Downtown Parking: Reduce Demand

One way to address the parking problem is to reduce our dependence on cars.

In tandem with the effort to revisit the parking exclusion zones, I would like to work with businesses within this zone to establish some kind of satellite parking served by a shuttle, which could also be used to provide subsidized "Uber Pool" service.  With this service residents can pay a minimal fee (one dollar?) for an on-demand ride between any point within city limits.  This shuttle could play an essential role in our transportation infrastructure once the Smart train comes to town, as it would potentially be able to ferry riders from their front door to the depot - and from the depot to the front door of businesses around town.

Of course, cars are not the only way to access downtown.  With relatively little money and effort we can do many things to improve bike friendliness of the downtown area.  Many bikers know that the currently available bike parking areas are woefully inadequate.  We can dramatically improve access simply by installing better  bike parking.  There are many excellent places for bike parking - the alley between Gold Bloom and the Goat is one; the “tip of the triangle” just south of the Chamber of Commerce building is another.  Perhaps two or three spaces in the lot at the corner of Plaza and East can be converted to bike parking, or even a few spaces along the plaza itself.  

Car share programs offer an intriguing way to address both the supply of parking and the cost of housing.  I would work toward a reasonable and reliable guideline for using community car share lots to mitigate parking space requirements for residential developments.  Expanding access to a car share service instead of building parking lots would not only support higher density housing with lower development cost and thereby lower housing costs, it would also eliminate the expense of owning two cars per household.


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  • Matthew Wells
    commented 2016-10-15 18:07:21 -0700
    Bike parking should be in a highly visible location to discourage theft. I would shy from the alley for that reason and echo the concerns of John. I also believe the Masons own the alley… “Bike lockers” as well as racks would be important infrasturcture additions order to encourage and provide peace of mind to those who work in downtown and might wish to commute by bike. Furthermore, the Council and Planning Commission should encourage and work with new new business to provide their own indoor, secure bike parking.
  • murphstahoe
    commented 2016-10-15 13:20:50 -0700
    “There are many excellent places for bike parking – the alley between Gold Bloom and the Goat is one”

    No. If you want to be bike friendly, putting the bike parking out in the back somewhere is not bike friendly, it’s bike hostile. It might make the council feel good but it doesn’t make the mode work better and attract more people to cycling. It’s like the bike rack at Shelton’s that is rarely used – it took me a long time to even discover it was there, and the rack is next to the dumpster, I’ve locked my bike there and returned to see the top of the dumpster lying on my $6000 bike.

    If we want to be serious about getting people to switch modes, we need to dive into the pool. Bike Parking needs to be visible and convenient. Given that the Goat is a draw – the answer is to use the diagonal parking space closest to the pedestrian bulbout and put in a bike corrall.
  • Joseph Naujokas
    published this page in Business Q's & A's 2016-10-15 09:28:50 -0700