1. Parking decks (as we know them) are experiencing incremental extinction
To be clear, parking structures are still being built, but increasingly with an eye towards a ten to fifteen year horizon where the use of that deck will likely be fundamentally different based on declines in car ownership and increases in autonomous vehicle use. That means designing for easier retrofitting to retail or other non-residential uses, usually by adding a few feet to ceiling heights. Or it means curbing costs and capitalizing on economies of scale by going fully automated with garages that don’t require human labor and can store more cars in a smaller footprint.
Regardless, in more and more places we’re seeing garages adapt based on the anticipation (or realization) of reduced demand.
|Automated garage designed by BRN Architects in Izmir, Turkey
2. On-street parking is off-brand
|Ninth Avenue street improvement project
Image: Economic Benefits of Sustainable Streets; NYC DOT
3. “Smart Parking” is smarter thank you might think
|One of several parking management services offered by NuPark
What do these trends mean for district managers?
Does your district still need a large supply of parking decks? Should it substitute curbside parking for a protected bike lane? If there is a strain on parking, is it based on management or supply? Different districts have different needs and there is no one size fits all strategy here.
As Kimley Horn stated in a report for their White Paper Series, parking guidelines developed by the Institute for Transportation Engineers and Urban Land Institute are “routinely applied in areas they should not be”, meaning that standards for standalone shopping centers are being used for downtown Main Streets. For that reason, any parking intervention should really be predicated on an accurate picture of existing conditions and we have a growing number of tools at our disposal to do that and to bring that picture into sharper relief.