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  1. #101

    Default Re: Downtown Parking

    I'd be more skeptical of data that did add up exactly to 100%. There is always extreme outliers.

    You've got bikes, segways, wheelchairs, rickshaws, roller blades, skateboards, and probably some other crazy stuff that could qualify as "other" on the survey.

  2. #102

    Default Re: Downtown Parking

    Quote Originally Posted by SkyWestOKC View Post
    95.48% commute? Doesn't make sense? Percentages need to add up to 100% or you have data missing or is flawed.

    Not doubting the numbers, but what data is missing?
    The numbers I provided add to 96.2%.

    In any case, I didn't report the numbers for people that work at home or use other means of transportation. I also rounded up for the total figure for the % of commuters driving in some form.

    I believe the numbers are from the American Community Survey conducted by the US Census Bureau. You should be able to access the data from their website here: http://www.census.gov/acs/www/

    This is the full breakdown I have for OKC proper:

    81.1% drive alone to work
    12.4% carpool
    0.8% use public transit
    1.4% walk
    1.3% use other means of transportation
    3.0% work at home

  3. #103
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    Default Re: Downtown Parking



    They travel in cars...they just happen to be taxis. They take the train in to avoid the traffic jams coming into the city.

    And to compare NYC in any way is pretty silly. OKC will not look this way in 100 years. We need to make realistic plans and encourage good behavior and design. But we cannot think we are or ever will be NYC.

  4. Default Re: Downtown Parking

    Rover - why do you keep equating the use of mass transit with tall buildings? You can be walkable/mass transit city without 10 miles of skycrapers. You have to look outside America to find them but there are plenty of examples.

  5. #105
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    Default Re: Downtown Parking

    I am solidly for promoting mass trans. But this idea that we are going to be NYC, or some Euro city is a pipe dream. Part of making things happen is to be realistic rather than trying to sell a bill of goods that will never be achieved. It is great to have dreams, but important to not be hallucinating.

    And, oddly enough, mass trans usually is used most in cities with high density. And high density cities usually have more and taller buildings. Imagine that.

  6. Default Re: Downtown Parking

    When you say we are not going to be like NYC, what aspect of NYC do you think we are trying to emulate?

  7. Default Re: Downtown Parking

    I think what Rover is trying to say is that OKC, by its very nature, is not (and probably never will be) urban to that degree. The density required to make mass transit work doesn't exist here, and would be hard pressed TO exist here. OKC is a car-created city and continues to expand with that in mind.

    Think about how long it took Dallas and Houston to create a mass transit system that actually worked, and they've both been much larger cities than OKC for a much longer time. Even thinking we're in the same part of the planet as NYC or even most smaller Euro cities isn't correct. Europe is dense by the fact of how long it has had to develop. OKC is just a kid in diapers compared to most euro cities...we just grew into our pants really fast.

  8. Default Re: Downtown Parking

    Quote Originally Posted by bombermwc View Post
    I think what Rover is trying to say is that OKC, by its very nature, is not (and probably never will be) urban to that degree. The density required to make mass transit work doesn't exist here, and would be hard pressed TO exist here. OKC is a car-created city and continues to expand with that in mind.

    Think about how long it took Dallas and Houston to create a mass transit system that actually worked, and they've both been much larger cities than OKC for a much longer time. Even thinking we're in the same part of the planet as NYC or even most smaller Euro cities isn't correct. Europe is dense by the fact of how long it has had to develop. OKC is just a kid in diapers compared to most euro cities...we just grew into our pants really fast.
    Okay, first of all I don't know anyone on the pro-mass transit side that has ever said OKC could be, should be, or would even want to be as urban as NYC. NYC is at the far end of the urban scale and is not the threshold where walkability and mass transit become viable. Somewhere between the densities of OKC and NYC is where that point is crossed and many of us think that OKC is closer to that point than NYC is. As UP pointed out earlier, the low density nature of OKC's post WWII suburban sprawl does not lend itself to mass transit, but the urban core of OKC absolutely does because it already existed there once. The urban core of OKC once boasted something like 70 miles of streetcars and nearly every sizable town in Oklahoma was connected to OKC via the interuran system. So you can't tell me it isn't possible because it has already been done once. You might as well say it is impossible to go to the moon.

    In the next 20 years it will be possible to live within the urban core of OKC and not need to own a car. You might need to rent one if you want to drive out of town, but you won't need to own one as part of your daily life.

    This 'historical' photo is courtesy of Doug Lodenback's blog site

    http://dougdawg.blogspot.com/2007/09...ys-part-1.html


    A little side fact - the main terminal on that map was located where the new Devon Tower is being built.

