Parking Strategies for Suburban Mixed-Use Developments
Puckett, Erin M.
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Recent decades have seen many localities revisiting traditional town center-style development as a response to problems caused by sprawl. In some cases, these more compact developments occur in areas that are otherwise primarily suburban in character. Of the many facets of these developments, parking has one of the largest impacts on the compactness, walkability, and accessibility of those developments, but little information, academic or otherwise, exists to inform the planning of parking for mixed-use projects in an otherwise suburban environment. Many localities rely on zoning-based parking minimums, but a lack of situational parking strategies may limit the benefits of these suburban mixed-use projects. In an effort to ascertain trends or best practices in a suburban context, information on eleven mixed-use developments was collected from planners and developers. In addition, quantitative data related to the mix of uses and amount of parking in similar developments was obtained from Urban Land Institute case studies. The analysis revealed that in general, suburban municipalities do not capitalize on potential parking reductions created by mixing uses, do not truly share parking between uses, and do not implement parking regulation in the form of time limits or pricing. In a few cases, there were exceptions to these general trends, with some developments implementing detailed shared parking plans that have thus far been successful in balancing demand and supply. The related quantitative analysis suggests that the most important strategy as it relates to parking is to have a varied mix of uses in the development, with attention to those that have opposite peak times. Based on the case studies and shared parking analyses, recommendations for effective parking strategies for suburban, mixed-use development include: development of a shared parking plan, the use of ULI\'s Shared Parking as a starting point but not a final determinant in those shared parking plans, the use of proffers to require periodic checks on the shared parking supply, and ongoing local parking studies to better understand local need.
- Masters Theses