Re: “Easier Parking Tied to Quality Transit”, April 19 edition.
Two critical points were not covered in this article. They were raised during the Q&A session following the presentation and made by RBF consultant Rick Wilson on March 20.
These points are pivotal to the direction our planning process takes to relieve traffic congestion in Laguna Beach . Both points were made by consultant Wilson.
According to Wilson, Laguna’s parking demand is growing at 4 percent; that number is reduced from recent Laguna parking meter data provided RBF consulting by the city. It means if we spend $44 million to gain 200 parking spaces today, we need to spend another $88 Million for 400 more spaces in just 18 years from now just to keep even with demand, but not inflation. To get ahead of demand and inflation we need to spend even more.
The point is: building parking infrastructure in Laguna is ineffective and very expensive.
RBF consulting presented data charts showing Laguna’s parking is saturated (Parking Occupancy, Technical Memorandum #1). I asked the question, how to proceed in a town with a growing parking demand, a saturated parking occupancy, and no-room to build more car infrastructure? Rick Wilson stood before a full council chamber and said “a multi-modal transportation plan is preferred to building parking garages”. He said that because parking garages are a magnet for attracting even more cars. Parking garages don’t solve parking congestion. Though pivotal to the planning process, nobody in any town paper covered Rick’s message.
Les Miklosy, Laguna Beach