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Thread: Parking requirements for revitalization and shared parking

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Parking requirements for revitalization and shared parking

    Sorry for the long title. We are working on a pretty massive revitalization project here in my city. It is the entertainment core, full of restaurants, clubs, bars, and some daytime businesses as well. We're working on a single corridor, no longer than a quarter mile.

    I know everyone will want more numbers, but I'm just going to give you the scheme, and maybe you can give some hints.

    Currently, all businesses are at the rear of the lots, with parking in front, or on separate lots. The street has a 40 foot right of way, including sidewalks. There is no on-street parking currently. The plan is to require (by zoning) that businesses rebuild (when and if they rebuild) toward the front of the lot, with sidewalks built on business' property, and head-in parking along the street.

    This scheme would mean a lot of lost on-site parking. To mitigate, we are proposing business-owners buy in to a parking mitigation fund that would help finance a parking garage. The corridor is walkable itself, and this would be a park-once scenario.

    The question is this: if customers are still driving to the area, should their be any reduction in parking requirements? (I don't believe in requirements, but they are going to be in the plan, if only to calculate how big a garage is necessary.) Is there a handy "park-once coefficient" like 0.8--0.9 that could be applied to typical regs?

    Any Cyburbian Brainstorming would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Should we move this to Land Use and Zoning?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Funny I thought this was a transportation question.

    Here are some things to consider:

    40 feet ROW does not give you much to work with. If you move everything to the very front you will not have room for sidewalks or turning movements as AASHTO requires 12 foot lanes. 40 ROW - 25 minimum for road gives you 7 foot of relatively unsafe sidewalks (no room to park cars or plant trees to shield peds).

    If you want on street parking this gives you even less to work with. You would not be able to park on the street (assuming this is a federal-aid road)

    Parking behind the building will force the businesses to maintain two front entrances. This could cause issues in terms of security and lead to the businesses closing off the street entrance to favor the alley entrance, which is something you should avoid.

    Do you have transit? Can you expect transit to serve this area? If so, you may be able to use it for mitigation. If this area has residential close-by many people may choose to walk there instead of drive there if there is a proper sidewalk network.

    I would consult a progressive parking engineer to review your plans and make suggestions. Somone like Dan Burden might be a good choice, but there are others out there. Dan is more of a planner than an engineer, he may not be able to answer questions such as parking garage capacity. http://www.walkable.org/about.html
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    We plan to actually put the sidewalks on the property owner's property. There will be one-sided head-in perpindicular parking.

    The plan is for two 10' lanes, and a 19' head in parking zone. That's the entirety of on-street parking, but it's not going to be enough. All we have for now is suburban-style parking req's, and all businesses are currently defficient (this is a popular place that people like, after all, so no there's not much parking )

    The issue is how to determine an estimate on what each business should be responsible for, relative to suburban regulations. We are in suburbia here, after all, but this is a dense area, in terms of apartments, condos, and businesses. That said, it's still a major destination WITHOUT TRANSIT, so all will be driving, especially if the place is improved to be MORE of a destination.

    We're stumped, besides building garages. We have a 200-300 space garage in the plans, with commercial at the bottom, but the place is "200-300 spaces deficient" as it stands.

    How to make it happen?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    If this is a federal-aid road you will not be able to do 10' lanes. You don't want this area to be too tight, remember a vibrant area will require trucks to deliver goods and those trucks need to turn.

    Angled parking will require additional back-up space so you do not have a blind car backing out of a lane and into one travelling down the roadway.

    40' is not a lot of room. Your intersections will be very tricky and if not built right you will have cars impeading traffic, idling, and creating emissions that would not make the place nice to smell. I can't see you doing this unless you go with a one-way street pattern (and I would not reccomend that).
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  6. #6
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    I would like an aerial of this place to try to understand.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Click image for larger version

Name:	fatcity.jpg
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    Click image for larger version

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    http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?oe=UT...7ec0ea92be8482

    is the google map with some more info.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    That area looks pretty dense as it is. There is bus service along The Esplanade and N Causeway. Both are within walking distance.

