limits the time I can spend on issues so I choose the battles that I think make a difference. Hanging out at the council chambers with my laptop is not the highlight of my existence.

        23. Matt Williams

          Mark West said . . . “Why does it matter to you? I have a life that limits the time I can spend on issues so I choose the battles that I think make a difference. Hanging out at the council chambers with my laptop is not the highlight of my existence.”

          In the case of the original project, hanging out at council chambers wouldn’t have helped at all, because Davis Ace pulled/killed the 2016 project right after it was approved by the PLanning Commission.

        24. darelldd

          Don wrote: I think the owners of Davis Ace have considerable understanding of the importance of parking near their business.

          I can tell you with some certainly that they don’t have considerable understanding of the importance of bicycle parking near the business. In fact, all I’ve heard over the years is that ACE shoppers need cars because, manure.

          I get so tired of hearing the “compost, flats of plants” etc, as a reason that everybody needs a car to shop at ACE. I shop at Ace about weekly. I realize that I’m special… and I’ve only driven there twice in 20 years – both times to pick up plants. A bag of hardware, some spray-paint, plumbing fittings, wire, bulbs, tools, welding equipment, driver bits, sand paper, adhesives, keys… these are my daily purchases. The same purchases that I see hundreds of other shoppers (dare I say *most*) make – with their cars.

  7. Ron

    Matt:  “Every Downtown Employee who parks during their work shift under the clear provisions of an “X” permit in the “N” permit area north of Downtown, or under the clear provisions of an “X” permit in the “W” permit area west of Downtown, or under the clear provisions of an “X” permit in an expanded “R” permit area east of Downtown, will free up a space in Downtown for you and me and all the other customers patronizing Downtown businesses.”

    In other words, make surrounding neighborhoods absorb the impact of employee parking.  (All while trying to ensure that their own needs, and the needs of their visitors can be accommodated.)

    As a side note, can a household receive an unlimited number of “X” permits?

    I agree, however, that measure should be taken to discourage faculty, staff, and students from parking downtown (or near it).  (Assuming that this is actually occurring, and is not currently/sufficiently regulated via allowed parking times.)

    By the way, what’s to discourage faculty, staff, and students from parking in spots that are planned to remain longer-term (e.g., the “park in one spot on the periphery” strategy)?

    1. Cindy_Pickett

      Ron – Right now all of the parking closest to campus is either restricted to residents or very short term (1-2 hour). So, yes, I think that does prevent faculty and students from using those downtown streets for parking when they need to be on campus. The closest University lot on the east side of campus is at 1st & A. I have a permit to park there, and so unless there is a big free structure built even closer to campus than that, I will continue to use the 1st & A lot when I need to be on campus (my office is at 3rd & A).

      From a student perspective, most of the classroom buildings are located near the center of campus and the buses go directly there (to the Silo or MU) and biking will get you there quicker than parking at the edge of campus.

      1. Ron

        Cindy:  “So, yes, I think that does prevent faculty and students from using those downtown streets for parking when they need to be on campus.”

        This seems to contradict Matt’s theory, regarding faculty, staff, and students taking up the existing parking spots downtown, for extended periods.

        1. Cindy_Pickett

          Matt and I are probably both correct. There are approximately 8800 people a day driving to campus. Even if the vast majority of them (e.g., 95%) are prevented from parking downtown because of the restrictions, the remaining 5% are eating up 440 precious downtown spaces.

          BTW, here is a bit of data from UCD’s latest travel survey from 2016:

          “On an average weekday, about 87.1 percent of people physically travel to campus (approximately 38,319 people, including those living on campus). Among these, 45 percent bike to get there, 7 percent walk or skate, 23 percent drive alone, 5 percent carpool or get a ride, 19 percent ride the bus, and 1 percent ride the train (see Figure 1). ”

          Source: https://its.ucdavis.edu/campus-travel-surveys/

        2. Ron

          Cindy:  “Even if the vast majority of them (e.g., 95%) are prevented from parking downtown because of the restrictions, the remaining 5% are eating up 440 precious downtown spaces.”

          Not sure how the current restrictions are allowing even 5% to do this, nor do I know how the proposed restrictions will resolve that.

  8. Alan Miller

    Slurpee Flavors at the 5th & L Street 7-11 for the June heatwave:

    Blue Raspberry
    Wild Cherry
    Pepsi Fire
    Cactus Cooler
    Coca-Cola
    Watermelon & Lime

    Still soda-tax free!

  9. Ron

    Seems to me that the overall plan is to ensure that customers pay for short-term parking downtown, employees park in the G Street garage (or surrounding neighborhoods), and that there are no options on the table (or adequate funding) to provide less-restricted parking on the periphery, for visitors who want to spend more than a few minutes visiting downtown.

    1. Ron

      Oh – and the “other” part of the plan is to eliminate existing “parking craters” and densify downtown (with the inclusion of residences), making the situation even more challenging.

    2. Cindy_Pickett

      So, what I am hearing is that the idea is that:

      1. Employees go to the G Street garage

      2. Street parking frees up

      3. Visitors who would normally be forced to park in the garage can now park on the street

      I get that, but where it gets shaky to me is that I thought there was also the assumption that some people don’t want to pay a premium for on-street parking or will need to park longer and will need to use the garage. I think Ron is asking a valid question of whether we have the capacity to accommodate those people plus the employees.

      1. Ron

        Cindy:  “I think Ron is asking a valid question of whether we have the capacity to accommodate those people plus the employees.”

