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Author Topic: Parking requirements and shared parking  (Read 8181 times)
PonderInc
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« on: August 18, 2008, 03:14:09 pm »

How can Tulsa change our goofy parking requirements?  Check out Google Earth and try to find a parking lot that's more than 50% full (not counting car dealerships).  

We are paving our city--transforming residential areas and green space into heat islands and barren asphalt deserts--all because of ridiculous parking requirements.  

The zoning code parking requirements assume peak use, all day every day by every establishment...and they assume that sharing spaces between establishments is bad.  Developers plan parking lots to accomodate maximum intensity on the site to allow for greatest flexibility to them.  (Even if the tenants who actually lease the site don't need that much parking.)

Other cities have formulas to allow for shared parking.  Why doesn't Tulsa?  (We are basically using shared parking when we park at Blockbuster during the two hours each day that Pei Wei is busy...)  Why do we require developers to trash our city to create empty parking lots?

Why do we determine parking requirements before we even know who will build on a given site?
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AVERAGE JOE
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2008, 03:25:03 pm »

Good topic. I'd be curious to know exactly how many parking spaces there are within the city limits of Tulsa. If I had to guess, I'd say there are probably 2-3 times the number of spaces as there are cars to park in them.

Think that's a crazy guess?
Parking outnumbers drivers 3-to-1
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pmcalk
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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2008, 03:52:23 pm »

Keep in mind that the extra parking spaces you see may not have been required by the zoning code.  Some cities have moved towards parking caps, not just minimum parking requirements.  I would be interested in knowing how many developments have actually exceeded the required parking.
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inteller
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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2008, 07:06:24 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by PonderInc

How can Tulsa change our goofy parking requirements?  Check out Google Earth and try to find a parking lot that's more than 50% full (not counting car dealerships).


http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=36.183287,-95.888004&z=17&t=h&hl=en

[B)]
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Hoss
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I might be moving to Montana soon...


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« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2008, 07:20:48 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by inteller

quote:
Originally posted by PonderInc

How can Tulsa change our goofy parking requirements?  Check out Google Earth and try to find a parking lot that's more than 50% full (not counting car dealerships).


http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=36.183287,-95.888004&z=17&t=h&hl=en

[B)]



How about excluding the airport then... [8D]
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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2008, 08:19:09 am »

This is something I have always wondered about here, I have also wondered about zoning in general, seem to be way too hard to do so many things based, on what seems to be archaic ordinances or misguided anyway.

Maybe if everyone would stop fighting for a moment and focus on the real problems instead of just assuming there is some conspiracy against everyone but the “elite” group.

Either way, way to much parking in Tulsa. Maybe the few times parking is busy (the winter) people would consider taking a bus or car pooling when shopping/eating.
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Ronda74146
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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2008, 02:33:00 pm »

I am a former truck driver. Before I came off the road, the old Bruce's truck stop was not open yet. Flying J was the only big truck stop we had. The two QT truck stops are small. Why not convert an abandoned car parking lot into a lot where only truck drivers who live in Tulsa have a secure place to park and go home for their needed time off? Truckers, by Tulsa's ordiance, cannot park their tractors or whole rigs on Tulsa city streets. In December of 2006 Flying J stated that the drivers who live here cannot park their trucks there and go home. They stated that those drivers had to spend their entire time off with their truck and not their families. Otherwise, their trucks would be towed. I called corporate headquarters in Ogden, UT and they were the ones who came up with that rule because the other drivers, who were either passing thru or delivering in Tulsa, but did not live here, complained about the lack of parking spots due to the Tulsa drivers taking up a parking spot for 2-3 days while they were home. if we park the truck at home on the street it could be towed. if we park at flying j it could be towed. even thouh the old Bruce's truck stop is open, at night when my husband, who is a truck driver, comes home, there is a big possibility of no parking spots available. Because they are full. so then what? he doesn't get to take time off at home til the next morning when someone wakes up and drives off the lot. [Sad]
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OurTulsa
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« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2008, 12:48:28 pm »

'Place First' Parking Plans

Wes Marshall and Norman Garrick illustrate the problem with parking plans today, and how to fix them.

Parking has long been treated as a commodity of little value, one that is given away cheaply as part of the cost of running a city. In fact, most cities mandate a minimum level of parking in their zoning codes, in essence saying to developers ‘go ahead and provide as much parking as you want just so long as there is enough to satisfy the demand’. But, as we all now understand, this approach has had some unexpected and far-reaching consequences. As we begin once again to put a premium on urban places in the face of rising gas prices and global climate change, the long-standing approach of treating parking as a loss leader that can be overlooked is becoming increasingly untenable. We are at a turning point that provides an opportunity to craft parking policies that support the need for more vibrant cities.

