The Northwest District Association's meeting tonight will collect residents' opinions about a new proposal by Mayor Sam Adams and the Portland Bureau of Transportation that aims to discourage Portland Timbers fans from driving to home games. And at least one association official is already raising questions about that proposal.
The proposal (PDF) going to City Council for discussion this Wednesday, March 16 would give the transportation bureau authority to extend the metered hours of almost 450 parking spaces around the renamed stadium on game nights from 7 pm to 10 p.m. And it also would increase meter rates during that three-hour extension from $1.60 to $3.50 per hour.
Bureau officials say extended metered parking hours will reduce neighborhood impacts and minimize traffic congestion caused by drivers looking for that mythical open space.
Gustavo Cruz, vice president of the neighborhood association, is skeptical. He says the NWDA wanted the city to place a 90-minute parking limit around the stadium to discourage fans from parking in the area.
"Why would you make it easier for people to park there? Isn't that backwards?" Cruz says. "I think it would be easy for some people to say if you establish meters and raise fees, fans will park elsewhere."
Tonight's NWDA meeting at Chapman Elementary School begins at 6 pm.