Guest parking permits discussed for districts near OSU

2014-01-07T23:45:00Z 2014-01-10T15:49:22Z Guest parking permits discussed for districts near OSUBy JAMES DAY, Corvallis Gazette-Times Corvallis Gazette Times
January 07, 2014 11:45 pm  • 

The Corvallis Urban Services Committee took a whack at the issue of guest permits and other exceptions to its residential parking districts program Tuesday at the Madison Avenue Meeting Room.

And the questions led to more questions as the committee met for the eighth time to discuss solutions to city parking problems. Among them:

• What constitutes a visitor?

• How big a problem is permit counterfeiting?

• How should the city allocate permits to contractors and vendors that need access to businesses or houses inside the new parking zones?

• How should permits be allocated for employees of business in the zones?

The committee, which consists of Ward 2 Councilor Roen Hogg, Ward 3 Councilor Richard Hervey and Ward 4 Councilor Dan Brown, directed city staff to study the issues, and plans to discuss them at its Feb. 4 meeting.

In the meantime the city will mail postcards either late this week or early next week to residents of the planned new zones with information on what the changes might consist of and how to comment.

There currently are three parking districts in the city, A and B north of Oregon State University and C, which is east of OSU. Permits cost $15 per year for residents, and those without permits can park once a day for free for two hours.

Committee members tentatively have agreed on a phase one that would require permits in a new system of seven zones, which would ring the OSU campus. Zone residents would be charged $20 a year, and nonresidents would be charged $307, which is 115 percent of what OSU charges for faculty and staff.

Only those with resident permits would be able to park within two blocks of campus.

All committee recommendations must be approved by the full City Council.

The new program is scheduled to go live in September. A second phase that would add three more zones would be implemented at a date to determined.

Tuesday’s meeting drew one of the largest crowds the committee has had while discussing parking districts.

Nine members of the public testified. Issues raised included using off-street parking totals in the calculations, the need for more parking garages at OSU and concerns about the restrictiveness of a permit-only system that would essentially exclude people from parking in large chunks of town.

Contact reporter James Day at jim.day@gazettetimes.com or 541-758-9542. Follow at Twitter.com/jameshday or gazettetimes.com/blogs/jim-day.

Copyright 2016 Corvallis Gazette Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(5) Comments

  1. TheRealJules
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    TheRealJules - January 09, 2014 1:21 pm
    And Baxter, yes, I am more certain now that the city wants this. I scanned through the council email and found one of the council members talking about this parking district system being something they are "birthing". It's a legacy he wants to leave behind just like the children he fathered and his wife "birthed".

    But true, whether they want it or not, it's nonsense and insulting and divisive and simply ridiculous. If they actually don't want it, then there has to be something seriously wrong with the proponents for continuing to push it.
  2. TruthIs
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    TruthIs - January 08, 2014 2:08 pm
    Let's be clear here: It's just a matter of semantics whether our Mayor and City Council WANT to do this. Yes, they want to do it because obviously it is the weasel-way out of a situation into which they have incompetently put themselves. Yet in an even more weasely way, they don't WANT to do it because they really wish they weren't even faced with having to take responsibilty at all for the mess they've created.

    The problem is that the very existence and nature of the "Collaboration" is in itself a huge failure of leadership by Manning and the Council. To say they were presented with bad recommendations is only to say they set up a bad situation whose predictable outcome was bad recommendations.

    With regard to the lame excuse the City Council isn't getting the help they need from the City attorney, a string of Mayor's and Council members have failed the people for years by not putting that contract out for open competitive bid on a regular basis. So the Mayor and Council don't get a pass on the basis they aren't getting the advice they need when they aren't taking the most basic steps of doing what it takes to change that situation.

    In view of all this, It's actually quite hilarious that the same group of bad neighbors and poor leaders we see in-and-out of, and circling around, City government running a project on "Public Participation". The reality is that in many cases they work to exclude people who have far more to offer than they do, and a lot of decent folks in Corvallis just plain don't want to have much to do with people like them.

