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Parking and Smart Growth

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  • 1. Parking Barriers to Smart Growth1 Wali Memon Wali Memon
  • 2. Why is Parking Important? Parking supply and management is the difference between smart growth and sprawl: Parking consumes Stuart Cohen, Transportation and Land Use Coalition land Parking is expensive We need to manage and supply parking in line with broader goals
  • 3. How is Parking Regulated? Most local jurisdictions levy minimum parking requirements Key aim: avoid spillover Usually based on standards in neighboring jurisdictions, or derived from ITE Parking Generation
  • 4. Effects of Minimum Parking Requirements Cost Makes Smart Growth less financially feasible Housing less affordable Land unavailable for other uses Impacts on design and pedestrian friendliness Generates traffic Ample, free parking provides little incentive to use alternative modes
  • 5. How Much is Enough? No right answer No such thing as set “demand” for parking: Pricing Availability Transportation choices Supply is a value judgment based on wider community goals Don’t confuse supply and availability
  • 6. Parking Barriers to Smart Growth Two Scenarios Where Parking Hinders Smart Growth 1. Developers forced to provide more parking than unconstrained demand, due to: High minimum parking requirements Inflexible parking requirements 2. No incentives/requirements for developers to manage parking to support Smart Growth goals
  • 7. Three Broad Approaches for LocalJurisdictions 1. Tailor minimum parking requirements to match demand 2. Incentivize or require parking strategies to reduce vehicle trips and promote smart growth 3. Abolish parking requirements – let the market decide Choice depends on local context and planning goals
  • 8. Tailor Minimum Parking Requirements Parking demand varies with geographic factors: Density Transit Access Income Household size Cities can tailor parking requirements to meet demand, based on these factors
  • 9. Tailor Minimum Parking Requirements Local Examples Mountain View and San Jose – parking reductions for transit oriented development San Rafael – reduced parking requirements downtown Menlo Park and Milpitas – reduced parking requirements for high- density housing Palo Alto and Marin County – studies to tailor parking requirements to meet demand
  • 10. Tailor Minimum Parking Requirements Advantages: Avoids spillover problems Reduces impacts of minimum parking requirements Disadvantages: Complex to introduce effectively Does not constrain parking demand Sees parking requirements as a technical exercise, not a policy decision
  • 11. Constrain Supply Overall principle: encourage less auto-oriented development Promotes self-selection – residents with fewer cars live close to transit Different approaches: Parking maximums Catherine Preston, City of Cambridge Requirements/incentives for demand management Needs to be complemented with Residential Permit Parking or other strategies to stop overspill
  • 12. Parking Maximums Promote alternatives to the private automobile Can tackle congestion if related to roadway capacity or mode shift goals Maximize land area for other uses Appropriate in areas with strong real estate market where priority is to minimize auto dependence Examples: downtown San Francisco, Portland, Cambridge
  • 13. Parking Management Strategies Can be mandated or incentivized Strategies to reduce parking demand: Pricing Unbundling Car-Sharing Other demand management (e.g. EcoPasses) Strategies to reduce parking impacts: Shared parking Structured parking Stacked parking/parking lifts Design requirements (e.g. wrap parking in active uses)
  • 14. Abolish Parking Requirements Let developers, the public and the market decide Create a level playing field Needs complementary Residential Permit Parking Adam Millard-Ball, NelsonNygaard strategy to combat overspill
  • 15. Role of Transit Agencies Revise joint development policies – particularly parking replacement Consider the total ridership potential of the project Housing and commercial development generate more ridership per acre than surface commuter parking Encourage projects that minimize parking and focus on the transit resources
  • 16. Role of Regional Agencies Promote best practices Follow up studies of parking demand at completed developments Condition major transportation investments on supportive land uses policies – particularly parking Direct TLC/HIP funds to projects that minimize parking
  • 17. Adam Millard-Ball, NelsonNygaard Questions

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