Readers have plenty to say when it comes to parking and the Westside Subway Extension

Our poll about parking on the subway continues to be a lopsided affair, with about 88% of those who responded saying lack of parking won’t stop them from riding the Westside Subway Extension. More details on the issue here.

The vote may not be close, but the comments have been pretty tasty. Here’s the string of comments deposited on the Westside Subway Extension’s Facebook page:

Gann Matsuda If you want to get people out of their cars, you need park and ride!

Yusef Shafi Park and Ride has been fundamental for the success of BART and the DC Metro. Some amount of parking, within reason (not talking about HUGE garages at the high density urban stations…), can’t hurt.

Brian Won parking is definitely going to be an issue, anyone saying otherwise is dreaming!

Dairenn Lombard Yeah I mean if the station is more than a 5 minute walk away, I know I’d sooner drive.

Larry Andrick I live at the east end of Silver Lake; the closest Red Line station is Vermont/Sta Monica, with very limited long-term parking options. Result? I take the subway much less often than I otherwise might if I could drive to the station & safely park for much of the day. There must be a population like this around nearly every station. How could parking NOT help increase ridership?

Johnny Huang I really appreciate the letter they posted. The poll leaves a lot unanswered. It should give an option for people who would ride the subway as long as there was SOME parking (cheap/free or not). That should be an obvious necessity. In a cit…

Brent Bigler Lauren Cole’s letter adds a valuable dimension to the parking question, but I would point out some additional issues:

1) The highest and best use of subway money is the construction of the subway. In dense neighborhoods with adequate ridership potential, parking should be well down the list.

2) The cost balancing equation (subway parking fees + ticket costs < destination parking fees + gasoline costs) omits time. Even now, commuters can use cheap bus services that fit the equation, but they mostly drive, probably because driving is faster and easier. I don’t expect the subway to change the balance for many commuters living further than walking or cycling distance from a stop.

3) Parking, even if expensive, may already be available near many expected Westside stops.

4) Any problems with commuters circling neighborhoods for parking could be handled creatively through restricted zones or higher fees.

Larry Andrick I have to take exception with the construction of that survey question, in that the “either/or” nature of the choices will skew at least some responses. It’s missing an optional answer, and as an element of planning, it’s the response I vi…ew as potentially the most important: If you *really* want to know the effect of parking, allow people to respond: “I’ll ride, but less often than I would if I could easily park nearby.” Aren’t you trying to find the delta, the change in ridership based on the variable of parking?

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