• Portland’s Latest Smart Idea: Meters That Charge What Parking Is Worth

    Every time someone parks a car on the street outside Steven Lien’s downtown Portland shop, an invisible clock inside his business plan starts to tick. If they’re stopping by his men’s underwear store, of course, he’s happy. If they’re not, he’s eager for the minute they’ll finish their errand, get back in their car and move along. “I can definitely say that when we get more turns on the parking...
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  • Portland May Offer a Parking Win-Win-Win

    Here in Southeast Portland, many of my neighbors are concerned about parking. In particular, they worry that new residents in the apartment buildings popping up along SE Division and other major corridors will park on the street, taking spots away from neighbors living in single-family homes. When I suggest that the solution to their dilemma is to charge for curb parking, they look at me like I am crazy. The...
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  • 8 Takeaways from Oregon’s Global Warming Commission’s Report

    In its 2015 report, the Oregon Global Warming Commission offers the Oregon legislature a path towards transforming the state’s economy and meeting its statutory global warming pollution limits. Its scenario for meeting the state’s emissions limits looks like Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixin’s: a price on pollution, plus a package of complementary clean energy, energy efficiency, and transportation policies. The Commission, which includes representatives from the environmental community alongside the CEOs of Portland...
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  • Parking Break

    This is the season climax, the culmination, the big reveal. Previously on Parking? Lots! Cities mandate off-street parking (guided only by junk science and groupthink). They do it in fear of territorial neighbors who want “their” curb spaces left alone. Our communities suffer horribly as a result. Information technology is shaking things up, though, and cities can now charge for curb spaces more easily. They can also share the proceeds...
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  • Underground Parking

    In Peggy Clifford’s neighborhood, out back of the State Capitol in Olympia, Washington, a black market thrives. Early each year during the state’s legislative session, lobbyists go there—just a hop, skip, and a jump from the capitol dome—to buy what they crave: parking spaces. Peggy says, “This is a neighborhood, not a parking lot.” Tell that to regular Capitol visitors. The neighborhood may be nationally registered as historic and staunchly...
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  • When Your Parking Grows Up

    On-street parking takes up a lot of space in North American cities: 5 to 8 percent of all urban land, according to UCLA urban planning professor Donald Shoup. If parking reforms like pricing curb spots end up reducing the need for curb parking in our cities, what will we do with all that extra space? As it turns out, Cascadian cities are already trying out some exciting new ideas. In...
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  • Infographic: Living Space v. Parking Space

    Your bedroom is smaller than your car’s—that and other surprising facts stand out in a new infographic we’ve assembled with architect and designer Seth Goodman of Graphing Parking. Mandatory off-street parking quotas written into local land-use laws have pernicious effects. At multifamily buildings, localities require developers to construct off-street parking spaces for each apartment or condominium. Many cities also require a side order of visitor parking. The requirements vary with...
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  • Law and Order and Parking Lots

    There’s no better measure of our perverse relationship with cars than the fact that nearly every city and town in North America has laws requiring drinking establishments to provide parking, and yet roadside memorials to victims of drunk driving are mostly illegal. A single year of alcohol-impaired driving kills more Americans than the last decade of war has, but our land use codes practically encourage driving home from taverns. Bar...
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  • Why Love Oregon?

    Ask people what’s great about Oregon and you’ll get hundreds of answers (from bamboo bikes to the Country Fair to its vote-by-mail system). At Sightline, there’s nothing we love more than policies that remove the niggling obstacles that keep people from making smart, sustainable choices. So here’s an update on a few ideas we’ve been following, and a couple of reasons to love Oregon a little more. This week, the...
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  • Sharing Your Car (in Oregon)

    Oregon could become the next state to pave the way for peer-to-peer car sharing companies, which allow people to rent out their personal vehicles when they’re not using them (which is usually more than 90 percent of the time). It’s a common sense and entrepreneurial idea that we’ve championed here at Sightline for a long time. Here’s how it works: Let’s say you need to rent a car for a...
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