City Plan Commissioner Wants to Take a Long, Hard Look at Dallas Parking Regulations

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Sooner or later, sure, we'll all be biking to work or play. Or taking DART. Or riding hovercrafts. Or jet packs. Or solar-powered water taxis. But till that day happens, well, we gotta park our cars somewhere. And, like I need to tell you, that ain't easy sometimes. Which is why, for instance, the city spent $150,000 to include parking in that Downtown Dallas 360 study we're awaiting by year's end. And why, whenever something like the Bishop Davis Land Use and Zoning Study comes up, one of the first concerns is: But where will people park? And why, when folks discuss specific use permits and proposed rezoning plans for, say, Lower Greenville or Deep Ellum, they wonder why City Hall has such prohibitive parking-space requirements. And why Dwaine Caraway wants to chop down all the parking meters downtown.

Enter the Zoning Ordinance Committee -- specifically, chair Sally Wolfish, who put on yesterday's meeting agenda a "consideration of amendments to Parking regulations." I couldn't make the meeting, so I asked Theresa O'Donnell, head of Sustainable Development and Construction, what that meant exactly. She replies via e-mail that this is Wolfish's idea and promises to get Wolfish or city staff on the phone later today to talk in further detail about how the committee plans to ZOC it to parking regs. Till then, O'Donnell offers an outline of what's up for consideration -- though, in short, you name it:
ZOAC is taking a fairly comprehensive look at the parking regulations. The current chair, Sally Wolfish, has a laundry list of component parts that she plans to work through individually and then take the entire "package" forward for consideration. [Thursday] they finished with administrative reductions to existing parking requirements. This means allowing staff the ability to administratively reduce the parking requirement if the applicant demonstrates to our satisfaction that a strict application of the code is impractical or inefficient. Some of the other components that ZOAC will take up in the near future are mixed-use or shared use, compact parking, valet, etc.
And speaking of driving, in case you haven't heard: Allstate says Dallas drivers go an average of 7.4 years between accidents -- way above the national average. Or, as FOX News puts it, "Study Says America's Worst Drivers Live in Philly, Dallas and LA." Which is why I no longer leave the house.

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