The massive effect of the placement of parking in high density areas

The massive effect of the placement of parking in high density areas

Postby Frank Taylor » Mon Jul 17, 2006 12:08 am

I was staying in a friend's house in a European city last year and we decided it was time to adjourn to the pub. About 50m from his front door was a tram stop and the centre city was about 20 minutes walk. Despite this, he opted to drive his car parked on the street just outside his front door. I was surprised because unless he drove home drunk (he didn't) , he would have to leave his car in town. Thing is, that in the same situation I would probably do likewise.

Once your car is a few metres outside your house, every other transport option is poor by comparison.

So lately the local area plans have been advocating high density layouts in urban areas but they have preserved one element from suburbia, a space for the car right outside your fornt door. WIth no front gardens and more dwellings per acre, of course these car parking spaces are much more prominent and take up a large proportion of the open space between the building fronts. It takes fewer car movements to fill the streets which are consequently far busier than suburban roads.

In Adamstown's first development (Adamstown Castle), not every house has a parkling space bang outside the front door - some are up to 50m away. I have attached a pic below of some of the site layout of the scheme. It is clearly very dominated by on street parking and there is no chance you could allow small children to wander around without supervision.

Anyhow, my question is whether there is any move to place parking in a slightly less convenient location for property owners in an attempt to persuade thm to employ their cars for journeys between districts rather than for every trip within a district such as running out of bread,cigs? This is not going to come from developers but are any local authorities pushing this idea yet?

I am thinking of placing car parking say 200-300 m from front doors and in the opposite direction from the comercial centre of the area so that walking would seem easier from a front door perspective.
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Frank Taylor
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Re: The massive effect of the placement of parking in high density areas

Postby Devin » Mon Jul 17, 2006 2:00 am

I think it is considered desirable that the car be either near or in a 'safe' place. With an underground car park in an apartment complex, the car is in a less convenient place for frivolous use like a journey to the shop a few hundred metres away. Maybe more underground carparks in higher density areas would be a good deterrent against such use, but one where the vehicle is also thought of as 'safe'. Would remove the visual bulk of them from streets too.

Just on our car-use & car-dependency generally, this new book was published a few weeks ago:
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Re: The massive effect of the placement of parking in high density areas

Postby ctesiphon » Mon Jul 17, 2006 11:33 am

Agreed, Frank (and Devin). Maybe 300m. is too far away - bringing home a weekly family shop would take a few trips from car to house/apt. - but a good first step would be to get people at least to think about their options. My preference would be for basement parking with secure gated access. Part of the problem with basements in the past is that people feel their car isn't secure in one, and often they're right. Vigilance on the part of all residents is required, rather than the 'Do you mind if I just sneak in behind you' mentality, and well-designed basement car parks with good monitoring, sightlines, etc.

One thing that always gets to me is that car parking is the shortest distance possible from the front door, whereas bike parking is usually hidden behind the bin sheds or screened from view by fencing, hedges, etc., is often quite a distance from the front door, and generally seems to have been added as an afterthought rather than designed in from the outset. And yes, I've even seen it referred to as a 'visual intrusion'.
But cars? Oh no. They're not a visual intrusion. they're an extension of our very souls.
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Re: The massive effect of the placement of parking in high density areas

Postby PVC King » Fri Aug 18, 2006 9:51 am

Developments like the Old Distillery and Custom House Square have combined the best of both Worlds with convenient parking for residents combined with very pleasant amenity space at street level.

The one issue that gets me is when in high density areas the small amount of curtilage left is converted into surface parking.
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