    And let's be clear here, the G-T has not been a responsible voice for the public. It consistently can't even be bothered to ask the critical questions of our uncivil "leaders" that we see every day in the Comments section of each story. The only time in recent memory they got into a lather about governance in Corvallis was late last year when a City Council Committee denied their land use request.
  3. TheRealJules
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    TheRealJules - January 08, 2014 12:23 pm
    Of course the city wants to do this. That's why they are DOING it. If they didn't want to, they wouldn't. They could very easily tell the special people who think the street in front of their house belongs to them that it does not. They could tell those special people "you bought a house next to a large University. What did you think was going to happen?"

    Did you miss the fact that three city council members are doing all this planning? Do you imagine that the other council members will vote against their buds on the council when it comes time for a final approval? At least keep the fiction of community involvement by having members of the community with no special ties to the council doing this. Then all the council members can give it an honest evaluation and not have three enthusiastic supporters and the rest going along to get along from the start.

    And for GOD'S sake stop saying that only the special people who live in those neighborhoods get to comment on this process. That's arrogant beyond imagination.

    No, this is a perfect chance for the city to demonstrate its hate for one of the major employers in town, and they prove this by deliberately setting the rates for "guest" parking based on OSU parking rates. By the way, will students get a discount on the exorbitant fee since they pay less for parking that staff? Of course not. We hates the studentses just as much as we hates the nasty employees of OSU who dare to park in front of honest people's houses in public parking. And if you didn't get the reference, imagine Smeagel hissing that last sentence.

    What is the problem that is being solved here? The only "problem" I see is people who think the city owes them on-street parking in front of their own house for their cars. Park them in your own driveway. There, problem solved. You bought the car, you provide someplace to park it when you come home. That leaves the on-street public parking as on-street public parking. First come, first served, just as it is in my neighborhood. Just as it will still be when the special people get their special permits and I am not permitted to park for even a minute in their precious neighborhood.

    So what if people who work or study at OSU park in the public on-street parking? Big deal. So what if you have to park your car in your own driveway? There's a guy who parks his car in front of my house every day, all day, 24/7, and you don't see me whining that the space is supposed to be mine and he needs to pay a bundle of money to use it. I simply park my own car in my own driveway. Problem solved, and he gets to use the on-street public parking his tax dollars pay to maintain.

    I'd love it if OSU provided sufficient free parking for everyone who goes there, but treating most of the city like unwanted guests and giving special parking privileges to some isn't the answer. The city is arrogant for thinking they have some control over what OSU provides for parking, and even more arrogant for creating special classes of citizen.

    This nonsense needs to stop and those who are promoting it need to lose their privilege of ruling the rest of us. They've proven they will abuse that privilege and use it to buy votes in the future from the people they create special rules for.

  4. baxter
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    baxter - January 08, 2014 10:59 am
    Jules, do you think the City WANTS to do this? I suspect they would rather do something else, but they don't know what. They don't feel comfortable standing up to OSU and telling OSU that OSU must provide parking for university related parking. The staff and the City's attorney aren't helping the Council force the real problem creator (OSU) to solve the problem. The City approved the OSU plan that says OSU can build instructional buildings pretty much where they want and not have to provide (proximate or convenient) parking. The City Council is pretty much boxed in by the City's own mistakes. But I agree with you that forming these parking districts is going to be a mistake.....a costly mistake......an inconvenient, convoluted, difficult to administer, confusing mistake. It is not going to "enhance livability" for anyone.
    But I think the Public Works committee is doing the best they can with the proposals that the "collaboration" work group gave them.
  5. TheRealJules
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    TheRealJules - January 08, 2014 9:49 am
    I am not a guest in my own city. I live here, I pay taxes here. And I vote here, so MY city council member better remember that.

    Why should only those people who are going to become the privileged upper class be allowed to comment, and sent special information on how to do so?

    It is time for the businesses who will be harmed by this to speak up. If I cannot park at your business I won't go there. And I won't even walk to a business if I find out the owner has gotten himself a special privilege parking permit.

    And God forbid one of you privileged special people with special rights to park on the public streets comes park on my street. All I can say is, don't do it. You have no special rights outside your own imagination.
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