Friday, November 09, 2012

El camino brt zoning and car dealers

Santa Clara county was pursuing a Bus Rapid Transit lane from Santa Clara to Palo Alto. Sunnyvale opted out because it wanted to maintain parking for car dealers on El Camino. You have to wonder, why do car dealers even need street parking? Don't they have huge parking lots as is? But it just goes to show where the priorities are. Cars=king. Everything else is just subservient.

This is similar to other quests to get bike lanes at the expense of parking. It does not matter if off street parking is only used at 50% of capacity. Those extra on-street parking spaces must be maintained. Even then, the city still mandates a minimum of 4 off-street parking spaces for single family houses. There is no way to win.

I wonder how things would be different if people had to pay for the externalities? If meters were places on the street, would the spaces still be in such high demand? What if meters were placed there and any shortfall had to be made up by the residents? And pollution and traffic congestion? Buses are slow and expensive. Cars are cheap and have no "immediate" costs. Well, duh! Cajoling wont make people change. Lets actually make things better so that there are real options. Of course that is not what the car guys wants, and they seem to have a hold on things.

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