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November 18, 2017, 03:09:07 pm
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Author Topic: Holiday Parking - Counting peak demand  (Read 8541 times)
PonderInc
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« on: December 07, 2015, 06:27:23 pm »

One of the interesting things I've learned lately is that a lot of the parking "studies" that are the basis for minimum parking requirements in the nation are statistically flawed and irrelevant.  (I could see this empirically, but it's nice to have actual facts backing it up.)  A lot of cities and national chains use the recommendations of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) "Parking Generation" book. They take the "peak demand" numbers and turn them into minimums.  That's a mistake.

But it's not the first mistake. The ITE book includes parking generation data for 106 land uses, half of which are based on 4 or fewer samples.  Another interesting fact is that there's very little correlation between the SF of a building and trip generation or the need for parking. Also funny, the ITE book includes warnings about some of the data like: "Caution: use carefully.  Low R2"  I didn't take a class in statistics, and I suck at math, but what I do know is that a low R2 means that the data is essentially random and can't predict future outcomes.  But these are the sorts of studies that are used to determine minimum parking requirements. (Oh yeah, and the studies also take place in locations without any alternative transportation options like transit or biking, and where all parking is provided for free...which means the study sites are bulked up by artificial demand.)

As you do your holiday shopping this year, take a look at the parking lots.  If you have the time, do a few counts.  One thing I've noticed is that even when you think a parking lot looks busy, it's probably about 50% occupied at max.  That's because we're so used to them being 10-20% occupied.  Also, b/c the lots are so huge, there are entire areas where people don't really consider parking.  (Target at 17th and Yale has a whole extra parking lot that I never realized existed until DJeffries showed it to me on a satellite map.  This is in addition to the massive wasteland in front of the building.)

If there are any geeks out there, who want to take the time to do this, post your numbers / photos here.  It could be interesting.  And it might offer some good ammunition that proves we shouldn't develop our city around a myth about "peak demand" on a couple days / year.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 09:00:32 am by PonderInc » Logged
cannon_fodder
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« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2015, 07:57:39 am »

I can attest to the open lot at Target. I walk (OMG!!!) between Target and Lowes several times a year and have *never* seen anyone parked there. Occasionally a business will use it to store equipment (tree trucks or something). But never an actual parking lot.

The only place I have been in Tulsa that was out of parking is Turkey Mountain. In that instance I went back across the river, parked at Tom's Bicycles, and then made my way back to Turkey Mountain sans car. But other than that, I cannot recall a time when I couldn't find parking for whatever I was going to.

Pretty good indication that there is too much parking.
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BKDotCom
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« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2015, 09:22:35 am »

I can attest to the open lot at Target. I walk (OMG!!!) between Target and Lowes several times a year and have *never* seen anyone parked there. Occasionally a business will use it to store equipment (tree trucks or something). But never an actual parking lot.

The only place I have been in Tulsa that was out of parking is Turkey Mountain. In that instance I went back across the river, parked at Tom's Bicycles, and then made my way back to Turkey Mountain sans car. But other than that, I cannot recall a time when I couldn't find parking for whatever I was going to.

Pretty good indication that there is too much parking.

I have also observed that that our parks have the largest shortage of parking spaces
Turkey Mtn, Riverparks, Woodward...
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Conan71
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« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2015, 11:40:59 am »

The tarmac business must be really good in Tulsa!
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TheArtist
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« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2015, 01:39:48 pm »

I have also observed that that our parks have the largest shortage of parking spaces
Turkey Mtn, Riverparks, Woodward...

Yea, I can't even begin to imagine how other cities like NYC, Paris, London, etc. do it with as little parking as I see around their parks.  Must be a nightmare. Might as well not even have them.
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cannon_fodder
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« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2015, 02:10:28 pm »

Yea, I can't even begin to imagine how other cities like NYC, Paris, London, etc. do it with as little parking as I see around their parks.  Must be a nightmare. Might as well not even have them.

I think people... WALK to parks!

I was trying to use the parks as a positive example. Most of the time there is plenty of parking. In peak demand, there isn't and you have to get creative. That beats replacing more parkland with asphalt.
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Conan71
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« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2015, 03:35:04 pm »

Yea, I can't even begin to imagine how other cities like NYC, Paris, London, etc. do it with as little parking as I see around their parks.  Must be a nightmare. Might as well not even have them.

Clearly, they need to be paved over what a waste!  Can’t you just imagine Central Park as a huge slate of asphalt?
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Townsend
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« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2015, 03:46:47 pm »

Clearly, they need to be paved over what a waste!  Can’t you just imagine Central Park as a huge slate of asphalt?

I'm tired of sharing my oxygen with trees.
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« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2015, 05:40:41 pm »

I'm tired of sharing my oxygen with trees.

Stop going to the park after dark.  Go during daylight when they take in CO2 and give off ozone oxygen.
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Red Arrow
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« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2015, 06:25:20 pm »

I think people... WALK to parks!

That's not allowed.  People can only walk across parking lots.

 
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PonderInc
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« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2015, 10:00:28 am »

Just another beautiful day to walk in the park(ing lot).
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PonderInc
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« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2015, 10:05:28 am »

And since we're talking about parks and parking lots... (I couldn't resist, even if it's off topic.  Sort of.)

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PonderInc
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« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2015, 11:59:37 am »

OK, so I didn't do much shopping this weekend, but I did make a trip to Best Buy on Skelly Drive and Darlington at 2:00 PM on Sunday, Dec 13 (less than 2 weeks before Christmas).

The parking lot "looked" busy. There were 81 cars.

There are 267 spaces total for the building. So the parking lot was 30% occupied.  Even if you just count the 165 spaces that are in the main parking area in front of the building, the main lot was only 50% full.  And this was on what is presumably one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year.

So here's the parking lot that appears to be busy.


But here's all the parking associated with the building.


Which means that even on busy shopping days, there's lots of this:


Just a fun note for reference:
Our old zoning code would have required 201 spaces for this 46,136 SF building.  The developer obviously wanted to satisfy the highest possible requirements of any big box store they might attract, so we got 267.  The new zoning code would require 150, which basically reflects the main parking area where normal people actually park in front of the building.  Which would still be only 54% occupied on a weekend afternoon before Christmas.

The city of Tulsa is moving in the right direction, albeit slowly.  National chains and the parasitic developers who serve them, are not doing us any favors by covering more and more of our city in wasted, unproductive space.
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johrasephoenix
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« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2015, 05:16:28 pm »

Dear heaven.  That is ghastly.  

I am always amazed that so many people actually like that style of living.  Its just take our urban spaces and turn them into parking lots.  For cheaply built big box stores with a life expectancy of 30-40 years before the buildings are old and crappy.  And with no architectural merit that makes them worth preserving.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2015, 05:20:39 pm by johrasephoenix » Logged
cannon_fodder
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« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2015, 05:21:52 pm »

This was posted by the president of Tulsa Now on "the Facebook:"

http://www.citylab.com/work/2015/12/a-quick-clear-explanation-for-why-parking-minimums-hurt-cities/420228/?utm_source=SFFB

Amazing video on this exact topic!
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