  9. #109
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    Default Re: Downtown Parking

    I think there are several scenarios of mass trans that work here in OKC. The trick is to create a good cost/benefit. It will not be beneficial to start and will be a publicly supported system that most OKC citizens will pay for for the benefit of a few with the hope of someday being self supporting. For that to happen though, OKC will have to become much more dense than it is now or will be for quite awhile. And that is okay. It has to start somewhere.

    In Europe there are many barriers to driving which don't exist here...at least YET. First, most of the old cities in the old core sections have narrow streets built before cars...WAY before cars. The buildings being close to the streets keep the streets from widening. Second, gas is much more expensive than in the US, discouraging needless driving and large cars are not for common people. Third, the population grew up with streetcars, trains, etc. as a normal way of life. In the US, often there is still a stigma that if you can't afford your own car you ride the bus.

    But, since this is a thread on downtown parking, we digress. Our mass trans will not for the next two or three decades serve a large enough population to start lowering our requirement for more parking, provided the business side of downtown keeps growing. It is necessary for there to be MUCH more employment downtown, which of course means more commuters and more parking. AFTER the commuters come, many will prefer to convert to core dwellers or to locate close to commuting lines. It is a progression that will take years and years. But make no mistake, there has to be dramatic growth of employment downtown to fuel this. Otherwise, our mass trans will be like the little train that used to run on the teeny tracks around the zoo...good for entertainment but not a sustainable transportation option. Regardless, parking options will be necessary.

  10. Default Re: Downtown Parking

    At the risk of the mods moving the last 10 posts to one of the other transit threads, many of us believe that implementing a quality mass transit system in the urban core will produce the needed density to make it successful.

    It is basically a loss leader, but then again, so are all investments. Just like building freeways and giant parking lots enticed people in large numbers out to the suburbs, quality mass transit and walkability will entice large numbers of people back to the urban core.

  11. #111
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    Default Re: Downtown Parking

    You are right, highways and parking lots were built so people could be coerced to like living in safe peaceful neighborhoods and liked the freedom of driving their own car. People don't want peace, quiet, freedom, safety, etc. They only tolerate that stuff because the government forced it that way.

    It must be really frustrating to the cool smart people that some classless dummies actually prefer living in a single family residence with a yard. As soon as everyone wises up I am sure we will all ride buses and live downtown.

    Mass trans, IF done properly, will indeed enable many people to live a life the way they want or the way they have to. But, the price of gas and the efficiency of automobiles will have a much bigger and quicker effect on people using mass trans.

    Back to topic PLEASE.

  12. Default Re: Downtown Parking

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover View Post

    In Europe there are many barriers to driving which don't exist here...at least YET.
    Wouldn't a limitation on parking be a barrier to driving, just like gas prices and narrow streets in Europe? We continually remove this barrier by building new parking in downtown. There is definitely a double standard when it comes to parking vs transit, which are basically alternative goods in this case. For example, when downtown parking is at capacity, we have a choice to make about how we spend our money. Here are a few of the alternatives:

    1- We can build a parking garage (to my knowledge the only alternative that has been attempted so far)
    2- We can conduct a public information campaign directed at downtown parkers who live on existing bus routes, teaching them how the bus could potentially make their commute less stressful and cheaper. This could include print materials and personal consultations with route planners. It could also include working with companies to provide transit passes for free to their employees. Because of the nature of our bus routes (downtown-centered, highest frequency at rush hour) downtown employees are the best possible candidates for switching to transit- and if they knew it was an option, they could do it tomorrow.
    3- We can invest in safe bike boulevards with careful navigational assistance extended to near-downtown areas where downtown employees are likely to live, along with a public information campaign about those safe routes and benefits of cycling. Secure cycle parking also provided- we can fit a lot more cycles than cars in a given space. Again, this campaign could include print materials and personal consultations with people who could help select the correct type/size of bike and a safe route. Companies may also be interested in sponsoring this for employees- think about the emphasis our major corporations are placing on employee health and wellness.

    The first alternative allows an increase in the total number of cars coming downtown each day, until the new garage is filled and we begin at square one.

    The second and third alternatives will allow the number of cars coming downtown to stabilize (or at least slow the growth of parking demand).

    I don't think an additional garage is a horrible idea at all. But when we build a garage, we are making a choice. If we spent an equal amount of money on targeted, personal campaigns to help people learn how to change their transportation mode when accessing downtown, we could avoid being back in the same position in a few years as employment continues to grow downtown. At this point, attempting all three alternatives would be pretty great.