One idea that deserves a fresh look is the concept of a parking cap. The use of parking caps explicitly acknowledges that some parking is necessary in a modern city, but at the same time, too much parking is highly detrimental to urban life. This approach basically flips the conventional parking mindset on its head. It is a method that helps to make sure that the need to provide parking does not dominate all other considerations in creating viable urban places. Surprisingly, even though a cap has been adopted in a handful of cities, this sensible approach has been a non-starter in most places, and we are still stuck arguing about how to satisfy the so-called parking demand.

One major problem with the current focus is that parking demand is tricky to pin down, since demand itself is a function of supply, especially in urban places. Those cities that have been busy ripping themselves apart to provide enough parking are the same ones that use the most parking. So we end up with this curious situation: in our state capital, Hartford, people complain that there is not enough parking - when in fact over 30 % of the surface area in the downtown area is covered with some type of parking facility. The truth is that many cities like Hartford have simultaneously too much and too little parking. They have too much parking from the perspective that they have degraded vitality, interest and walkability, with bleak zones of parking that fragment the city. The have too little parking for the exact same reason - they have degraded walkability and thus increased the demand for parking.

A 2003 study we conducted of six medium sized New England town centers provides strong support for this point. Three of the centers we looked at were traditional urban downtowns with their fabric largely intact (West Hartford, Northampton and Brattleboro). Three were centers built or transformed along more contemporary suburban patterns (Glastonbury Center, Somerset Square in Glastonbury, and Avon Center). The traditional urban centers in our study provided 50% less parking and ended up using 50% less parking than the more contemporary centers. Of course, it should be recognized that the differences between the traditional and contemporary centers lie not just in terms of the amount of parking supplied, they also differ on a range of other dimensions. The traditional centers have managed parking, they charge for parking, they have on-street parking, and they exist in the context of a connected network of streets. All of these factors contribute to the differences in use, but the smaller parking supply is a key element, as it allows for the existence of a much more coherent urban place than would have otherwise been possible.

The traditional town centers not only supplied less parking and used less parking, but they were also much more vibrant - with more than three times as many people on site at any one time. Surprisingly, the three traditional town centers in our study had very conventional parking policies in their zoning regulations, to the point where it would not be possible to replicate these well loved centers given existing parking regulations where minimum parking requirements far exceed the amount actually used. These traditional centers are basically a fortunate legacy of an older approach to urban planning.

So why have more places not adopted proactive parking policies that put place first? Judging from the responses to our study, the existing policy approach to parking used by most cities does not appear to have any natural allies; both town officials and developers alike have told us that they dislike the current practice. Each group thinks that the other is to blame for the muddle of the existing policy. What this tells us is that it is time to start paying more attention to an issue that is often an afterthought, but which has such a big effect on the performance of urban places and on transportation sustainability.

Another New England city, Cambridge, MA is one example of a place that has developed a parking policy structured around limiting the amount of land and other resources that can be devoted to parking. In addition to the parking maximums established in the early 1980s, Cambridge tries to tackle the source of the parking demand issue with regulations that focus on reducing the number of people driving alone. Whenever a new or expanded non-residential parking facility is proposed, the Parking and Transportation Demand Management (PTDM) ordinance requires developers to implement multiple transportation demand management strategies such as providing bicycle parking, discounting transit passes, and prioritizing carpool parking. For projects of twenty of more parking spaces, the developer must commit to a mode share goal typically specifying at least 10% percent reduction in single occupancy vehicles compared to the last census as well as prepare a full PTDM plan for review by the city. Without an approved PTDM plan, projects cannot receive building permits, variances, etc.

Not only has Cambridge been able to increase the use of alternative modes, they have also reduced traffic congestion and maximized the amount of land available for uses other than parking. One key to the success of the plan is accountability, since the mode share pledges are regularly monitored and enforced by a PTDM officer. Another is the fact that the parking policy is strongly linked to wider community goals, including urban vitality and environmental stewardship. In fact, their PTDM division is a division of the Department of Community Development; also under the same Community Development flag are the planning, economic development, and housing divisions. This organizational structure supports a coordinated effort toward reaching the wider community goals. This is an overall model that is worth emulating for cities searching for a more balanced, multimodal approach to transportation and parking. Developing an urban friendly parking policy is perhaps the most effective tool that can be employed at the local level to encourage a greener and more sustainable approach to transportation.



