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Experts Say Parking Breeds Congestion

Editor,

I’m Voting no on paying $35 to $50 million to gain an extra 250 parking spaces.

Re: Council member Elisabeth Pearson’s letter to the editor (“If We Don’t Build It, They Will Still Come,” March 15 edition) and subsequent council action about converting the existing parking lot on the north east corner of Forest Avenue and Laguna Canyon Road into a park and stacked parking lot.

I have heard the council say many times how much they appreciate input from both sides of an issue. Keep in mind people interested in this issue are good hearted and are acting in a way that best reflects their current views.

Most people agree that we want a park at this location. We agree that a park will be attractive and inviting to residents and visitors. The new park will serve to promote foot traffic from Sawdust to Main Beach, benefiting residents, visitors, and merchants in the town center and beyond.

The city’s current plan promises that if the city builds this stacked parking lot up against the hill behind the farmers market there will be less auto congestion in the downtown and the Pageant of Masters, Seven Degrees, Sawdust and Art a Fair will make more money. There is no data or best practices information to support either promise.

In an interview with parking guru Donald Shoup, a 68 year old professor of urban planning at UCLA and author of the landmark book “The High Cost of Free Parking?,” he states clearly more parking in a downtown area will generate more auto trips and congestion.

I invite us to learn from best practices before we invest in a parking structure.

 

Michael Hoag, Laguna Beach

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