Introducing Municipography!

This is an idea that I’ve always wanted to do but haven’t because of the amount of time it would take. However, it wasn’t until recently that I noticed the video streams on the city’s website had a spiffy update I never noticed before. Joy!

Videography + Municipal issues = Municipography. (Connoisseurs like big words) The idea was to take the entire video feed of every Raleigh City Council meeting and cut out the issues that are relevant to downtown. This is a great way to tap your inner municipal geek or just hear the discussions taking place on issues you are interested in.

I’d like to attempt this experiment a few times to see how it turns out. If there are technical issues, let me know. I’m nervous about the Silverlight requirement but it could be worth it. Also, readers subscribed to the e-mail will most likely have to jump to the main site to view the videos.

I’ll include the agenda items with each video and add any other relevant information. As mentioned, the videos are there also to see how it went down.

City Council Meeting on April 5th, 2011

Review of the City’s Parking Program

The Finance and Public Works Departments have maintained an ongoing work group to evaluate the current status of the City’s enterprise Parking Funds (442 and 444). This is based on the premise that the Parking Fund is intended to be entirely self-sufficient beginning in FY06, with revenues coming from the parking fees and fines generated within the on and off-street parking programs. The stagnant commercial development and the closing or downsizing of many downtown businesses and corporations has made a significant impact on revenue projections. A detailed report and copy of the updated fund model is included in the agenda packet.

Recommendation:
Refer to the Budget and Economic Committee to review the revenue options.

—-Additional information—-

The projected parking revenue shortfall, if no corrective action is taken, is $1,432,040. The plan cited the weak economy and subsequent loss of off-street parking contracts, lower transient on-street parking revenue than anticipated, and an increase in the debt service as the main causes of the projected shortfall.

The options offered by the plan for correcting the projected shortfall include:

  • Charging for use of parking decks in the evenings and on weekends and installation of automated payment equipment, to facilitate payments from evening and weekend patrons;
  • Focusing on collecting $2,558,746 of unpaid and recoverable parking fines;
  • Receiving legislative approval to boot vehicles with outstanding parking tickets or fines;
  • Initiating a tax refund intercept to collect unpaid fines from state tax refunds;
  • Obtaining Department of Motor Vehicle holds on vehicle registration renewals;
  • Selling advertising space in City-owned parking decks;
  • Reimbursing the enterprise Parking Fund through a General Fund subsidy for the revenues foregone by the fund in support of City activities, such as;
    • Street closures due to City-sponsored or supported special events;
    • Non-charged use of parking spaces by City guests or employees; and,
    • Other City-sponsored or supported activities resulting in loss of revenues.

Urban Agriculture and Community Gardens in the City of Raleigh

During the 2030 Comprehensive Planning process, staff recognized the importance of the urban agriculture movement as a national trend, and flagged the issue for further study. A long-term action item regarding community gardening was adopted in the Plan (Section C.9 Environmental Education Awareness and Coordination). Additionally, City Council has received citizen petitions requesting public land for the establishment of community gardens. In 2010 the City established a working group of community garden advocates and City staff to look at ways to remove obstacles to City-wide community gardening efforts on private property and examine opportunities for it on public lands. There will be a presentation of the findings and recommendations.

Recommendation:
That the report be accepted.

Options for CAT Service between Moore Square and Union Station

The Passenger Rail Task Force was asked to evaluate options for providing service between the Moore Square Transit Station and the proposed Union Station. The Task Force has evaluated this deliverable as requested by the City Council and will present recommendations regarding this proposed future service. A copy of the Task Force’s resolution is included in the agenda packet.

Recommendation:
Endorse the findings of the Passenger Rail Task Force regarding this future service.

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5 Comments

  1. Leo, Great Idea! I only want to hear about downtown Raleigh updates, this is to the point and productive. Now citizens need to vote out the weak links: Crowder, Odom and Boner

    Thx for new feature

  2. The proposed implementation of paid parking during the weekends will only hurt downtown businesses, which will bring down the tax revenue overall. I am not a fan of this idea at all…

  3. I don’t think they should extend hours or fees on parking either. What is the shortfall truly from? Financing the decks that they built? The cost of all of those new parking stations implemented this year? New attendants/training/staff to handle the new parking system?

  4. I agree. The demand for parking in downtown on the weekends is so low that charging for it doesn’t make sense. On big event days, there is still just a small blip of parking being used. It takes a massive Raleigh Wide Open like event to fill decks close to capacity and those don’t happen often enough AND they charge for parking on those days already.

  5. The clear answer is to focus on collecting the $2.5M owed. They have some good ideas such as booting, tax refund intercept, etc. Charging for nights and weekends will be the worse idea. It will deter folks from coming downtown and will hurt the image of the greedy Raleigh council.

    There is plenty of parking decks in downtown proper so they should not need to charge, unlike Glenwood South which charges for parking. To me, that’s a big turnoff so I’d rather find free parking on the street or take the R-Line.

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