Parking Solutions to Revitalized your Local EconomyResource Government
November 13, 2012 — 931 views
Parking Solutions to Revitalized your Local Economy
Growth in larger cities and downtown areas is a result of attracting businesses, residents, visitors, and entertainment, and is critical to an area's economy. Adequate parking is a major component of providing access to growth areas. Yet, issues exist in downtown areas to due the value of land and relative scarcity. Additionally, adequate parking is also a problem in larger areas and alternative forms of transit may be required. In an effort to revitalize a local economy, what techniques can be used to address issues? What specific solutions can be implemented to address parking?
Plan, Plan, Plan
The best of parking techniques and solutions lose effectiveness without proper planning. A strategic parking plan that includes a checklist is an invaluable tool to assist local and state government officials in preparing for and designing local and regional growth both in the short-term and the long-term. Some of the questions that would be answered with a checklist and that would become part of a strategic parking plan include:
- What is the total parking plan concept?
- What adopted urban form and design goals must parking standards conform with?
- What will be the parking maximums and minimums?
- How will parking be priced?
- What peripheral parking strategies will be implemented?
- Will preferential parking be assigned?
Another benefit of the parking plan checklist tool is the emergence of a comprehensive strategic parking plan complete with specific parking solutions and techniques. These will include strategies and techniques that local governments will employ to meet community economic goals and objectives. Some solutions will be common to most urban and downtown revitalization areas. Others will be as innovative and unique as the communities themselves. Solutions may include financial incentives to commuters and developers that encourage use of alternate forms of transit or raise revenue to develop better forms of public parking. Some cities use meters and kiosks to raise revenue from parking. Along the same lines are determining the price of parking. Incentives for shared parking and use of remote parking are other options. Use of technology for developing real-time digital way finding programs, and online parking map tools are some of the more effective parking techniques.
Financial incentives as part of a comprehensive strategic parking plan are effective. Commuter incentives encourage alternative travel modes to reduce parking use. Some areas use some form of employer-funded transit benefits to pay employee transit fares with choice of free parking space, a monthly transit pass, or monthly cash payouts. Incentives to developers to partner in the development of public parking spaces are also popular. Revenue can be gained and other partners and grant-funding enhance the success of such projects.
An electronic parking guidance system promotes short-term parking by providing real-time space availability and access to shoppers and visitors. It reduces traffic congestion and pollution. Online mapping tools provide information about parking options and regulations.