BVSCA Statement at Planning Commission Meeting

BVSCA Statement at Planning Commission Meeting
Good evening Madam Chair, Commissioners,

I am speaking on BVSCA this evening. We trust you have read our letter, so I’ll focus on feedback from Transportation Commission and several critical elements in our letter.We found that our positions were largely well understood by the Transportation Commission and we appreciate their comments.

I do have a couple followup notes from their comments:

First, I heard comment that not all of BVSCA was represented, which was disappointing. We are following up to make sure we have scoped the gamut of BVSCA residents. I would like to note that we have already had meetings on the uncomfortable talks about where MultiFamily and Single Family meet and it’s an important solution to solve. We don’t have the answers, but we are having the conversations and our letter reflects those discussions. I do want to note that BVSCA has an open-door policy and that any resident is open to attend or join and voice their short-term needs, long-term wants, or to volunteer (or voluntold) for any one of our efforts.

Second, for the commissioners that voted for moving forwards with metered parking within RPP zones, we sensed anxiety in waiting to implement later, in today’s terms, FOMO, fear-of-missing-out, particularly so in getting the data. We would like to note that metered data is already being collected by neighboring jurisdictions and within our current metered areas. Perhaps a data sharing agreement can be brokered with them, or even possibly through ParkMobile itself, to better assess how metered parking may be applied further within the County. A statistical modeler’s dream! Fear not on missing out, instead, learn from our neighbors and better them one with a management approach that moves policy forwards.

Of our letter, I would like to point 3 things:

On metered parking,
From the Transportation Committee, we heard cart-before-the-horse, one-size-does-not-fit-all and we agree with these assessments. There are issues from implementing that we expect to occur, there’s also the unexpected nuance issues, and there’s no strategy in place for addressing any of this. Have the County dedicate staff to study the data, identify hot blocks, boundary blocks, mixed-use blocks, utilization percentages, and identify strategies and timeframes for managing various scenarios. This all has to be done before the metering can be approved. The proposed policy comes off as writing a blank check to ParkMobile to charge parking transaction fees while we as a county work out a management strategy for the residential streets. We can do better.

For the petitioning percentages,
While they should lightly affect us, we can’t make heads-or-tails of the changes to percentages and have yet to find someone who may want to petition that can articulate a position. We still wonder if it may inadvertent affectly the under-served. Further, we would like to note that an 80% petitioning signature seems awfully high. For anyone that has walked streets for signatures, even being able to reach 80% of households is an achievement, let alone getting signatures from all of them. Maybe the County could throw a block party. Whether everyone is there for the party or to yell at the partyers, at least someone would have a chance to talk with them about petitioning for RPP.

On boundary parking,
We disagree with the proposal to allow neighboring zones to park in each other’s boundary blocks. With our own example that Zone 7, which is a block wide east of W&L and down to FDIC, it would allow all of Clarendon Zone 6 to park in it. We need a better solution to managing the boundary blocks.

Finally, as a procedural matter, it’s important to note that you are likely missing out on some public commentary. This is because today’s virtual process requires sign-up by 5pm the prior day, different from the prior walk-up meeting night. I found this out myself last week at Transportation Committee where I signed up by 5pm the day of, registered as #5, yet there were no public speakers that spoke that evening.

Thank you for your time and consideration in these matters.