        Thank you – that’s pretty much what I was asking.  Seems like funding is not sufficient to ensure adequate capacity going forward (e.g., the probable need for an additional, peripheral parking facility, as downtown densifies and existing “parking craters” are eliminated).

        Also, the impact on surrounding neighborhoods, if parking is further restricted in those areas (combined with impacts resulting from downtown employees – if they are also “formally” allowed to park in neighborhoods for extended periods).  Also – questions such as “how many permits” can one household have, and where will their visitors park?

        1. Ron

          Seems like there won’t be a viable location for those wanting to visit downtown for more than a few minutes (and are willing to park in one spot for a more extended period, on the periphery).

          In the future, that may also include new residents and visitors of the planned residences, downtown.

        1. Ron

          Don:  Sounds good, but that should occur simultaneously with any underlying plan to increase density and drastically change parking management.  (Not 10 years afterward, for example.)

          Sounds like the funding plan hasn’t even been finalized, let alone implemented.

      2. Keith O

        but where it gets shaky to me is that I thought there was also the assumption that some people don’t want to pay a premium for on-street parking or will need to park longer and will need to use the garage. I think Ron is asking a valid question of whether we have the capacity to accommodate those people plus the employees.

        Good question Cindy.  Oh those pesky facts.

        1. Michael Bisch

          From the guy who has made it clear today that he’s unfamiliar with the details of the Downtown Parking Plan even though the details have been beaten to death over the past few years. Deja vu all over again. Flat-earthers are obstinate.

          Look, I don’t even know why so much time is being devoted to this subject today or last night for that matter. The issue was debated to death several years ago. The Council made their policy decisions even though they’ve been super slow on implementing them. They’re not going to roll them back. Quite the opposite. These policies will be embedded in the CASP once the update is completed.

          1. Don Shor

            Look, I don’t even know why so much time is being devoted to this subject today or last night for that matter.

            Because Mark West chose to appeal the planning commission decision.

            The Council made their policy decisions even though they’ve been super slow on implementing them.

            Which is why Davis Ace is seeking to deal with their own parking issues, and politely declined the mayor’s offer of a ‘grand bargain’ because it would amount to further delay in providing more parking.

            They’re not going to roll them back. Quite the opposite. These policies will be embedded in the CASP once the update is completed.

            If the policies are going to be as rigid and unresponsive to the needs of existing retailers, there will be a rigorous debate about that. You and Mark and others made sure of that last night. This was a colossal mistake and it did not go well for you or for the implementation of form-based planning in Davis. Any implementation of the guidelines needs to be flexible and not do harm to existing retailers.

        2. Michael Bisch

          Don, the Council majority stated that it was a service to the community that Mark appealed the planning commission decision. The Council thanked Mark repeatedly. They said the planning commission was in error. If you, Bob, Jason, Eileen, Colin, Ron et al are salty about the Council comments, you need to take it up with them, not with me, not with Mark. We are not the deciders and we did not create the policies, that be the Council.

        3. Mark West

          Don Shor: “This was a colossal mistake and it did not go well for you or for the implementation of form-based planning in Davis.”

          You must have a very simplistic view of the issues to think that. No one that I saw the other night was there to attack Jennifer’s business, regardless of how many times you and others repeat that strawman argument. My position on that issue was made clear to Jennifer and Doby when I sat down with them the week before. My goal was to get the City Council back on track thinking about revitalization, expanding economic activity and securing a vibrant and walkable downtown. That was a success. We will just have to wait and see how well the CC implements the goals they restated Tuesday night. In the end, the CC majority also showed flexibility in dealing with an individual project, just as they should. From my view, the meeting went exactly as I hoped it would (except for the lateness of the evening), and I appreciated the comments from the dais regarding the value of my approach.

           

        4. David Greenwald

          To back up Mark’s point – this conversation has been remarkably civil.  Robb Davis made that point from the dais.  If anything, I think this is the way to move forward with dialogue in the future.  We don’t have to agree on issues to have a good and spirited discussion.

        5. Ron

          Michael:  “They said the planning commission was in error. If you, Bob, Jason, Eileen, Colin, Ron et al are salty about the Council comments, you need to take it up with them, not with me, not with Mark.”

          I really wish that you wouldn’t make such implications (which have no basis in reality regarding this issue, from what I can see), and would (also) try to differentiate between individuals and their concerns (even if the concerns share some commonalities).

  10. Michael Bisch

    From a Rich Rifkin column:

    City staff and the Downtown Parking Task Force put together a tour de force presentation in favor of a package of 19 recommendations. Their ideas rested on a plan to install “smart” parking meters in the section of our core area where demand often exceeds supply.

    They clearly made the case that, if the council wanted to solve the problem, it needed to understand that the task force’s ideas all worked as one. Their logic was not impromptu. They had been working on this for months.

    Back in January, I attended an excellent presentation on smart meter technology at the Pence Gallery by a man from the city of Sacramento. Downtown business leaders and people from the parking task force were in attendance. City Councilman Brett Lee was there, too.

    Notably absent were the people who now oppose smart meters.

    The anti-meter side, however, showed up at the City Council last week. All of their arguments against paid parking fell short on logic and originality. They failed to offer any realistic solution.

    Importantly, they did not comprehend how smart meters offer the chance to help downtown merchants by freeing up prime spots near their businesses for paying customers. I was waiting for one to shout out, “metaphysics!”

    ——-

    I especially like the part about all of their arguments falling short on logic and originality. What has changed?

    Hey, David. Would you please reprint Rich’s article?
    http://www.davisenterprise.com/forum/opinion-columns/bad-judgment-use-on-parking/

     

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