    I can see what you mean regarding no right of way. It appears people park in the no-mans land area where the street ends and the near-to-the street buildings are.

    I can't see where you can shoe-horn in a garage, though things may have changed since the photo was taken. I would take advantage of the first floor of the garage for retail or services.

    What sort of mechanism do you have to move/expand the buildings? What does the business or the residential community think of the proposal?
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    Wow, just got the field trip.

    The transit service as it stands is insufficient, and it is not available at peak times for the area, which is largely a night-time entertainment district. Further, as this is a suburban area, however dense, the Causeway bus does not roll past the densest neighborhood, and stop infrastructure is unattractive as it stands, consisting of only signs. As a transit planner at heart, I do not see a significant potential.

    One of the issues with the walking distance from Esplanade is that there are no side streets, so there is a .4 mile walk with no side streets, no escape routes, and such a scenario is not a pedestrian's dream. As far as I've been informed, blasting through some side streets is not on the table.

    The photo is basically exactly as things are, there have been no buildings of significance built since then.

    Our only mechanism to rebuilt so far, is zoning, and some TIF money for parking.

    The business owners are in support of the end conclusion, but will likely balk at the specifics, and the pain involved in the transition.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    That is one big ache. I do not understand how zoning can create revitalization. You need big bucks and urban renewal.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    I appreciate the candid response, Mike. What if I asked you, do you think it could work over, say, 50 years?

    As business owners rebuild (indeed, if they rebuild), or other owners come in and buy out, and they build to the street. Is this a recipe for disaster, or no. Especially if we're only talking about the 18th street core?

  12. #12
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    I think disaster is too strong of a word. There needs to be a set-back established. This street operates at best as a collector, so you don't need to worry as much as if it was an arterial. There are also many cross streets where parking or access to parking structured could be acommodated.

    When I first heard your proposal I was thinking of a very different land-use type/ configuration. I would still advocate for the 12 foot lanes however, you would have room for parallel parking on one side of the street.

    I would still suggest having a ped friendly traffic engineer involved in to process, perhaps folks from the fire department as well. The public should be involved in this as well, be it the business community or area residents.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally posted by stumpydoo5 View post
    I appreciate the candid response, Mike. What if I asked you, do you think it could work over, say, 50 years?

    As business owners rebuild (indeed, if they rebuild), or other owners come in and buy out, and they build to the street. Is this a recipe for disaster, or no. Especially if we're only talking about the 18th street core?

    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    That is one big ache. I do not understand how zoning can create revitalization. You need big bucks and urban renewal.
    I do not see how zoning alone can do this.

    If there is a CFD that is going to acquire and construct the garage, this could be good, but will likely need to be done with a specific project in tow. With prevailing wage, a parking structure with land costs is about 15-$30,000 per space, not sure what your wages are there, so if your 200 spaces short, your looking at 3.5-7 million for your structure just for 200 stalls and will need to be designed to accommodate more than one property.

    The concept is a good one if you were to be able to implement a financial model that would result in the desire or ability for development to work, it appears there are warehousing/self storage and some vacant lots in this area which would be good target sites for parking structures comfortable with that no hassle concept of landuse to target for potential sites. Perhaps a neighborhood meeting and visioning of the area would help, if the community feels the City is open to helping, then there will be discussions of developers to participate on some of the vacant lots or self storage units that are underutilized. My guess is to target a vertical mixed use development for residential on top with strict parking control that would also serve to generate more walking traffic, likely 4-5 stories minimum.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    I think disaster is too strong of a word. There needs to be a set-back established. This street operates at best as a collector, so you don't need to worry as much as if it was an arterial. There are also many cross streets where parking or access to parking structured could be acommodated.

    When I first heard your proposal I was thinking of a very different land-use type/ configuration. I would still advocate for the 12 foot lanes however, you would have room for parallel parking on one side of the street.

    I would still suggest having a ped friendly traffic engineer involved in to process, perhaps folks from the fire department as well. The public should be involved in this as well, be it the business community or area residents.

