Of Fires and Parking — Escondido


Of Fires and Parking — Escondido

Four years ago fires surrounded this Southern California Community and this week they came again. The city was spared, as were most of the homes in the surrounding area, but the city council is still embroiled in the decision to ban overnight on street parking, in certain areas. You can read about it here but I will summarize. I don’t think there is any connection between the fires and the parking ban…

Escondido is trying to upgrade its image, wanting to look more like a tony community near San Francisco than a working class area on the edges of San Diego. Like many Southern California Communities it has an immigration problem. It is only about 50 miles from the border and many illegals have decided to put down roots and live there. These folks have a lot of cars, mostly older, needing some repair. They also have no place to park them, except of course, on the street. 

The city would "look" a lot nicer if there were no cars on the street overnight (all cities would look nicer if there were no cars at all, but there you go).  So the suggestion was made to ban overnight parking on street.  This would have an "unintended" side affect of driving out illegals who would have no place to park their cars and therefore have to seek housing elsewhere.

But there is a problem — It also affects residents who have a number of vehicles and need that on street space and who are so called "legitimate" residents. The council got itself into a bind, and are looking for a way out.

So they have hired Walker Parking Consultants to study the situation and figure out how to have no on street parking overnight but at the same time allow some residents to park on street overnight. Yes, the council wants to have it both ways, and my buddies at Walker are being asked to play Solomon and figure it out.

Sigh — Someone once told me that the purpose of consultants was to take the blame. In this case it makes sense. The city dads and moms have gotten themselves into a tizzy and probably have a political issue getting themselves out.  Having an expert come in and give some facts (probably that there is plenty of parking but that the overnight ban will affect virtually every sector of Escondido society) will give the council some room to maneuver.

Gird your self well, consultant. You are definitely going where the most fear to tread.


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John Van Horn

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