Park-o-matic Borg on the Loose?

Oakland’s city planning department as noted on other Oakland blogs has some enthusiasm for surface parking. We’re not sure why. We wish they were bigger fans of say Lady Gaga (coming March to the Oakland Arena) or basashimi (raw horse sashimi). The city has plenty of sunlit Urban Heat Island inducing blacktop already. [Update/caveat: we haven’t verified this alleged enthusiasm ourselves, and are depending on good reporting from other Oaklanders and or Oakland blogs.]

More parking means more cars, more gasoline imports, less space for relaxation, less social life, less “green city,” more “gray city.” Cities are for grid-connected electric vehicles (elevators, streetcars), not horses and cars, silly!

A sampling of downtown’s existing parking lots and parking garages shaded red below. Click to enlarge.

Maybe the city planning department wants Oakland to look like Houston. Downtown Houston looks like it was bombed out during WWII.  At least they did it with their own oil…

Link to Houston satellite photo.

Link to Oakland paid parking lots.

The high cost of parking has been discussed endlessly in planning circles.

Alternatives to surface parking lots w/ examples:

  • Underground parking lots – San Francisco AMC Theater, Kintetsu Mall, Oakland Kaiser Convention Center/City Center
  • Buildings – the rest of Oakland downtown, SF, Tokyo, Paris, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Boston…
  • Sports fields (Americans are out of shape and bored) – Berkeley’s soccer fields by 880 @Gilman
  • Outdoor Concert Halls – Greek Theater, Berkeley
  • Temporary tree nursery lots – SF’s Better MidMarket plan contemplates this
  • Art installations – SF’s mid-market, Uptown’s empty lot fencing
  • “Wild space” – you know
  • Community gardens – plenty of people would want to start/maintain these, ie Hayes Valley Farm, Tenderloin People’s Garden
  • Dog parks – Hardy Park, Rockridge; better than car parks

Are you against adding yet-more parking to downtown Oakland? Find who to contact at A Better Oakland. Let’s stop the CEDA-Planning Commission park-loving borg entity… and actually raise property values and increase human amenities downtown! (Plus emergency capacity.)

And just kidding about basashimi. I’d eat fried cockroaches before eating horse, rabbit or dolphin.

Posted from The Punchdown.


2 responses to “Park-o-matic Borg on the Loose?

  1. The planning commission is not for additional downtown surface parking lots. At least, that is not my impression after watching the Jan 19th meeting where they discussed a surface lot by the Paramount. I had the impression they are clearly not in favor, but where either a lot is already in use or is already and entitled for other purposes they are willing to consider the economic interest given the owner abides by certain conditions. In the case of the former, the pedestrian killing impacts are in place but were not expected to be permanent. In the case of the latter, while the pedestrian killing impacts would be new there is an expected end date and forcing a sale does not remove the economic conditions that make development in this market unlikely.

  2. Thanks for the comment. I haven’t watched any of their meetings yet.

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