Future Re-use Parking

The risks associated with over-building parking are set to escalate significantly, as disruptive technologies and service innovations, primarily in the arena of “shared mobility” (or “emerging mobility” among other terms) push U.S. travel preferences toward what many expect to be a profound paradigm shift.

There is a potential for significant drops in demand for parking personal autos, particularly on high-demand sites or in districts offering significant transportation options beyond drive-alone modes.

Several strategies in this toolbox address building fewer spaces and using then more efficiently to mitigate against future mobility changes. Re-use tools deal with building spaces at high supply levels but with an intent for eventual repurposing of those spaces.

Difficulty

$-$$$

Cost

Impact

Key Benefits

  • Shared Parking provides multiple, important benefits beyond risk-management, including near-term efficiencies, customer-friendly

  • Land Banking provides additional benefits of retaining control over redevelopment-opportunity sites that are likely to increase in value. For municipalities adopting this strategy, this provides an opportunity to influence the development of these sites, which can provide additional growth-management benefits

  • Adaptive-Reuse Design strategies can help overcome risk-barriers to new real estate investment in locations that combine high land values and development costs with greater risk of sharp declines in parking demand

Case Studies

 NATIONAL 

 REGIONAL 

Land Bank Strategy

Grand Rapids, MI

The City’s parking & mobility department, Mobile GR, has adopted a Land Banking strategy to address concerns about building new parking structures with a design-life of 50+ years to address what may prove to be short-term supply-expansion needs. By purchasing/leasing, improving, and controlling sites on the downtown periphery, Mobile GR has been able to expand supplies to address pressing needs. This has also provided it, and the City, the opportunity to potentially influence when and how these sites become redeveloped, should the value of their parking supplies diminish, and value for private redevelopment increase. This has allowed Mobile GR to avoid investments in parking structures, while it continues to track mobility trends suggesting continued and strengthening market favor for alternatives to personal-auto travel and parking in urbanized areas.

Parking Master Plans

Carrollton, TX

The City of Carrollton intends to develop a Parking Master Plan to include long-range and interim parking goals that bolster TOD. In 2010, the City developed a downtown lot into an “Interim ‘Green’ Parking Lot” with repurposed materials and features grass stone pavers. Built with a simple and relatively low-cost design, the site can easily be adaptively repurposed into a revenue generating use in the long term. Meanwhile in the near-term, the City can lease the lot out for special events. Having designed the parking lot with near-term alternative use in mind, the City emphasized the comfort of event users. The use of fully permeable pavers and grass lessens the radiant heat and glare that would typically deter the use of parking lots as event venues.

Implementation Considerations

Role of Public Sector

  • Establishes flexible policies and guidelines for new technologies and changes of use

  • Establishes key principles and goals for embracing emerging transportation modes and maintaining equitable access

Role of Private Sector

  • Builds future-ready parking facilities

Timing

  • Viable for future TODs