At a meeting Monday, the city’s Board of Public Works discussed the possible creation of “Parking Benefit Districts” — a step city officials said will give communities a say in how revenue from parking meters in their neighborhoods is used.
At a meeting Monday, the city’s Board of Public Works discussed the possible creation of “Parking Benefits Districts” — a step city officials said will give communities a say in how revenue from parking meters in their neighborhoods is used.
Under the proposed resolution — which recommends that the Common Council consider using Parking Benefit Districts in neighborhoods with “high parking demand” — designated neighborhoods will be able to provide input for the use of money raised from parking meters within their set boundaries, according to board member Robert Morache.
Although many of the details — including which neighborhoods will be affected by the plan and which community members will decide how parking revenue is used — have not been determined, the board proposed that money raised by parking meters in these neighborhoods will be allocated to a separate account, rather than serve as revenue the city can use for any project.
Morache said he believes these funds can be used for “streetscape enhancements,” which include repairing neighborhood sidewalks and roads.
Board member Govind Acharya said he hopes that allowing each Parking Benefit District to provide feedback for potential improvements will allow the city to conduct projects that are not currently on “City Hall’s radar.”
Mayor Svante Myrick ’09 — who has been a supporter of other parking reforms, such as the elimination of the minimum parking requirement — said the plan is “an idea with a lot of promise.”
Additionally, Morache said he believes the proposed system will give the city more control over parking, which will allow it to increase revenue without raising taxes.
Some city officials, however, expressed skepticism about the implications of the proposed plan.
George McGonigal, a former Common Council member, said he was “apprehensive” about creating a system of Parking Benefit Districts because the plan does not have sufficient details — such as how neighborhoods will be seleccted to be part of the system — in the current proposal.
Common Council member Donna Fleming (D-3rd Ward) also expressed reservations about the proposed resolution.
“I think there are practical implications that need to be taken into account,” she said.
In order to demonstrate to the board that other cities have successfully used a similar system, Morache cited the example of Pasadena, Calif., where the city charged its residents the appropriate price for parking and then took money from the meters and “put it back into the sidewalks and streets.”
A decade after putting the new districts into place, some of the neighborhoods experienced drastic infrastructure improvement, according to Morache.
The Board of Public Works will continue their discussion about parking reform in future meetings, according to board members.
Original Author: Tyler Alicea