Support balanced approach to parking issue

Jennifer K. Avery Berkeley,
Thursday December 20, 2001

The Daily Planet received a copy of the following letter addressed to the Mayor and City Council. (The letter refers to the Draft General Plan, approved, in part, Tuesday.) 

Everyone has an opinion about parking. Merchants and entertainers seek to ensure their patrons have access to convenient parking; enviromentalists seek to encourage transit ridership; planners seek to provide a balance - both by encouraging transit ridership and accommodating some parking. 

As an urban designer and planner, I personally support a balanced approach. 

However, I also believe that public perception of the supply of parking must also be taken into consideration when creating parking policy, particularly in a downtown environment. And the perception of many Berkeley citizens is that there is a parking shortage. 

I am therefore writing to request that the draft General Plan be revised to eliminate the two-year timeframe for implementation of measures other than recommended TDM strategies, in order to assuage public concerns about limits being imposed on the parking supply. While I strongly support the TDM strategies for increasing utilization of the existing parking supply, I believe that the city should not completely preclude the construction of additional facilities or conducting a parking study in the near term. A comprehensive strategy for understanding and improving our downtown transportation environment should be our highest priority-including consideration of all of these approaches. 


Jennifer K. Avery