You'd expect NIMBYs to demand more parking in new housing because, NIMBYs.

What you wouldn't expect: The professional association for city planners demanding more parking, because ... well, the reasons don't actually compute. They're just "reasons."

There's no parking shortage.
The most common phenomenon you'll encounter in the housing discourse are people who demand "100% affordable/social housing" but don't lift a finger to talk about raising the money to pay for that housing.

The source of funds is not mysterious: We raise taxes. And we should!
YIMBYs and housers all over are promoting bonds and taxes for affordable and social housing. (We're also proposing to make it ... legal: Repeal Article 34)
The notion that planners can somehow trick developers into building affordable housing by blackmailing them with parking mandates is beyond naive; because planners are not naive. More like ...
Anyway, there oughta be a law.

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More from @mateosfo

4 May
One weird thing that happens if you have a movement that opposes building homes "for rich people" year in and year out:

Eventually, those "rich people" qualify for housing subsidies. Here's a not-super-detailed-but-hopefully-pretty-accurate thread on "area median income."
"Affordable housing" means different things to different people, but to housers, it generally means "subsidized housing:" Homes where residents pay rent equivalent to what they can afford -- about 30% of income. The government subsidizes the rest.

The key: How much income?
To figure this out, the state keeps track of "area median income" (AMI), which is exactly what it sounds like. People who earn up to 120% of AMI can often qualify for subsidized housing.

So, if AMI is $50k, then you can often get housing subsidies if you earn up to $60k.
Read 11 tweets
6 Apr
So, oddly, I have a personal stake in this. It's about climate action. The Portland cement industry ain't fucking around.

About 5 years ago we launched a campaign to get carbon out of supply chains, working w/ @RobBonta on the Buy Clean California Act.…
Basic concept was built around the fiasco of the Bay Bridge, which was not only wildly over budget, but relied on low-cost, high-carbon-emissions steel from dirty factories that were more than twice as polluting as the cleanest steel mills.

The bill did pretty well, until ...
... the cement industry found out about it. See, California's cement industry is among the dirtiest in the world -- it's the only industry in the state that is somehow still allowed to burn coal.

They *hate* Buy Clean.…
Read 6 tweets
6 Apr
A couple years back, a certain someone was feeling frisky enough to appoint me to a temporary seat on the Berkeley planning commission while we considered parking reform to eliminate parking mandates.

Here is my proof. Short thread. Image
The arch-NIMBY-old-white-dude on the plan com opposed parking reform without "value capture" because -- like many aspects of NIMBY logic -- he believed parking should be mandatory for community benefits, but also, if you eliminate parking, you should extract community benefits
My first comment as a planning commissioner (I think I made ~ 5 comments total) was, reducing number of cars in Berkeley was itself a community benefit:

Not only are cars the leading cause of catastrophic injury in Berkeley, they're also the leading cause of climate pollution.
Read 5 tweets
12 Mar
Someone on here posted an amazing piece a few weeks ago about how US environmental movement would find itself increasingly hog-tied by the rules it helped establish.

This has got to be one of the stickiest Gordian knots in the whole tangle.… @themadstone
On one hand, you have a massive push from environmental movement to electrify cars; this faction is doing little to promote transit and land use reform.

On the other hand, you have a massive push from environmental movement to protect sensitive habitat; this faction is ... same
Gordian Knot: "An intractable problem (untying an impossibly tangled knot) solved easily by finding an approach to the problem that renders the perceived constraints of the problem moot"

Hmmmm ...
Read 4 tweets
12 Mar
The very-high-end cost of nationwide high speed rail comes to roughly what Americans spend on cars every ~ 18 months - about $4 trillion.

The difference is, we’d pay for high speed rail over 30 years. So, it’s ~ 15 times cheaper.
The biggest trick the car industry ever pulled was convincing the world “freeways” means they are “free.”

Second biggest trick was convincing Americans its normal to spend $10,000 a year to provide the vehicle you have to have in order to use the highway you already paid for.
One reason I love trains is, the transparency of it all: It costs x to build, then you pay a small user fee, and here is the schedule.

With cars: “Oh who knows what it costs, and who cares?!? Vroom vroom! That SUV makes you look skinny!!”
Read 4 tweets
9 Mar
The thing about the "cars versus homes" debate is, housing and transportation aren't separate issues. They're one issue. You can't talk about them as though they had distinct solutions that can be pursued in silos.

So, if you say "affordable housing," inherent in the phrase ...
... is "affordable transit" and then you have to admit if the housing is not transit-accessible, it is not actually affordable.

This is very difficult for people who've never been poor to understand: The cost of car ownership breaks people, all the time. Daily. Broke me, once.
You can try to subsidize car ownership, if you like, but that comes at expense of housing, because for one thing, cars suck 25% of the money out of the economy, but more importantly, cars are most useful for mobility when housing is in a sprawl pattern, which is ...
Read 6 tweets

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