  13. #113
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    Default Re: Downtown Parking

    You could also discourage any company from moving downtown if there are insufficient parking opportunities. You all forget that there have to be jobs downtown for all this density you wish. To think that all the employees of a company want to live downtown is just ignorance. To limit the pool of potential employees to those living on a bus route or even a streetcar route is just as ill advised. Part of what is attractive to a company is the ability to recruit the best talent and the more you limit them the less likely they are to consider downtown. Why do you think Devon invested in building so many parking spaces? But not all companies are going to be able to build their own, so a public need arises. And, if you restrict the retailers to only those who can reach them by mass trans, than you eliminate a huge part of their market potential.

    A balanced approach is needed and investment in parking garages is one. If the city builds some in strategic locations then surface lots become far less attractive economically. For the same price, most people would rather park in a garage protected from the weather and somewhat protected. There is only so much income one can generate from surface lots and once the land is more valuable for some other kind of development we will see the surface lots go away because the can't compete. Black markets exist when other markets don't fill the need. Without the adequate parking facilities of a city, the black market is the surface lots...undesirable, but filling a demand.

    I would be curious as to what percentage of downtown residents now own cars? In Oklahoma, I believe it will be a long time before even the diehard core dwellers abandoned their cars. And if there are cars there has to be parking.

    By the way, some of the worst traffic situations in the world I have encountered are in European and other world cities where there is inadequate parking and cars are parked in locations making it hard to walk or drive....places like Athens comes to mind. I can list the many ways the government has attempted to create ways to discourage car use in the city and has failed. In fact, some of their efforts created worse driving and air quality issues.

  14. #114

    Default Re: Downtown Parking

    My husband and I each have a car. It's not gaining mileage very quickly, but he works up in far northwest OKC, so he drives to work every day. Once we're home, we pretty much eschew cars unless it's bitterly cold or raining too hard for an umbrella. All my neighbors have two cars as well, although some walk to work. Judging by the cars on the street in Deep Deuce, there aren't a lot of carless people out there. We did have a waitress at Louies or McNellies one night who said she and her husband were not car owners, but she said it was hard because of our poor public transit.

    I agree with Rover. Without encouraging car use downtown, we need to make allowances for people who work or want to travel downtown, especially now when we have no easy public transit around downtown. Parking garages also encourage density......of cars, which is not a bad thing.

  15. #115

    Default Re: Downtown Parking

    I am one of those people who would live in the suburbs for the schools - and the other things for kids that are not presently available in OKC's CBD - BUT would love to drive to a suburban commuter rail station and ride from Edmond (hold your collective gasps) to OKC, Norman, or even the 63rd St area. We are all that different from Salt Lake City and Albuquerque and both places have built commuter rail sstems that are very successful.

  16. Default Re: Downtown Parking

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover View Post
    You could also discourage any company from moving downtown if there are insufficient parking opportunities. You all forget that there have to be jobs downtown for all this density you wish. To think that all the employees of a company want to live downtown is just ignorance. To limit the pool of potential employees to those living on a bus route or even a streetcar route is just as ill advised.
    If you read my whole post, I totally agree. We need parking downtown, and lots of it, because the car is an essential part of life in 99% of our city. The potential new garage is definitely warranted for the very reasons you describe. I'm not saying limit employment so that everyone has to live on a bus route and no one drives downtown- That was apparently your interpretation. All I'm saying is that there are thousands of existing parking spaces being used by people who already live on bus/bike routes who are not aware that they might be able to easily bike/bus to the office. So by trying some alternative strategies and getting those people to consider leaving their car at home from 9-5, we could replenish some parking supply without building.

    While building the new garage is a good short-term strategy, we need a complementary long-term strategy to slow the growth in demand for parking so we aren't in the same position every five years. Surely you can see the logic of that perspective?

  17. #117
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    Default Re: Downtown Parking

    I understand what you are saying, but I would hope we are growing employment rapidly downtown and require parking garages to be built. But I agree that hopefully it isn't a 1 for 1 growth. We would hope that for every 1000 jobs created downtown we might only need parking for 750 people. Slowly but surely we can build up the permanent core density.

  18. #118

    Default Re: Downtown Parking

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptDave View Post
    I am one of those people who would live in the suburbs for the schools - and the other things for kids that are not presently available in OKC's CBD - BUT would love to drive to a suburban commuter rail station and ride from Edmond (hold your collective gasps) to OKC, Norman, or even the 63rd St area. We are all that different from Salt Lake City and Albuquerque and both places have built commuter rail sstems that are very successful.
    I am going to start doing that next month taking the light rail from Aurora to my new office in LoDo a few blocks from Union Station. I am staying in a friends condo until he gets back from the South Pole in February and we are planning on looking for a rental in Aurora in January for the time being because the light rail is already there now. Right now the light rail is being expanded into other parts of Denver, after we get the house sold here in Austin and my wife moves up there we may look in a different part of Denver depending upon where she gets a job but we are planning that location around light rail park-n-ride stations. At my friends place he is 1.5 miles from Nine Mile Station in Aurora, so I will have a short drive. I would prefer a place closer but that will more than likely be a place we buy rather than rent so sometime in the next few years.

