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article imageNeed for parking investments in the age of shared mobility

By Tim Sandle     May 22, 2019 in Technology
Cities around the world are actively proposing ways to decrease the number of vehicles on the streets. A consequence of this is with strategic parking investments, which are seen as essential for economic growth.
In terms of the innovations being taken around the world to reduce the number of vehicles on the streets, examples include New York, which is exploring congestion pricing and Amsterdam which is aiming to eliminate 11,000 parking spots. These cities are following London which has recently implemented a new Ultra Low Emission Zone that charges vehicles entering its city center which do not meet its low-emission standards.
There are other projects taking place on the city scale of note, according to Guy Worley, President and CEO at Columbus Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC), who has given Digital Journal insight into some notable examples. These are:
Parking in the age of rideshare
A recent Pew Research Center survey found that 36 percent of U.S. adults in urban residences have indicated they have used a ridesharing service like Uber or Lyft. This is an increase from 15 percent in 2015. In relation to this, cities like Seattle and Detroit have published findings that show how their urban areas suffer from too many empty parking spaces as a result. As rideshare use continues to grow, Worley notes that cities, states and developers will need to assess their transportation landscape to strategically adjust their parking resources to adapt to changing needs, while still providing necessary resources to foster community growth and quality of life.
City growth
As things currently stand, dropping car ownership is not a workable option for many U.S. citizens. An alternative, according to Worley, is offering easy downtown parking, which can help to attract visitors from surrounding areas who are reliant on cars and such measures also attract business investment. This means there is a need for a calculated parking strategy to enable cities continue to prosper and provide the resources needed to live, work and thrive.
Innovative Parking Solutions
An International Parking and Mobility Institute survey found that curb management, mobile apps and other technologies represent key trends when it comes to transportation. However, the survey also found that shared parking facilities ranked last. According to Worley, cities should "not be too quick to count out parking, but rather build with today’s consumer in mind."
As an example, Worley cites the Columbus Commons (built on the site of a former mall), which was designed by the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation to establish a park in the heart of downtown. The garage beneath the mall was preserved, and a large portion of Columbus Commons was built on the roof. This created an unobtrusive parking area for visitors, businesses and employees, and a prominent city park attraction.
Further with the Columbus project, placing parking lots underground eliminates the harmful effects that surface lots create by contaminating storm water run-off and reducing the occurrence of heat islands. According to Worley: "the design has not only made an incredible impact from an environmental standpoint, but it also significantly improved quality of life for Downtown Columbus residents."
More about shared mobility, mobility as a service, Parking, parking schemes
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