Exhibit 1: The BPA Fine Increase Proposal (41)

(41st in a series of posts on parking)

Parking fines

Let’s take a look at the Desman memo dated Sept 13 that makes the case for the fine increase. It’s attached to the Sept 24 letter from BPA asking that the proposal be considered by Council.

Mark it Exhibit 1.

Gadfly hopes it is fair to say that there are two “drivers” in the Desman study dated June 6: to achieve better parking management (i.e., more turnover) and increased revenue.

Now look at the proposal memo to Council. It contains 6 pages, 16 paragraphs, and 2 charts.

The two “drivers” are not treated nearly equally. There is substantial detail on the first driver, little on the second.

Paragraphs 11-13 deal with revenue. There is no problem with paragraphs 11-12. Paragraph 12 cites the need for revenue to cover “a 10-year capital repair and maintenance program. . . . budgeted at more than $6 million over the next 10 years.” Godspeed.

Paragraph 13 deals with the Walnut St and Polk St garages. In this fashion: “there are two capital improvement projects that the Authority may be initiating in the next several years. These include the demolition and reconstruction of the Walnut Street Garage and the construction of a new Polk Street Garage facility. These projects, in addition to operating expense, existing debt service and capital repairs must also be funded through Authority-wide parking revenues and resources. Again, for these reasons the fine increases noted above are warranted.”

For Gadfly the status of these two garage projects has been foggy. He has never gotten a straight answer about the exact status of either.

Leave out the Walnut St garage.

The paragraph is internally inconsistent. It says the Polk St may be initiated but also that we need to fund it.

Further, as perhaps Gadfly can show in more detail later, it seems pretty clear that preliminary work on the Polk St. has already begun. There is no “may” about it.

Now all Gadfly can think of to put a better spin on this for BPA is that what was meant to be said is that actual construction may be initiated in the next several years.

Gadfly may agree that we need the Polk St. garage. But he feels twisted by the rather obvious minimization of the revenue driver and the fuzzy if not outright disingenuous language in the presentation.

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