In hopes of starting a regular Capricious Commuter Guest Flame-Fest on issues of interest, here is an e-mail from former BART director Roy Nakadegawa, P.E., to Tim Hunt, associate publisher of the Pleasanton-based Tri-Valley Herald, talking about Hunts commentary on a lack of parking at subway stations, in the Bay Area and on a trip to the Washington, D.C., Area.:
Its the classic suburban vs. urban view of transit, in my humble opinion, but read for yourself.
I was reviewing my various email and found I never responded to your misguided view on parking.
Your note on what I expressed about lack of parking on your trip to DC
with Amador Civics team on May 14, 2006, Oakland Tribune was:
Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, former BART and AC Transit Director Roy Nakadegawa saw my commentary about the Amador civics team and public transit in Washington, D.C.
Roy’s response, that ran Saturday, [ I checked the Saturday paper and even other people asked me for the Saturday copy but nothing there] to what he described as my car-oriented comments about lack of parking at (Washington Area) Metro stations exemplifies the difference between those of us who live in the suburbs and city dwellers.
I beg to differ with Roy’s analysis and would offer simply the reality that most of us are unlikely to rely on two modes of public transportation in areas that are not densely populated. To limit parking in a Virgina suburb is the same ill-advised social engineering mindset that some BART officials have used to limit parking at key suburb terminal stations.
Nobody expects parking at Montgomery Street or Civic Center in San Francisco, but almost everyone expects it at Dublin-Pleasant on or the Fremont station.
Associate Publisher Tim Hunt’s column appears Sundays.
Your REALITY totally disregards overall public costs of providing parking and its social inequity. The overall cost to build West Pittsburg BART extension at $150 million per mile was just over half a billion dollars. Around 4,000 parking spaces were provided and this portion of line was estimated to provide 13,000+ trips per day after 20 years operation. If all the spaces were utilized, they would generate about 9,000 trips per weekday (1.125 per space times 2 for trips to/from BART) or roughly 70% of the Extensions trips. I calculate the cost for each rider would be over $35 per trip or $70 round trip and the fare collected would be less than $3 or $6 per day round trip at the most.
So, the daily subsidy would be $64 per day which is about what a family of four gets on welfare. But the BART trip is usually a quarter of that persons total daily trip.
AT Balboa Park Station has no parking, so 50% of BART users pay and additional local transit fare to use BART.
And BARTs survey showed that household incomes of Balboa Park BART user over $60,000 was 40% less the West Pittsburg, the lowest suburban household income station of BART
Overall parking only generates about 30% of the total daily BART trips while most BART users living in dense urban areas riders access BART other than the auto. Adding to this inequity is that the operation/maintenance of parking is paid from fares by 70% of the riders who do not use parking.
Spending such large sums for public transit should be expended in an orderly, rational and equitable manner. But you seem to support Reality as providing inequity of services and cost.
-Roy Nakadegawa P.E.