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Thread: Downtown parking redesign feasibility

  1. #1

    Downtown parking redesign feasibility

    Hello all,


    I am interested in any thoughts regarding a complete redesign of a small town main street parking redesign. The current parking layout is angled in front of all shops and restaurants. The current design allows for very little sidewalk area and is limiting the possibility for cafe areas and sandwich board signs. My idea is to recreate the main street area by replacing the angled parking with parallel parking, and urging more visitor parking behind the stores. Here are my questions:

    1. Is it feasible or desirable to replace angled parking with parallel parking

    2. How will parallel parking negatively impact main street traffic

    3. Are there any other alternatives that have worked in other areas


    I know that the question is complex and I have not given all of the variables, but any comments, concerns, or suggestions would be much appreciated.


    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally posted by historicbudatx View post
    1. Is it feasible or desirable to replace angled parking with parallel parking
    It is feasible. I'd want to know that the merchants aren't going to have a hissy fit about losing a bunch of parking before I got serious about it, however. You'd want to make sure there is already enough parking off-street to accommodate the lost spaces by eliminating angled parking.

    Quote Originally posted by historicbudatx View post
    2. How will parallel parking negatively impact main street traffic
    I think this is a wash. Angled parkers have to back out onto the street, so there's a congestion issue there probably equal to what parallel parking would create.

    Quote Originally posted by historicbudatx View post
    3. Are there any other alternatives that have worked in other areas
    Your stated purpose is to create a wider sidewalk that could accommodate outdoor seating for food establishments, so I'd say parallel parking is probably the only way to achieve it. Do you have wheel-stops for your angled parking? They'd help keep vehicles from over-hanging the curb/walk, but they'd make street sweeping much more difficult.
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  3. #3
    Gedunker,

    There is enough space behind the buildings to accommodate the lost spaces up front, but the building owners would need to put in parking lots. As our main street area is fairly small there would not be a security issue with parking behind the building, but the current building owners are very cheap.
    The sidewalk is very narrow right now and pedestrian traffic is hindered during festivals as a result. My idea was to eliminate the angled parking and expand the sidewalk area enough to accommodate additional walking space, sidewalk cafes, and a few planters along the way for interest.
    I know given our City Council at City staff that the idea will probably never see the light of day, but I wanted to see if anyone thought the idea was feasible.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    I have been party to two similar experiences:

    1) the city I currently work in just switched its main streets from one-way with angled parking to two-way with parallel parking in order to better accomodate wider sidewalks. It has worked wonders. Patrons were urged to use one of the three nearby parking decks.

    2) I used to work as a consultant for a town that secured a UDAG grant to build a rear parking lot similar to what you are proposing (across several private properties). I would recommend that you look into using CDBG funds or grant funds to build the parking lot.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    If it is feasible, you might consider an approach that keeps angled parking on one side, and eliminates parking on the other side, or converts it to parallel. Many people find angled parking easier, and it does provide more spaces.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  6. #6
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    If it is feasible, you might consider an approach that keeps angled parking on one side, and eliminates parking on the other side, or converts it to parallel. Many people find angled parking easier, and it does provide more spaces.
    This might be the route I would choose. Parallel parking is a lost art, particularly in Texas it seems. If you could keep angled on one side, and perhaps hide a lot behind the businesses on a side street for the other side, then you might get business owners to sign off on it and address the sidewalk activity issue. You would need some kind of landscape strip on the side without parking though, so pedestrians would feel safer. I know downtown Buda is kind of a tight fit for getting two travel lanes plus angled parking in.

    You've got an uphill battle in your city, assuming your username is consistent with you living in Buda, TX; I'm fairly familiar with their politics. You need to look into applying for state-administered CDBG funds (administered by the Office of Rural Community Affairs). Give the Capital Area Council of Government a call.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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