Circulate San Diego has just released our new report on how the City of San Diego's parking rules are barriers to Transit Oriented Development (TOD). Read the whole report here.
The parking rules in the City of San Diego are generally collected in the Municipal Code, not in individual community plan documents. This presents an opportunity for parking policy to become streamlined, and comprehensive in its approach. However, current parking rules in San Diego lack cohesion.
Parking policy in San Diego is complex, inconsistent, and difficult for developers to navigate. The parking code represents a hodgepodge of different policies, layered on top of one another over time, reflect a variety of sometimes conflicting and shifting policy goals. In some circumstances, parking minimums for new developments are reduced because of lower expected or demonstrated demand. More frequently, parking minimums are increased, on the assumption that certain areas need added parking, or perhaps more cynically, to keep new developments from coming to those neighborhoods at all.
“For almost every new home constructed in San Diego, at least one new parking space is required to be built.”
For almost every new home constructed in San Diego, at least one new parking space is required to be built. This is true for even studio apartments and other homes well served by transit. San Diego’s parking rules assume every resident will drive for all of their trips. These rules are inconsistent with reality, where many San Diegans do not own a car, or would like to live without having to own a car and pay rent for car storage in the form of a reserved parking spot.
Parking minimums for new developments are generally intended to reduce the impact of a new building to the neighborhood, by limiting the number of new neighbors that use limited street parking. However, parking requirements for new developments have a variety of unintended consequences, famously identified as the “High Cost of Free Parking,” by Professor Donald Shoup, including the tendency to encourage traffic and drive up development costs and rents for end users.
While parking minimums may serve important purposes in some circumstances, parking minimums that are too high can hurt neighborhoods and limit the ability to achieve smart growth goals. The City of San Diego should examine parking reforms that will allow the City to meet its Climate Action Plan goals, and implement the General Plan’s City of Villages Strategy.
- Requests to lower parking requirements are burdensome and time-consuming.
- Reduction in parking minimums for areas near transit are minimal and limited.
- Assumption that all future residents will drive will not support mode share goals in the Climate Action Plan.
Circulate San Diego joined with a number of environmental and transportation advocacy organizations from around California to sign onto a letter to support the revision of the Phase II Ridesharing Proposed Decision to allow transportation network company (TNC) drivers to use vehicles obtained through rentals or short-term leases. The current proposal requires that TNC drivers own or lease their vehicles for terms longer than four months, the consequence of which would be to remove hundreds of TNC electric vehicles currently in service and eliminate a promising strategy for increasing electric vehicle (EV) deployment, especially in disadvantaged communities.
Read the entire letter [PDF]
UC San Diego is currently soliciting input from the campus community regarding transportation and parking policy.
Students, staff, and faculty can make their voices heard by accessing IdeaWave with their UC San Diego email address through April 18, 2016. Supporters for smart transportation choices can let the administration know they support more access to campus for transit, walking, and bicycling.
Circulate San Diego submitted a detailed comment letter, outlining a variety of ways UC San Diego can improve access to the campus, without relying only on more expensive car storage and added traffic.
You can read a full copy of our letter here [PDF]
As a part of our continuing campaign to fix the Compass Card, Circulate San Diego sent a letter today to the MTS board.
We are heartened to see that MTS has taken immediate action to apply for a grant to fund an upgrade to address PCI compliance for the Compass Card, and to hold a hearing to update the public on the Compass Card at the MTS April board meeting. We are pleased to submit this letter with suggestions regarding how MTS can enhance fare payment systems for our region’s transit systems.
Read the complete letter here [PDF].
Circulate San Diego joined with a number of environmental and transportation advocacy organizations from around California to sign onto a letter to support the California Transportation Plan 2040, developed by CalTrans which aligns with the organizations' missions to create healthy, sustainable, and equitable communities with a variety of safe convenient and affordable transportation options.
Read the entire letter [PDF]
Circulate San Diego shared a letter with the CAP Implementation Working Group with initial recommendations to implement the land use and transportation elements of the City of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan. [PDF]
Circulate San Diego joined with a number of public health, environmental, housing, and transportation advocacy organizations from around California to sign onto a letter to support recommendations for the Updates to the CEQA Guidelines on Evaluating Transportation Impacts, which seeks to implement SB 743 successfully.
Read the entire letter [PDF]
Today, Circulate San Diego sent the below letter to Civic San Diego to support the proposed Downtown Mobility Plan which will bring the first protected bike lanes to downtown and provide a network of greenways and bikeways to complement the existing transit services.
A PDF version of the letter is available here.
In 2013, California adopted SB 743, a landmark transportation impact law that holds the promise to rethink how transportation and communities are shaped.
Prior to SB 743, transportation analyses for development projects under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) relied on a metric called “Level of Service” (LOS), which measures the duration of expected vehicle delay. To minimize LOS impacts, projects were incentivized to build more car-related infrastructure, which in turn encourages more driving and higher greenhouse gas emissions.Read more
Circulate San Diego wrote a letter to San Diego City Councilmembers, commending them for their unanimous support of the Vision Zero Resolution in October 2015. Circulate asks for the Councilmember's continued support of Vision Zero by prioritizing funding for biking and walking infrastructure improvements along Vision Zero corridors, specifically those projects outlined in a variety of adopted plans, in order to ameliorate traffic fatalities.
There is an urgent need to take action. Data collected by the San Diego Police Department indicates almost 200 people were seriously injured or killed in traffic crashes last year, with a 17% increase over 2014 in the number of crashes resulting in death. Further, there was a 42% increase in the number of pedestrians seriously injured in crashes.
Circulate SD and its partners are pleased to see work underway to reach zero traffic deaths in San Diego by 2025. This work includes:
- A multi-disciplinary Vision Zero Task Force will kick off its first meeting in January for the purpose of creating a 1-year multi-faceted strategy to help the City reach the goal of zero deaths. We hope to have a plan drafted by end March. This plan will be created around the framework of Engineering safe streets, Education, and Enforcement.
- The City’s Transportation and Stormwater Department has convened a Working Group to develop safe street design recommendations for one of the most dangerous ½ mile section of University Avenue. The Working Group involves city staff and community representatives. This is a highly effective model and we would favor this approach for other corridors moving forward.
Circulate urges the City to also prioritize Vision Zero requests based on crash data and location in an underserved community. We also hope to discuss these as part of the Task Force.