District Digest Header
Home | About | Join
In This Issue
Board of Directors
Karin Flood
Union Square Business Improvement District
Steven Welliver
Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.
Vice President
Andrew Thomas
Westwood Village Improvement Association
Maggie Campbell
Downtown Santa Barbara, Inc.
Blage Zelalich
City of San Jose
At-Large Directors
Downtown Association of Santa Cruz
Byron Best
Walnut Creek Downtown
Jessica Lall
Central City Association
Joseph Mariani
Hollywood Entertainment District BID
Steve Mulheim
Old Pasadena Management District
Steve Snider
Downtown Oakland and Lake Merritt-Uptown District Associations
Liz Studebaker
City of San Diego
Dominic Tartaglia
San Luis Obispo Downtown Association
Immediate Past President
Kent Smith
LA Fashion District 

Submit News
Have a news story or a project you'd like to highlight in the CDA
District Digest?

CDA Members
Arlington Business Partnership
Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association
City of Dana Point
City of Folsom
City of Glendora
City of Lancaster
City of Los Angeles, Office of the City Clerk
City of Monterey Park
City of Oakland
City of Ontario
City of Temple City
City of Tracy
County of Santa Cruz - Office of Economic Development
David Jinkens
Dinuba Chamber of Commerce
Downtown Association of Santa Cruz
Downtown Berkeley Association
Downtown Long Beach Associates
Downtown Los Angeles
Downtown Oakland Association/ Lake Merritt Uptown District Association
Downtown Oxnard Merchants Association
Downtown Pomona Owners Association
Downtown Roseville Partnership
Downtown Sacramento Partnership
Downtown San Diego Partnership
Downtown San Mateo Association
Downtown Santa Barbara, Inc.
Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.
Downtown Ventura Partners
Downtown Visalians, Inc.
Figueroa Corridor Partnership
Gateway to LA Airport Business District
Gilroy Economic Development
HB Downtown Business Improvement District
Hollywood Property Owners Alliance
Ironsmith, Inc.
LA Downtown Industrial District BID
LA Fashion District BID
Los Angeles Neighborhood Inititaive
MJM Management Group
North Tahoe Business Association
ParkSmart, Inc.
Paso Robles Main Street Association
Progressive Urban Management Associates, Inc.
R Street Sacramento Partnership
Riverside Downtown Partnership
San Jose Downtown Association
San Luis Obispo Downtown Association
South Park BID
The Downtown Burbank Partnership
The Placemaking Group
The River District
Tracy City Center Association
Tulare Downtown Association
Ukiah Main Street Program
Union Square BID
Urban Place Consulting Group, Inc.
Vista Village Business Association
Walnut Creek Downtown Business Association
Wilshire Center Business Improvement District
May 2017
Accessible Parking Reform Is Needed
Andrew Thomas VP

Disabled placard misuse harms our commercial districts by reducing available on-street parking for both able-bodied and disabled drivers. Parking inventory rarely increases, so while we wait for people to drive less or be delivered to their destinations by autonomous vehicles, we must better manage a limited resource.

I use the word "misuse" and not "abuse" because the 2.75 million placard holders in California (over 7 percent of the population) are within their legal rights to use them. However, the ease in which any resident can obtain a placard has the unintended consequence of diluting the important protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Our current system has been overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of misusers, and this means people who truly need access to free parking in close proximity to their destinations can't find spaces any more than drivers who must pay.

On-street parking inventory has been dramatically reduced by misusers and it's easy to see that the appeal of free parking is to blame. In Los Angeles, over 40 percent of metered spaces are occupied by vehicles using disabled placards. Compounding the issue is the fact that vehicles using placards park seven times longer than other cars. Think about the cost of daily parking in your district and do the math. The incentive to obtain a placard is significant.

Misuse results in lost revenues. In Los Angeles, lost meter revenue equals as much as $50 per day. This amounts to $13,000 per year, per meter. In my 25-square block Westwood BID in Los Angeles, our annual lost meter revenue is nearly $2 million, and this doesn't include any of the losses local businesses and the City suffer when frustrated customers give up and drive elsewhere. These revenues could easily be spent to repair our streets and sidewalks, to provide housing and services to our homeless, and be invested to make our districts safer and more welcoming.

Other states and cities have implemented solutions to stop misuse with most distinguishing between those whose disabilities severely restricts movement or the ability to operate a meter. The results are staggering. In Michigan, just 2 percent of placard holders requested a placard that mandates free on-street parking. In Portland, Oregon, the city found the number of vehicles using placards to park for free dropped as much as 70 percent.

A change to California law is required since state law will not allow its cities to create their own rules regarding placard parking. The lobby advocating against change is strong, but there is more buzz surrounding this issue than ever before. Now is the time for reform. Our legislators must stand for the able-bodied and disabled to stop the misuse in our current system to make parking truly accessible to all.