    Why do you advocate for 12-foot lanes? We had a pedestrian-friendly consultant strongly calling for 10.5-10.5-19, with 19 (or 19.5) being the length of HEAD-IN parking. I'm also not completely sure why this being a collector is integral to the problem. If the plan is to make this a pedestrian-friendly street, why not make it so?

    plansolutions, the idea is for max 65' buildings. The area has been visioned, with buildings that actually somewhat resemble the french quarter, but no architectural guidelines (style-wise) are in the plans for now.

    p.s. To re-state the plan, the idea is for sidewalks to be located on private property.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian
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    30-foot ROW

    For the record, 18th street has 30' ROW, not 40' as previously stated. That is why sidewalks will need to be sited on properties, if there is to be any type of on-street parking.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    I would consider a business improvement district, perhaps meshed with a TIF program. Convince the business owners to make the front yard parking/sidewalks public or at least semi-public. This would allow for shared parking.

    Another thought is to close the street to vehicles. Create a plaza.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian
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    We have a TIF, which is the result of a new department store add-on to the mall next door. The problem is it is underperforming (the economy) and is not enough for a garage. It is paying for some streetscape improvements, however.

    I've given some thought to the ped plaza, and the issue remains that of parking. All parking, certainly during the transition, is on 18th Street. Further, without side streets, which facilitate searching for parking, it is difficult to close 18th Street. The problem begs for a park-once facility, and I think a strong business coalition is the only way it's going to happen.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    The reason for me advocating 12 foot lanes is multiple:

    It will allow the project to qualify for federal funds if this is a federal-aid road,

    It will allow for turning movements of trucks better, without worry of the trucks going over the curb or hitting a vehicle parked on the street.

    Economic activity will need to accommodate trucks or you will not have economic activity, can't ship the goods to this spot by ship or rail.

    If you can pair this with another, you might be able to get away with a one lane roadway, allowing your desired parking configuration; but now that it is a 30' ROW it might not even offer that.

    Actually the mall could end up helping this, as Mike stated, closing of the street and making it pedestrians might work if you can make an inviting walkway to and from the mall. They could feed off each other.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
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    I hear you, Detroitplanner.

    I am not sure if this road is a Federal Aid road. I've never heard of this, but I will certainly bring it up. I do understand that Federal guidelines play a part in funding, but I'm not sure if this small street will or will not fall under that umbrella.

    I would LOVE to pair this road with another, and have begged. Unfortunately, it look like a losing battle. It appears we will be using private property for sidewalks, and some parking. I am sure our traffic engineering department will demand 12-foot roads anyway, so we will need to incorporate them.

    The Mall is absolutely against using its parking for Fat City. One of the reasons is that nobody wants to share parking, because of the night-life in Fat City. Lots of broken bottles.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian
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    To answer the burning question, this is not a federal-aid road. I think we could solve the truck turning problem by allowing turns off of 18th Street only at the ends (Division or Severn). Trucks would otherwise have to use Veterans or W Esplanade to go East-West.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Some food for thought on your original parking requirement question. The area has gotten by with the limited parking now available. Could you work on the parking demand that the redevelopment will generate (minus the so-called deficiency of the current situation)?

    For example, a certain cafe by code needs 6 spaces. It has 3 and it was there before the code. The cafe doubles its size to now require 12 spaces. I could argue that they need 9 because of the pre-existing deficiency.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian transguy's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    Some food for thought on your original parking requirement question. The area has gotten by with the limited parking now available. Could you work on the parking demand that the redevelopment will generate (minus the so-called deficiency of the current situation)?

    For example, a certain cafe by code needs 6 spaces. It has 3 and it was there before the code. The cafe doubles its size to now require 12 spaces. I could argue that they need 9 because of the pre-existing deficiency.
    I like this approach, and it's how our code is setup here. Haven't run into an issue with it yet.
    Much work remains to be done before we can announce our total failure to make any progress.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian
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    I like where this his headed.

    Now, what if we don't know how many parking spaces a place actually has currently, because certain businesses' customers are actually parking off-site on others' parking lots (to the other owners' great chagrin)? How does the planner know how many spots the 1st business is actually "getting away with?"

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