2020 – The same issues exist as they did 2 years ago, one difference is that we have completed another downtown parking study.
The looming issues now are that the City is pursuing policies that will REDUCE the amount of parking required for new residential developments. This does present a variety of new problems, in addition to making some of our existing problems worse – including issues identified in the new parking study.
My proposal, as stated in the number one bullet (from 2018) below, is that we protect our transportation routes by requiring new development to contribute to parking capacity needs. Exceptions could be made for legitimately “affordable” housing, but otherwise there is no better way to contribute to the safety of our streets for all users.
o Parking Requirement Consistency – Downtown businesses and future bike routes impacted
o Traffic Control / Flow – We are lagging and must do better
o Public / Alternative Transport to Affordable Housing Options – Plan for the long-term solution
o Link Parks / Bike Trails – Improve quality of life and provide transportation alternatives
Transportation infrastructure isn’t just about moving cars around town, it is also a critical component of public safety, quality of life, and access to affordable housing. As Hood River grows, we have an increasing number of people moving in and out of town daily. The challenges are evident in the excess time it has taken to implement currently planned traffic control measures. This has a negative effect on downtown businesses and creates safety concerns.
Many have also noticed the relationship between bike lanes and parking. Less available parking leads to safety and livability issues – we must address this. Our planning must ensure that parking requirements are met, not reduced, as part of future development. If we then also honor our commitment to parks and their connectivity, bicycles can be an asset to our transportation system as we grow.