In our first post of this three-post series on parking (available here) we discussed Richard Florida’s informative, but not surprising, article which states “American cities devote far too much space and far too many resources to parking.” Location, ownership and management of existing parking spaces are significant issues impacting parking in communities, and our first post focused on their impacts based on the current approach to parking regulations taken by most communities. The current approach is unsustainable, as it contributes to sprawl and increases costs. In this post, we will explore some of the factors causing and impacting the current general approach to parking regulations – specifically with respect to urban reuse and mixed-use projects.
More often than not, communities’ parking requirements, located in zoning ordinances, are onerous enough to derail desirable urban reuse and mixed-use projects. Most communities’ requirements generally reflect a more suburban approach to parking that is reflective of planning and development trends of the 1950s and 1960s (i.e., separation of uses with an emphasis on accommodating automobiles).
In reviewing several Pennsylvania “urban” municipal zoning ordinances, a few common parking concepts and provisions become evident.