Parking in urban centers is here to stay, a necessary evil of inefficiencies and unrecoverable costs. Will Macht, looks at the potential benefits of 'multiblock underground shared parking,' which can reduce inefficiencies and lower costs by building underground parking beneath multiple properties and multiple blocks.
"In cities with smaller blocks, the problem can be particularly acute," writes Macht. Small blocks (and/or a small size of the building) can compound inefficiencies by requiring each garage to construct retaining walls, entrances/exits, ramps, etc., further driving up development and maintenance costs. Additionally, "[a] second source of inefficiency arises when a parking garage is used only or primarily by those who live or work in the buildings above. Each type of real estate development-office, hotel, residential, retail, etc.-has a different pattern of parking use and vacancy." The differing patterns leave many spaces empty for the majority of the day and night.
"Multiblock underground parking can be one of the most important tools a city can use to develop its downtown and other urban centers to create the highest density of the optimal mixture of urban uses," states Macht. "Properly implemented, multiblock underground parking can bring about a higher tax base for the city, more affordable housing for its residents, more urban places for its visitors, and more profits for its long-term investors."