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HCoFP: chapter 3: more junk science

Less intensive blogging, I'm running out of steam. Shoup talks more about the basically blind guesswork that goes into setting minimum parking requirements, including a whole list of what different cities use for funeral parlors: 1 per 100 sqft, per 200 or 250, 1 per N seats, N per parlor, N per funeral vehicle... there's mention of the difficulty of setting requirements by usage, which can change a lot, or be gamed (some churches are dunned per permanent seating, so they use folding chairs instead.) An economist can recognize this all as the symptoms of doing socialism badly, rather than allowing a flexible market in parking which could adjust to changes in usage.

"Planners try to estimate how many parking spaces every land use needs to meet the peak demand for *free* parking, not how many spaces drivers will demand at a price that covers the cost of the spaces." Probably can't be said enough.

ITE suggests 2.79 spaces per 1000 sqft of office space; a survey of 9 Southeastern states found 3.7 spaces legally required on average. A survey of California cities found 3.8. Surveys of suburban office parks have found actually usage of 40-60% of the available spaces, even at peak. Higher in Seattle, where the average was 63%. Many other examples are given.

Half-empty parking lots often look fuller, with the most visible spaces filled first.

Montgomery County, AL, requires funeral parlors to provide 83 spaces per 1000 sqft, resulting in a lot 27x larger than the chapel.

Parking requirements are set to satisfy projected demand for peak parking in the busiest hour of the year. Or the busiest 5th hour, or 20th hour. This implies that even if full then -- which it often isn't -- there'll be lots of wasted space, which as above there is. Especially if peak demand is spikey.

I just looked at Bloomington, Indiana's parking requirements. Yep, just as bad as Shoup says, with typically 4-5 spaces (1300-1600 square feet) per 1000 square feet. 5 for restaurants under 5000 square feet, 10 for restaurants above that. Why? One per employee, plus extras, for many businesses. 5 per 1000 sqft for "sexually oriented businesses", I'm just amused at the category.
Chapter 20.05 -- Development Standards, pdf page 75
http://bloomington.in.gov/udo

Putting words to the obvious: requiring parking increases car mobility but decreases proximity and mobility by foot, bike, or transit, as well as increasing congestion.

When parking requirements are raised, old buildings are usually grandfathered in, but barred from switching to new uses where they don't satisfy the new requirements. Economic flexibility is crippled. And parking reqs have cycled upwards over the years.

Carmel prohibits on-site parking downtown, collecting fees instead with which it builds and runs shared parking on the periphery of downtown. In residential areas, street-facing garages can't be wider than one car, limiting amount of streescape they take up. SeaTac requires commercial parking to be beside or behind buildings, not in front; this is part of design making parking more human-friendly.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
martianmooncrab
Feb. 21st, 2013 08:47 am (UTC)
there is a great to-do in the Portland Oregon area, they have been approving apartment block infill in the city without mandating they provide parking. They have touted the mass transit system as being sufficient, but then, they have cut back on bus routes and raised fares. One of their solutions is to charge residents a $60 a year parking fee.

It doesnt matter what you charge if there just isnt any street parking for the current residents in the neighborhoods.
resonant
Feb. 21st, 2013 01:43 pm (UTC)
The City of Toronto has been mandating that new condos in some areas come with a one-year transit pass. The hope is that people will become accustomed to transit rather than driving.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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