How Can Cities Improve Their Use of Public Space for Parking Cars?


Parking Reform Made Easy(6 Page pdf, Richard Willson, ACCESS #43, University of California Institute of Transportation Studies, Fall 2013)
The amount of paved urban space dedicated to parking and driving private vehicles approaches 50% in many cities, crowding out elements of healthy cities such as green space, car-free pedestrian areas and cycling paths and contributing directly or indirectly to greenhouse gas emissions 80% of which come from cities.
Today we review a proposal to approach the way that cities regulate parking that moves away from traditional systems that encourage car travel, lower density urban cores and higher traffic congestion through wasteful land use to one that raises the priority for buses, cycling and pedestrian use.
The solution is to approach the challenge with a focus on making better use of parking spaces, adjusting that use incrementally by incorporating local needs and policy goals into Transportation Master Plans and Official Plans (planning mechanisms used by Canadian municipalities) – specifically by moving away from mandated minimum 300 sq. ft. parking spaces to a system that does not supply parking spaces until they are justified economically.

Traffic to/from the parking spaces on this sid...

Traffic to/from the parking spaces on this side is isolated from the rest of the road. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

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2 Responses

  1. Wheeler, in his 2004 book, defines sustainable urban development as “development that improves the long-term social and ecological health of cities and towns.” He sketches a ‘sustainable’ city’s features: compact, efficient land use; less automobile use, yet better access; efficient resource use; less pollution and waste; the restoration of natural systems; good housing and living environments; a healthy social ecology; a sustainable economy; community participation and involvement; and preservation of local culture and wisdom.

  2. We’re taking another look at urban supermarket planning, specifically the issue of how to get quality food markets built in underserved neighborhoods (so-called food deserts) — where people often walk or take transit to the store. They write about how cities like New York and Washington, DC, can encourage supermarket construction by relaxing onerous zoning requirements for parking spaces.

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