Is parking dominating your city/town?

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Carolla

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Yesterday I was at a gathering & someone commented about how great it was to see that a parking lot had been paved at local community arts hub. I understand that the prior muddy surface was not great, but I commented that I wished something other than asphalt could be used - something water permeable. The person did a face palm ... so much disagreement. We have/are developing significant flooding issues here as bigger building footprints & municipally mandated parking continue to expand. Rainfall amount seems to be increasing in storms & has nowhere to absorb into the ground - so it runs off into storm sewers, rivers, the lake & catch basins that are beyond capacity - and then we get flooding. Car still is king.

This interesting article popped up on a site I follow - did you know LA has more land designated for parking than for housing? What's the situation in your area?
Parking Dominates Our Cities. But Do We Really *See* It? — Strong Towns
 

ChemGal

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I saw something a while ago about a surface that allowed some type of growth and worked for parking too. I can't recall the business or really much about it though :unsure:
 

mgagnonlv

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It is a problem. Montréal is trying to decrease the space used by parking and the car in general. We also have a fairly good public transit system, at least by North American standards. Still, there isn't enough reliable transit outside of the downtown core, especially outside of rush hour, and we don't have enough parking outside of the central core to favour mixed-mode transportation.

In general, compared to Toronto (and I think Vancouver) :
– Our Metro is generally better and bus service is at the very least as good or better.
– We need something like Ottawa Transitways to serve people at the ends of the island, as well as in the immediate suburbs of Laval, Longueuil.
– We need something like the Go Trains system. Transit to Longueuil, Laval, Repentigny or Sainte-Thérèse is pityful unless you want to get in town at 8:30 and exit at 5:00.
– We need much more park and ride.
– Transport accessibility for people in wheelchairs is still very deficient.
– Likewise, we need bike racks on major routes to favour mixed mode transportation

Other measures needed:
– Congestion tax, just like London's (cheaper rate because there are only 1.8 million inhabitants.
– Just like cyclists are forbidden from using the metro at rush hour, all bridges and major throughfares in Montréal should be forbidden to people who travel solo. Same rush hours as the metro. Right now, bicycles are forbidden from 5:30 to 10:00 am and 3:30 to 7:00 p.m. I think the period should be shortened to 7:30 – 8:30 and 4:15 – 6:00, and during that time, only cars with 3 or more people would be allowed to travel. Get off the road, hitch hike, offset your hours, etc.!

As for parking surfaces, gravel works and is better for the rain water control. But it requires more maintenance and it is dusty in Summer. If calcium chloride is used to keep dust away, then it becomes worst for the environment than asphalt. So maybe the solution would be to use gravel for small parking lots and asphalt alleyways with gravel parking bays for larger lots.
 

Mendalla

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We have two good-sized garages downtown, one under Covent Garden Market and the other under Citiplaza/Galleria, both with 2 hours free if you get the ticket stamped and that seems to have kept the proliferation of downtown lots under some control. Suburbs, of course, are a different matter, with huge sprawling lots around malls and power centres.

In general, I find power centres problematic given how they themselves sprawl, forcing them to have multiple parking lots instead of one big one as malls tend to have. Some large malls (St. Laurent Centre in Ottawa comes to mind) even have garages. The sprawl also forces you to drive between stores sometimes, esp. if weather is bad, whereas malls are indoors and designed for walking (some even host exercise walks before shopping hours). Really, it's a design that originated in the US South that is ill-suited to our climate but somehow we're getting them anyhow.
 

Luce NDs

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I haven't had any offers to park for years .... must be the New Age thing ...
 

Carolla

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Our local GO train stations (which are also bus transit hubs) are building huge parking garages - which I think is a good thing vs surface lots. The frequency on the train schedule is much improved too - so that makes using it much more appealing. We rarely drive to downtown Toronto - it's a bit of a nightmare down there with construction & traffic snarled everywhere. So much less stressful to take transit - and now that we are in the senior category - it's half fare which is great.
 

BetteTheRed

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Parking is dominating many of our congregational conversations. Complete replacement, re-grading, re-working drainage is going to cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some of the better enviro systems for parking lots don't work well with plowing, freeze/thaw cycles etc...
 

Jae

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There seem to be many cars in Suwon, and not enough parking space. I'm quite frequently amazed by just how good the drivers here are at parking in tight spaces and driving down such places as steep, narrow alleyways. Everyone has at least one in-car GPS and backup camera.
 

Mendalla

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There seem to be many cars in Suwon, and not enough parking space. I'm quite frequently amazed by just how good the drivers here are at parking in tight spaces and driving down such places as steep, narrow alleyways.

Sounds like Shanghai or, really, any major Chinese city. I once had a Chinese cabbie do a U-turn on the sidewalk in front of our hotel. I think it comes with crowded cities that weren't necessarily well-designed for traffic.
 
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Jae

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Sounds like Shanghai or, really, any major Chinese city. I once had a Chinese cabbie do a U-turn on the sidewalk in front of our hotel. I think it comes with crowded cities that weren't necessarily well-designed for traffic.
Yes, I can imagine that some cities in China are much the same. According to a young Korean friend of mine here, when he was a boy, Suwon was still considered farming country. Now, it's a modern city with subway and plenty of tall buildings... and lack of adequate parking space and green space. Like perhaps some cities in China, it sprang up without a lot of big picture urban planning involved.
 

Mendalla

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According to a young Korean friend of mine here, when he was a boy, Suwon was still considered farming country.

When Mrs. M left Shanghai in 1987, Pudong (the East bank of the Huangpu River) was mostly fields, with Puxi (West bank) as the heart of the city. Now Pudong puts New York to shame and is the financial centre of the whole country.
 
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revjohn

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Not presently. St. John's particularly the downtown area is very difficult parking wise.

George St. United recently sold its parking lot to a neighbouring hotelier. He will be putting up a multilevel parking garage. We netted a lump sum payment in 6 figures and will have access to 40 spots in the parkade free of charge once it is up.

Until then we have a construction project south and west of us which consumes all available on-street parking through the week. The project to the west should be finished within 6 months and that will allow us access to Hutchings street which is where our parking permits are located. The parkade is probably a year or so to complete.
 
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