Andrew Thomas
Executive Director
Westwood Village Improvement Association

This month's legislative activity is dominated by several important deadlines in the Capitol. The first deadline, May 19th, marks the final day for policy committees to hear and vote on bills introduced in that same house. During the month of May, we see a significant uptick in legislative activity as legislators prepare their bills for consideration by the appropriate committees. The California Downtown Association is engaged in two key bills so far this year. Bills supported by CDA: 
  • SB 2 (Atkins, D-San Diego) which would enact the "Building Homes and Jobs Act" and impose a fee of $75, not to exceed $225 per transaction, at the time of recording of specified real estate documents in order to generate approximately $200-$300m annually to fund affordable housing projects.  Funds would be deposited in the Housing & Community Development's Building Homes and Jobs Trust Fund to support eligible affordable housing projects. The bill was approved by the Senate Committee on Transportation & Housing as well as the Committee on Governance & Finance. The bill is in the Appropriations Committee now and we expect another vote on the bill before the end of May. 
  • AB 1326 (Cooper, D-Elk Grove & Cervantes, D-Corona) would address the increasing recurrence of theft by changing the threshold for a felony from $950 for the value of the individual occurrences of a crime -- to the aggregate amount of the crime value in a 1-year period totaling $950. The bill was not heard in the policy committee by the deadline due to a lack of support from the Assembly Committee on Public Safety. Since the legislative deadline has passed, the bill will be eligible to be heard again in 2018. 
2016-17 State Budget May Revise
Another key period in May is the release of the "May Revise" which is when the Governor submits a financial update based on the April tax revenues and fine-tunes his January budget proposal for the 2017-18 fiscal year. It includes funding for the rising state minimum wage, which is scheduled to increase to $11 per hour in 2018 and to $15 per hour overtime. The "May Revise" also expands healthcare coverage to undocumented children and the millions of Californians covered under the federal Affordable Care Act.
Overall, the $180 billion budget proposal closely mirrors the plan submitted to the Legislature in January, maintaining a cautious approach amid uncertainty about the direction of the economy and possible federal actions that could hurt the state's bottom line. The revised plan follows disappointing revenue numbers for April, the state's biggest tax filing month, but reflects a small uptick in projected revenue from the January package.
With efforts in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act, change tax law, and take other actions that could hit the state hard, t he Governor told reporters the economy's direction is unclear.  Brown said, warning about the economy: "Make no doubt about it, cuts are coming in the next few years, and they'll be big."

Jason Bryant 
Bryant Government Affairs
April 2017 Legislative  Update 

Visit the California Downtown Association website and view available  presentations from the 2017 West Coast Urban District Forum  by clicking the [DOWNLOAD] button. A new window will open with the presentation PDF. Topics include:
  • Research
  • Retail
  • Residential 
  • Marketing
  • Homelessness
  • Authenticity 
  • and more...
Sacramento is Big Winner in AMGEN Tour of California
Race generates $3 million in economic activity.

Bold Lighting Makes California Garage a Highly Visible Landmark
American City & County
When it comes to citing examples of notable urban architecture, county parking garages usually... Read More >>

The Expo Line is Already Transforming the Westside
Los Angeles Magazine
A year after the rail extension's debut, new pedestrian-friendly developments are springing up around stations. Read More >>
Tackling Some 'Ridiculously High' Traffic Fines
The New York Times
A bill in the State Legislature would make California the first state to assess traffic fines by income... Read More >>

California's DMV isn't Making Sure People who Have Disabled Parking Permits Should Actually Have Them
Los Angeles Times
The California Department of Motor Vehicles isn't making sure that people issued placards for disabled... Read More>>

Placemaking: Creating Urban Spaces People Love
San Diego Downtown News
The desire to reshape and reimagine public spaces is not a new one. From large plazas to small parks... Read More >>

The Need for Safe Speeds: 4 Surprising Ways Slower Driving Creates Better Cities
The City Fix
This week is UN Global Road Safety Week, focused on the theme "Slow Down, Save Lives." Read More >>

Chinatown Sees Tourism Slowdown, Blames Trump Travel Ban
Foot traffic is down, tours feel light, stores aren't moving as much Chinatown kitsch as they usually do... Read More >>

California's Self-Driving Cars are Rolling - and Sometimes Crashing
The Sacramento Bee
Self-driving cars have logged hundreds of thousands of test-drive miles on California highways over the.. Read More>>

In Downtown, Street Artists Find a Surprising New Patron: Developers
Los Angeles Downtown News
Say hello to Downtown's newest Instagram bait: A mural at Eighth and Hope streets, on the back of... Read More >>

London - Photographed by the Young and Homeless
The Guardian
The Guardian is hosting a new exhibition of images by young people affected by homelessness... Read More >>

Funky Dutch Crosswalks Celebrate the Pedestrian
If a nerd-god spilled his Scrabble set down upon earth, you might get something resembling the newest... Read More >>

Is your entire staff reading this newsletter?
Please forward to your team and ask them to sign up !

Spread the Word

CDA District Digest Leadership

Executive Editor:
Karin Flood
President, CDA
Allison Shashok
Marketing & Communications Manager, IDA

Do you have your ear to the ground when it comes to the latest downtown news in your region?
To submit news to be considered for inclusion in the newsletter, please contact Allison Shashok at allison@downtown.org.