At our weekly meeting last night, the Redmond Planning Commission was asked to review potential changes to the Transportation chapter* of the city's Comprehensive Plan. Microsoft, ever-protective of the short term interests of its investors, dispatched a well-dressed and polite attorney from a reputable private firm to advocate editions that would have weakened Redmond's progressive parking requirements, at least in the opinions of a majority of my fellow commissioners. These limits (~3 stalls/1000 squre feet) are designed to encourage what our City planners call "modesplit". Modesplit is the division of commuters into different travel modes, such as car, bike, and bus. I am a modesplitter. I drive some days and ride my bicycle on others.
Having recently denuded Microsoft employees of an attractive and meaningful (lo, some have argued economical) inducement to commute by means other than single occupancy vehicle, Of COURSE MICROSOFT IS GOING TO NEED MORE PARKING SPACES! The cost efficacy folks who cut on campus towel service do not appear to be as prescient or as well-informed as the company's legal council. That being said, I may have made the same decision had I been in their beancounter shoes. More thoughts in my previous post on the subject, Microsoft Throws in the Towel.
*I'm planning to post the latest version of the City's Transportation chapter online but my ISP is down temporarily. If you'd like a copy, contact me directly.