By the time you read this, your parking and transportation committee will have finished its survey, held a joint neighborhood meeting with Lavaca, and met with more city and county officials. As I write this article, however, the survey is still open. Rather than wait for the June 15 closing date, I snuck a peak at the survey results and was fascinated by them.
First, to those who questioned the design of the survey and its psychometric properties, I say, “Get involved.” From time to time, KWA volunteers have conducted surveys. Wouldn’t it be great if we knew which neighbors were willing to provide expertise on survey design?
As it turned out, KWA mirrored its survey on the one conducted by the Lavaca Neighborhood Association, which is partnering with us on the parking and transportation committee. Yes, LNA beat us to the punch. Because we are working jointly, comparable questions for the initial survey were important to us.
LNA had 70 respondents, and KWA will have over 150. With neighborhoods of approximately a thousand addresses each, do you think our results are statistically significant? If not, we’re still pleased with the outcome.
I didn’t expect any new ideas or proposed solutions to surface from the survey, so I was surprised to see a few. One interesting idea was to eliminate parking on the streets overnight, but I think the people that proposed this idea don’t realize that a number of neighbors have no driveways and have no room to install them.
Then there are neighbors with more cars than space in their driveway, either because of the number of adults living in the household or because the home has an apartment. On the flip side, there are residents with driveways who do not use them.
Another interesting idea that seems like a nonstarter is to forget any new regulation and focus solely on enforcement. Of course, the committee and our executive director have been asking for more enforcement, but enforcement alone is probably not enough when the number of cars continues to grow.
The majority of our historic streets were built before a 20-foot fire lane was a concern. That safety requirement is non-negotiable. Most likely, we need a combination of adequate enforcement, shared parking, a parking garage and parking alternatives like bike racks. The committee is not proposing any one solution. We want the professionals at the City to figure it out.
- Rose Kanusky, Chair