  19. Default Re: Downtown Parking

    Quote Originally Posted by bluedogok View Post
    At my friends place he is 1.5 miles from Nine Mile Station in Aurora, so I will have a short drive.
    You are going to drive a 1.5 miles? You can walk it in 17 minutes, and that is if you take your time. Ride a bike and you can be there faster than you can drive and park.

  20. #120

    Default Re: Downtown Parking

    I've always thought that it would nice to live close to DT to walk to work on nice days, but it would sure be nice for those people who do that to have the option to catch a bus for the 4 or 5 blocks when it is raining or really cold.

  21. #121

    Default Re: Downtown Parking

    Quote Originally Posted by Just the facts View Post
    You are going to drive a 1.5 miles? You can walk it in 17 minutes, and that is if you take your time. Ride a bike and you can be there faster than you can drive and park.
    Sounds nice, Kerry, but not always practical. Remember he is talking about Denver weather, not Jacksonville weather. And if I had to ride a bike or walk 1 1/2 miles each day before I went to work, I would need another shower and change of clothes after I got there no matter what the weather was. LOL

  22. Default Re: Downtown Parking

    Quote Originally Posted by ljbab728 View Post
    Sounds nice, Kerry, but not always practical. Remember he is talking about Denver weather, not Jacksonville weather. And if I had to ride a bike or walk 1 1/2 miles each day before I went to work, I would need another shower and change of clothes after I got there no matter what the weather was. LOL
    Obviously there are times when walking would be inconvenient but driving to the 'park and ride' train station should be the last option. When I first started riding the bike a few months ago I would be pretty hot and sweaty after just a mile or so - not to mention tired. I now ride the bike as much as I can for daily errands and even after a 6 mile ride (to chick-fil-a of all places) I am neither tired nor sweaty. The Human body will adjust quickly and losing 25 pounds has made the riding even easier.

  23. #123
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    Default Re: Downtown Parking

    Walking a mile or two isn't practical or desirable for everybody and certainly not in the extreme weather we see here in OKC. And, those in their 50's and 60s are less likely to go work out to fit the ideal than someone younger. In more metropolitan and dense environments they usually either have good consistent bus, taxi and/or subway lines so people don't actually have to walk that far.

  24. #124

    Default Re: Downtown Parking

    If I was wearing casual clothes and not carrying a larger laptop, then I would probably walk some, it definitely is better weather than six months of Austin summer to walk in. That area (I-225 & Parker Road) is not as pedestrian friendly as many other areas, it is a "Park-N-Ride" after all and not a TOD. Also my mailbox is about a half mile from there and I will swing by there on the way home and do other errands at that time. Better than the 40 mile daily commute across Downtown Austin that I have had the past 4 years. There is a large park and school a block away from the condo, I will go over to the track there and get my walking in (I try to average 3-4 miles 4 or 5 days a week) when I am dressed for it instead of slacks and dress shoes. They "dress up" a bit more there than they do here in Austin where jeans and a knit was my normal work day clothing...of course they don't have 90 days over 100 degree summers up there either.

    As for the weather, they are expecting a half a foot of snow today, of course it was in the 80's when we were up there Sunday and Monday and will be gone by the time I get back up there on Sunday.

    Quote Originally Posted by ljbab728 View Post
    Sounds nice, Kerry, but not always practical. Remember he is talking about Denver weather, not Jacksonville weather. And if I had to ride a bike or walk 1 1/2 miles each day before I went to work, I would need another shower and change of clothes after I got there no matter what the weather was. LOL
    Kind of the same for me, I am very hot natured and can work up a good sweat in 40 degree weather by just walking a good distance. I always have been even when I was in much better shape and was working outside, it has to do with thyroid issues that I have had since I was diagnosed with those at six years old. That is why the summers down here have just been miserable and getting out of the car even with A/C going full blast the back of my shirts are soaked is not exactly what I like when wearing a dress shirt and slacks. The Play-Dry type of knit shirts were great down here and what I wore most of the time.

  25. Default Re: Downtown Parking

    Anyone can ride a bike in a suit.





    unless your...


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