Planning a More Sensible Future for Parking

The urban landscape could change significantly as cities and transportation systems evolve. Planners are envisioning what that would mean for parking and what decisions need to be made now.

1 minute read

March 8, 2019, 12:00 PM PST

By Camille Fink

Parking Garage

CC0 Public Domain / pxhere

In the fast-changing world of mobility, planners are thinking differently about parking, either doing away with it altogether or reconceptualizing the long-term uses of parking structures, writes John R. Quain.

Cities like Davis, California, are sparing taxpayers the burdensome cost of parking garages by deciding not to build them. Instead of providing more parking, the focus is on pricing street parking to more effectively manage supply and demand.

Another approach picking up steam is adaptive reuse, where structures are designed with the long-term goal of repurposing them down the road. Planning involves thinking ahead about ceiling heights, floor plans, and ways to incorporate plumbing and electrical systems into buildings to make future conversions easier and less costly.

"A Hudson Pacific Properties office complex going up on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, for example, will have a dedicated ride-share drop-off lobby and two floors of parking that can be converted into office space in the future," says Quain.

Monday, March 4, 2019 in Digital Trends

View of small-town street with brick buildings and cars parked in diagonal parking with string lights going across street in Cleveland County, Oklahoma.

Norman, Oklahoma Eliminates Parking Mandates

The city made a subtle, one-word change that frees up developers to build parking based on actual need and eliminates costly unnecessary parking.

September 14, 2023 - Next City

Few passengers waiting in subway station with multiple platforms and "North Station" signs in Boston, Massachusetts

Boston Transit Riders Report Safety Concerns

Almost three-quarters of current and former riders report feeling unsafe while using MBTA services.

September 18, 2023 - Hoodline

View of Boston from Bunker Hill with statue in foreground

Boston to Begin Zoning Code Update, Mayor Announces

It’s been nearly 60 years, but the city of Boston is finally ready to do a comprehensive rewrite of its zoning code.

September 14, 2023 - The Boston Globe

Sidewalk in Seattle with yellow fall leaves on the ground and cars parked next to the curb.

Proposal Could Mandate Sidewalks as Part of Seattle Complete Streets

Almost a third of the city’s neighborhood streets lack sidewalks.

5 hours ago - The Urbanist

View of San Francisco neighborhood from top of hill with misty bay in background.

San Francisco Supervisors Punt Housing Ordinance

After hours of public comment, the zoning reform package aimed at increasing housing production and limiting red tape was delayed for further discussion.

7 hours ago - SF Standard

Woman wearing helmet riding POGOH bike share bike in bike lane in Pittsburgh, PA.

Pittsburgh Launches Adaptive Bike Share Fleet

The new bikes include a recumbent bicycle and a front-loading cargo bike.

September 24 - Pittsburgh Magazine