The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

16 December 2006

We want ... a shrubbery!

Steve Patterson analyzes on-street parking in St. Louis:

On-street parking does a number of things beneficial to the pedestrian — namely helping to slow traffic in the travel lanes as well as providing a big buffer between sidewalk and moving vehicles. Using the curb bump outs and other techniques it is possible to acheive a good balance in this mix.

"But how would eliminating parking kill the street," you ask? Simple, we do not have the density required to keep the sidewalks busy at all times. Sure, we have a number of pedestrians now that make the street look lively but take away the cars and those same number of pedestrians now looks pathetic. We'd need considerably more pedestrians on the sidewalks to make up for the loss of perceived activity contributed by the parked cars. You might argue that removing parked cars from the street would increase pedestrian traffic but such a cause-effect is only wishful thinking. Density is what increases pedestrian traffic, not the absense of parked cars. Without parked cars the street would look vacant and as it looked vacant you'd have less and less pedestrians because they would not feel as safe on the street. Eventually wed see less stores as a result.

This made a certain amount of sense to me here in Oklahoma City, and also to Michael Bates in Tulsa. But encouraging those hateful car owners will never fly in Seattle:

To wean people from their cars, encourage new small businesses and add greenery, the Seattle City Council told businesses and developers Monday they no longer need to provide parking in some areas but must plant more shrubs.

The new rules, to take effect in January, could make parking tougher across the city.

And if shoppers decide to vote with their steering wheels and spend money in the suburbs? "Ni!"

(Via Sound Politics.)

Posted at 10:00 AM to Dyssynergy


It seems to me, I'm more likely to walk on a sidewalk if I can park next to it...

Posted by: McGehee at 12:11 PM on 16 December 2006
You might argue that removing parked cars from the street would increase pedestrian traffic but such a cause-effect is only wishful thinking. Density is what increases pedestrian traffic, not the absense of parked cars. Without parked cars the street would look vacant and as it looked vacant you'd have less and less pedestrians because they would not feel as safe on the street. Eventually wed see less stores as a result.

Pardon me for living in that pesky reality-based community, but is there anything resembling evidence to support this claim? I didn't find it at the original post. It's just a blunt, unsupported assertion that people will stop going to businesses on streets without parking spaces because they'll feel "less safe."

Does one really need to list all the bad policies of the past decade or so that began because decision-makers couldn't tell the difference between wanting an idea to be true and proving it was true?

Posted by: Matt at 12:41 PM on 16 December 2006

Like, liberalism?

<ducks and runs>

Posted by: McGehee at 4:33 PM on 16 December 2006

Like "I doubt it will last six months?" Like "We'll be greeted as liberators?" Like "We don't need professionals in FEMA to protect the cities?"

Run faster.

Posted by: Matt at 7:45 PM on 16 December 2006

Who said those things, Matt? You're quoting, but whom?

Posted by: McGehee at 9:10 AM on 17 December 2006

Oh, and include links.

Or, you could start running... ;-)

Posted by: McGehee at 9:11 AM on 17 December 2006

This looks like a good time to recall the words of the late Rob "Acidman" Smith:

"I could tolerate leftists if they had any coherent ideas for a better way to do things. But they don't. They cling stubbornly to failed brain-fart dreams that have been attempted over and over again with disastrous results, but they never learn. When better ideas come along, they simply screech and holler at them, then fling feces like the monkeys they are."

Posted by: CGHill at 9:02 AM on 18 December 2006