Have you heard of the Walkable Parking mindset on urban parking? Maybe not, but you have almost certainly experienced it in the Downtown of your own city or town.
It's the antidote to the belief that every building should have on-site parking. And it's the parking philosophy that supports park-once-and-walk districts.
But these ideas are not yet getting much attention in parking reform circles. So, I decided to prepare a series of short Reinventing Parking episodes
on park-once-and-walk districts and Walkable Parking. This is the first
in the series.
This one looks at park-once-and-walk in city centres (aka Downtowns). That is an appropriate starting point, since these places are the heartland of the approach.
Liz Taylor is a senior lecturer in Urban Planning and Design at Monash University in Melbourne. She was featured in the December 2022 edition of Reinventing Parking.
Rutul Joshi is an architect and urban planner teaching at CEPT University in Ahmedabad, India, where his current research focuses parking policies in Indian cities, TOD principles to retrofit areas around transit in African cities and urban challenges during/after the pandemic.
- What is a park-once-and-walk district?
- Very old city centres are almost always park-once areas
- Another pathway to park-once-and-walk
- Which is better public sector, public parking or private sector, public parking?
- Newly emerging park-once districts in urban core areas in India
- Park-once-and-walk in USA Downtowns
- Park-once-and-walk planning to the rescue of Downtowns blighted by parking mandates?
- Repurposing parking becomes more thinkable with a Walkable Parking mindset and by thinking about parking in the area as a whole
- On-street parking in downtown park-once districts
- Downtown park-once politics
What is a park-once-and-walk district?[02:43] Paul Barter: We are talking about the mindset that it should be normal to expect motorists to park in public parking somewhere near their destination and not necessarily on site. We are talking about the view that the parking in an area should mostly be open to the public and serve the whole area, not just one building or site.
Very old city centres are almost always park-once areas[04:22] Paul Barter: Liz Taylor pointed out that in cities with a really old historic centre, that area usually has almost no parking or is completely pedestrianized or difficult to access by cars. Such places are necessarily park-once-and-walk areas.
Paul Barter: Rutul Joshi made a similar point about the oldest parts of cities in India.
Another pathway to park-once-and-walk[07:12] Paul Barter: But now let's consider a slightly different genesis. In busy mixed use areas as found in most city cores, just having some parking scarcity seems very often to cause a park-once-and-walk environment to emerge, even if the city does nothing to help.
Which is better public sector, public parking or private sector, public parking?[09:58] Patrick Siegman: What I've found is that having the private sector own the parking is often a good thing. It's not always. The private sector isn't perfect. It makes mistakes.
Newly emerging park-once districts in urban core areas in India[10:59] Paul Barter: In India, where mass motorization is a recent and ongoing phenomenon, even some relatively new commercial districts are becoming park-once-and-walk areas without city help.
Park-once-and-walk in USA Downtowns[14:30] Paul Barter: Now let's take a look at the park-once phenomenon in downtown areas in American cities. I asked Patrick Siegman about the damage done to such areas due to the rise of parking mandates.
Park-once-and-walk planning to the rescue of Downtowns blighted by parking mandates?
[17:12] Paul Barter: I asked Patrick about the role of the park-once-and-walk idea in rescuing downtown areas from the problems created by minimum parking requirements.
So we can say, look let's find ways, or let's pick ways really, to take a lot of your existing parking that is underused and get it to be well used.
Repurposing parking becomes more thinkable with a Walkable Parking mindset and by thinking about parking in the area as a whole[20:04] Patrick Siegman: In fact, oftentimes you should find a higher and better use for a lot, of that underused parking. You know, a lot of times it shouldn't be parking. If you want to be economically successful, some of that surface parking should actually be a thriving hotel or restaurant that generates tax revenues and adds to the liveliness of the place.
Patrick Siegman: It often is.
On-street parking in downtown park-once districts[21:56] Paul Barter: This brought us to the topic of on-street parking.
Downtown park-once politics[23:20] Paul Barter: To finish up this episode about city centre park-once-and-walk districts, I asked Patrick about the politics a little bit.
Paul Barter: I hope you found this episode about downtown park-once-and-walk districts helpful and interesting. Look out for the other episodes in this walkable parking series, which should appear over the next month or two. Thanks for listening.
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