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Norman W. Garrick, PhD Norman is an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Center for Transportation and Urban Planning at the University of Connecticut. He is also a board member of the Congress for the New Urbanism.

Wesley E. Marshall, P.E. Having spent time with Sasaki Associates and Clough Harbour and Associates working on a wide variety of planning and site design issues, Wes is now a PhD candidate in transportation engineering at the University of Connecticut and a researcher with UConn's new Center for Transportation and Urban Planning. Recent work includes a comprehensive reassessment of on-street parking, investigating the effects of parking on urbanism, and examining the influence of the road network on transportation safety and sustainability.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2008, 12:49:53 pm by OurTulsa » Logged
PonderInc
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« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2008, 10:19:24 am »

Here's an article from USA Today about the new trend towards parking caps.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-09-20-less-parking_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip
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PonderInc
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« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2008, 10:29:31 am »

If you look around, you'll rarely find a parking lot that's actually full.  We plan for "weekend before Christmas" usage, and the land sits vacant the rest of the year.  This creates unattractive heat islands that discourage pedestrians and transit users.  Even if we had perfect transit routes and schedules, these parking lots make using transit, bikes or foot power much less enjoyable and practical.


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« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2008, 08:06:06 pm »

How much of Tulsa'a downtown surface parking is the result of surface parking being more profitable than an empty or out of code building compared to spaces being required by development codes?

Shared parking is good for land use but there are bound to be financial inequities if individual businesses are required to provide spaces for other businesses.  Imagine keeping your living space in good repair for your neighbors to throw a party for their friends (and not invite you).

Since the trend seems to be toward making automobile parking a profit center, maybe individual businesses should be required to not provide any parking.  Parking is a business in itself. Build more multi-story parking garages. Get rid of most surface parking.  Tax the heck out of surface parking lot owners, they'll do something else.  If they can't get a reasonable fill on a parking garage, it too will go away. This would have the added advantage of reducing wear and tear on downtown streets by keeping suburbanite autos out in suburbia where they belong. Add enough cost for parking and a trip downtown will make people think twice about driving to downtown. They'll just have to take mass transit.

Oh! Wait a minute. Tulsa doesn't have viable mass transit to most of suburbia.

Nevermind!
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MDepr2007
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« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2008, 10:23:15 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by PonderInc

If you look around, you'll rarely find a parking lot that's actually full.  We plan for "weekend before Christmas" usage, and the land sits vacant the rest of the year.  This creates unattractive heat islands that discourage pedestrians and transit users.  Even if we had perfect transit routes and schedules, these parking lots make using transit, bikes or foot power much less enjoyable and practical.






Before the run to the subs, this parking lot saw more cars when the Fox movie theatre was going , people eating lunch and a decent grocery store. Crawpappys can help fill it pretty good at times too. Be fair and use a newly built parking lot , not one from the 50's or before that did fill back in the day.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2008, 10:25:51 pm by MDepr2007 » Logged
PonderInc
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« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2008, 12:59:34 pm »

You want examples of excessive parking and underutilized land?  The newer the development, the bigger the parking lots.  For instance...

96th and Riverside


81st and Yale


71st and 169 area

« Last Edit: September 26, 2008, 01:00:32 pm by PonderInc » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2008, 02:41:15 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by PonderInc

You want examples of excessive parking and underutilized land?  The newer the development, the bigger the parking lots.  For instance...

96th and Riverside


81st and Yale


71st and 169 area





Do you know what day of the week and what time the pictures were taken?  2 of them appear to be early morning by looking at the shadows of the lamp posts.
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PonderInc
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« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2008, 08:30:23 am »

I don't think any of those shadows are long enough to represent early morning or late evening.  But I challenge you to drive around town at any time of the day or night, and find a suburban parking lot that is full.  For every one you find (if you can find one), I can find 20 that are half occupied.

I'm not talking about the little parking lots on Brookside and Cherry Street.  I mean the modern, full-sized parking lots that our current zoning code requires.  (Car dealerships don't count.)  

Here's Kingspointe at about 11:30 AM on a weekday:


Here's Home Depot at 41st and Sheridan on a weekend afternoon (approx 3:30 PM):


Here's Drug Warehouse at 31st and Harvard at 5:45-6:00 PM on a weekday:


« Last Edit: September 29, 2008, 08:31:21 am by PonderInc » Logged
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