“Great cities require vibrant urban spaces that are human scaled, and car storage is antithetical to that goal.”
Welcome to the Comment of the Week, where we highlight good comments in order to inspire more of them. You can help us choose our next one by replying with “comment of the week” to any comment you think deserves recognition.
In four bracing paragraphs written in response to our story last week on EV parking at multi-unit dwellings, reader Andrew delivers a primer on how to create a vibrant city. Clip this comment and put it in your wallet for those times when you are feeling inarticulate (you can just pull it out and read it to whomever you need to — if you agree with what Andrew is saying).
The comment had several characteristics we look for: it was on-topic with the article, it used a personal situation to make a point, and it pulled in some facts about our area.
Here’s what Andrew wrote:
You are operating with the implicit assumption that people will have a car. Reducing parking capacity is a net positive, since it incentivizes people to live with fewer cars. Demand for off-street and on-street parking isn’t a reason to justify more supply – great cities require vibrant urban spaces that are human scaled, and car storage is antithetical to that goal.
And frankly, on-street parking is one of the biggest wastes of public space imaginable. Dedicating half the right of way for free vehicle storage is just mind-numbingly bad land use. Imagine if 15% of the on-street parking capacity in Portland was dedicated to bikes or public transportation (15% of Multnomah county residents do not own a personal vehicle).
If a renter wants an EV now, they almost literally have no options for charging anyways… so having no parking vs. status quo parking with no chargers is hardly different. Developers use parking (including EV chargers) as perks/services that they provide to renters for a cost. My apartment’s lot costs 125$/month to park in – presumably if they added EV chargers, they would charge a premium for that as well.
And there already is basically no incentive for anyone to build affordable housing – because there never will be. Developers don’t want to deal with the hassle that comes with affordable housing anyways. The best way to solve a housing crisis is with public housing – that is what the US did in the post WWII era, there is no reason we can’t do it now.
Thank you Andrew, we appreciate you being part of the conversation.
Lisa Caballero has lived in SW Portland for 20 years. She is on the Transportation Committee of her neighborhood association, the Southwest Hills Residential League (SWHRL) and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.