October 10th, 2011
I saw the Peep Mobile this weekend!!! We were standing on the corner at Eastern Market, ready to head home with our purchases (honey crisp apples and cupcakes) when it just rolled on by like it was nothing special. I had to race to get my camera out as quickly as possible, so I’m glad I was able to snap something of this momentous occasion.
at the car wash, yeah
December 30th, 2010
I got our car washed last night. I know, I know… this is maybe not a very exciting thing to share with the blog-o-sphere. I just thought the sign was pretty sweet as I was sitting there waiting for my turn. It’s Mr. Wash, just sitting there in his undersized vehicle like a character from MarioKart or something. I’m-a Wario, I’m-a-gonna win!
twice the speed of life
October 6th, 2010
The blog posts have gotten a little bit sparser these past few weeks, as the craziness of life has taken over. What is it about the end of summer that makes people feel the need to buckle down and get back to work?
At any rate, I thought this “oldie but goodie” picture (taken in Rock Creek Park in 2006) was appropriate for the way I’m feeling these days. Can’t slow down. Lots to do and little time to do it in. And it feels like the holidays will be upon us in no time, too. Does it make me sound old talking about how fast time goes by?
July 23rd, 2010
“city livin lalalala… city livin” I get that G. Love song refrain in my head for some reason when I look at this picture. That, and then a wave of claustrophobia washes over me since I’m not a big fan of tight spaces. I definitely prefer my on-street parking that makes me circle the block 10 times for a spot to open up.. I’ll take that any day of the week over this low clearance nightmare. But anyways, speaking of days of the week, it’s FRIDAY and we’ve got a hot one coming up! enjoy your weekend, juxtaexposed readers!
April 15th, 2010
Happy Tax Day! May your returns be as plentiful as the blossoms on the ground. That’s all I got.
24 hours of AdMo
February 22nd, 2010
A combination of images from sunset and midnight on 2/19 and sunrise and noon on 2/20, compiled into 24 hours of glorious Adams Morgan. View it large and see if you can find the piece of discarded Jumbo Slice Pizza. (hint: it’s on the right-hand side of the image).
February 8th, 2010
Matt graciously volunteered to dig out our car this morning from more than 2 feet of snow, even though I’m the one that usually drives it. Awww what a sweetheart!! His offer was music to my ears after the digging out of the sidewalk we’d all been doing for the past two days already. He was gone for a good amount of time and came back later pretty proud of clearing out the Honda. Then tonight, on the way back from watching (Saints win!!!!) the Super Bowl at a friends house, he insisted we walk slightly out of our way to see his handiwork. Ok, sure!
The car on approach… uhhh…
And from the reverse:
heheheee… Will I be able to rip away from the snow wall whenever I attempt to get out on the roads??
September 30th, 2009
Matt spotted this in Old Town, Alexandria. Shot on film.
June 17th, 2009
Spotted outside Eatonville on 14th St. I would realllllly like it if someone could chauffeur me around in it.
Lecture Report: The High Cost of Free Parking – Donald Shoup
May 28th, 2009
At the Masonic Temple in Alexandria last night Dr. Donald Shoup held a lecture on his recent book, “The High Cost of Free Parking.” Dr. Shoup has caused quite a few ripples with findings and has been called everything from the “Rock Star of Parking” to “Anti-American” (guessing the second one might have come from somewhere in Michigan).
Shoup’s discussion centered, as the name of his book indicates, on the real cost associated with free parking, particularly free street parking, and the benefits that communities can see by using performance based pricing for the parking. As nothing in life comes free, he argues that free parking is only free to us in our roll as drivers, but that we pay for it in all other aspects of our lives. This means that we are paying increased taxes to maintain parking, paying for the distorted urban form and degraded sense of place that comes along with auto-centric planning, paying for it through the increased burden the environment, paying for it through increased housing costs that are bundled with parking spaces, and paying for it through lowered redevelopment/reuse of older buildings due prohibitive parking requirements. To compact these many woes and to use parking as a positive generator for change, Shoup recommends three key reforms that he has seen work in communities across the country:
-1: use performance based pricing for street parking which will leave 1-2 or 85% of spots on all blocks available at all times
-2: return all revenue generated from parking in a community directly back to the community to increase public services
-3: reduce off street parking requirements in zoning
The use of performance-based pricing is possible now due to new technologies in the parking meter world, namely digital multi-space meters. The new meters can be adjusted to have different rates for different times of day, or for different lengths of stay on different days of the week. Because the meters are flexible in their set-up, city planning officials will be able to experiment and eventually hone in on “sweet spot” for pricing. This is not an immediate process and does require significant attention by planning officials, but it is a process that will pay huge dividends once completed. The “85% at all times” benchmark ensures that no matter when you come to park, you will be able to find a space and you will pay market value for that space. Managing parking in this manner insures that no time and energy (personal and petrol) are wasted cruising for spots and the fair market value price adjustments help to bring in more revenue during peak hours of usage — without overcharging during “off” periods. This approach can work for commercial streets which would be 100% metered and residential streets that would only require payment of the meter if the parked car did not have the appropriate zoned parking sticker.
Dr. Shoup found that initially many businesses were strongly resistant to a change from free street parking to metered street parking in front of their establishments. They thought that it would be bad for business and that they would reap no benefits. These feelings changed once the concept of keeping the money in the community for public services and improvements is introduced. One it is realized that benefits such as increased street cleaning, graffiti removal, alley improvements, overhead wire removal, plantings and street furniture in their immediate community could be achieved strictly through parking revenue, without an increase in taxes, business and community members became the biggest advocates.
In Old Pasadena, one of Shoup’s case studies, the institution of the meters and performance based parking rates raised $1.2 million dollars over the year for a 15-block area (roughly $80K in improvements and services PER BLOCK). Old Pasadena business owners even began to publicize the efforts through signs stating “Your Meter Money is Making a Difference” and listing out all the services that were being provided. Old Pasadena businesses have seen regeneration in business instead of a decline and life has been brought out to the streetscape.
The reduction in the code minimum parking will allow developers to build parking at a market dictated instead of code dictated rate. Removing the additional burden from developers will free up more money for design, streetscape improvements, etc. Additionally, Dr. Shoup states, it will allow for more adaptive reuse in old buildings that are currently restrained due to parking availability.
There are certainly areas that will be slow to adapt to these sort of ideas and changes to how we look at parking. The storage of automobiles will continue to trump the pedestrian experience for many communities, but this idea can have some foot-hold in more progressive cities and towns, particularly ones with good alternative forms of transportation and a walkable urban grid and scale. San Francisco is working to establish performance based parking around the city, and I believe that Washington, DC could benefit greatly from a similar policy. This is particularly true in mixed-use neighborhoods such as Adams Morgan, 14th/U St, and Dupont Circle where the neighborhood is amply served by public transit, parking as at a premium, and often residents are unable to find available spots on the residential streets due to people visiting the adjacent commercial establishments. Realizing this missed revenue stream can help to fund many of the streetscape improvement projects that are on the table waiting for funding and make the neighborhoods cleaner and safer places to live, work, and play.
Great lecture and another book to add to the reading list (hopefully on some BID and DDOT reading lists as well).
The above picture was taken in Adams Morgan with an Olympus XA2 35mm camera.