Ask anyone in a destination neighborhood what the biggest headache is and if she doesn’t say, “Ohmigod, parking,” she says , “Ohmigod traffic.” It usually always comes down to where to put your blasted car.
But here’s a news flash: East Liberty has a surplus of parking pretty much any time of day, any day. If your only experience trying to park in EL is driving around and around the Whole Foods lot, you might be as surprised as I am.
It just goes to show that you sometimes do need a study.
After several public meetings last fall,the phase 1 (walkability accessibility and parking) draft report of East Liberty's Circulation and Mobility Action Plan is out now with some interesting data that suggest that even with new developments coming on line this year and next, there is enough parking if it were shared and there will be enough, if shared, for the next 10 years.
Zoning requirements of parking maximums have been lashed to the whipping posts by urban advocates who promote planning for a future with fewer cars. Whether zoning minimums would forge a future of fewer cars is another day’s discussion.
Some points from the report:
+ Approximately 1,700 parking spaces are
unoccupied at noon during weekday peak
+ If these unoccupied spaces were replaced
with structured parking, the spaces would
cost $25M+ to construct, not including land
+ These unoccupied spaces consume 10
acres of space in the district.
+ Everyday these unoccupied spaces are
underutilized and zoning requirements
mandate that new development add to the
+ Businesses, including restaurants, are driving
parking demand on the weekend like the
+ During the weekend peak there are more
than 2,700 spaces unoccupied, about 1,000
more vacant spaces than weekday peak
+ Approximately 3,400parking spaces are
unoccupied during weekend evening peak
Some conclusions from the report:
"A significant amount of unoccupied spaces (surplus of parking supply) exists during peak weekday and weekend conditions;
“The issue is not a lack of supply, rather it is the lack of access to the available supply. There are physical and programmatic barriers to parking; but perhaps even more importantly [sic] there is a perception of lack of access.”