Thursday, September 3, 2015

Climate Scientist Gloom, Pinot By Paddle and Pedal, Parking Ratios - Newsbits

Did you see the piece in Esquire? "When the End of Human Civilization Is Your Day Job: Among many climate scientists, gloom has set in. Things are worse than we think, but they can't really talk about it."
Maybe it hit some social media, but it certainly didn't hit the Statesman. And it should have. Know why? That's Leslie Venti's brother, Jason Box! That local tie just makes it less abstract, a little more real and urgent, doesn't it.
Almost as if they were getting ready for the low-tech post-apocalyptic world, Illahe Vineyards transported four cases of their all-by-hand, no electricity "Project 1899 Pinot Noir" to their Portland distributor, Casa Bruno, all without motorized vehicle. Their twitter feed has images of water transport by canoe and this final leg by cargo bike in Portland. It took them 4 days to go 93 miles. You might recall their bicycle-powered pump, as well. Stuff like this doesn't really scale up to meaningful commercial numbers, but it's still neat to see and a fun project.
Last month at the Planning Commission there was the path deletion and upzoning for an apartment complex on the former Battle Creek golf course. A neighbor has appealed it to City Council, and the grounds of the appeal boil down to "not enough parking."

Site plan east of creek: Not enough parking?

The letter of appeal: "not enough parking"
On the one hand there's the proprietary claim to on-street parking in the public right-of-way, but on the other hand there's the valid point that this area remains car-dependent and not at all a good candidate for low-car living.

Car-dependent, minimal transit,
bikeable if you're ok with Commercial Street
But 1.5 is still pretty generous! The google turns up lots of places where 1.5 is a standard, so this is hardly out of line nationally. It is interesting also to see the numbers in this 1966 report by the American Society of Planning Officials, which suggests 1.5 was a very typical ratio for the time.

City of Salem current standards for residential parking
The appeal references the density of the Pearl District in Portland, but one source from a few years ago suggests it has been built out only to a ratio of 0.93. Newer development in Portland uses even lower ratios. I suspect the reference here is a little exaggerated. (Anyone know more about parking standards statewide and can weigh in with a better comparative perspective?)

There will be more to say, I'm sure, when the Staff Report and recommendation comes out. But it seems like this will be a difficult case on the merits for the appellant.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Portland eliminated minimum parking requirements for developments within 500 of transit stop. They just recently reimposed requirements for buildings with over 40 units to provide 1 space for every 4 units. These areas are now the most sought after neighborhoods in the entire state.

In my view the appellant has no more right to claim the on street parking than the residents of the new development. Its public property. I doubt that on street parking is a problem in this area at all.