News

  • How Much Parking Do We Really Need, and What Should it Cost?

    Posted in Beyond Parking on Sep 22, 2012

    Did you know it costs five times as much per space to build a parking garage as it does a surface lot? It's seven times as much to build parking underground. And yet, many of us still believe we are entitled to free and available parking. Why do our public policies still require even our new, walkable, mixed-use developments to devote a fourth of the property for parking? Can't office and residential components share? These are some of the relevant issues presented in a four-part video series produced for the San Francisco Bay Area's Metropolitan Commission (MTC). "Smart Parking" sets out to c...

  • Beyond the Games – Back Home in Atlanta

    Posted in Beyond Parking on Aug 13, 2012

    I am back in Atlanta following an incredible experience working the London Olympics. With the games now over, the world is heaping praise on London for hosting such an excellent spectacle. After the well-publicized anxieties about London's preparedness in the days before the games, the years of planning kicked in, and the pieces fell into place. I saw this first-hand as I consulted with the Olympic Delivery Authority and Sparrowhawk, Inc., who were responsible for the planning and implementation of the off-site park-and-ride lots. The first half of my trip meant long hours, but as the days wen...

  • Olympic Parking a Breeze Thanks to Planning and Culture of Using Transit

    Posted in Beyond Parking on Jul 30, 2012

    It's day three of the Olympic Games here in London, and for all the talk of logistical issues, parking has NOT been a problem. I'm here consulting with the Olympic Delivery Authority, the wing of the Olympic organization responsible for getting people around during the Games. I'm impressed with the large number of spectators taking public transit to the venues. This is a key component of the transport strategy that this be a "public transport" games, as first published in 2007. Underpinning London 2012’s transport strategy is its ambition to host a ‘public transport’ Games. The aim is for 100 ...

  • Changing Travel Behavior: Punishment vs. Reward

    Posted in Beyond Parking on Mar 26, 2012

    Being in the business of finding ways to change travel behavior, I have dabbled in both reward and punishment. Charging for parking as a tool to get employees not to park in on-street spaces is a form of punishment, while giving out iPods to those who carpool a certain number of days each month is a reward. I have never thought that one might be more effective than the other until I read Eric Jaffe's piece, "Should We Pay People to Drive Off Peak," in Atlantic Cites Place Matters.He writes about a group of researchers led by Taede Tillema of the University of Groningen, in the Netherlands, w...

  • Ranking the Most Livable, Innovative Cities in America

    Posted in Beyond Parking on Mar 05, 2012

    Is your city among the smartest in terms of urban planning and policy making? Zipcar, Inc. this week released its "Future Metropolis Index," a ranking of highly populated cities in five categories: innovation, sustainability, vibrancy, and creativity-efficiency-livability-optimism (a combo category).Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Boston top the "innovation" category. Tuscon, Portland, and San Francisco are most "sustainable." El Paso, NYC, and San Diego are most "livable."Read the detailsThe ranking drew the attention of Urban Land Magazine.Zipcar commissioned the study by KRC Research. The study co...

  • Federal Funding of Public Transit Takes Potential Turn for the Worse

    Posted in Beyond Parking on Feb 16, 2012

    The debate in Washington over federal funding for surface transportation programs is heating up, so I thought I would update you with regard to where everyone stands.The House Republican proposal to fund surface transportation programs for five years was approved three weeks ago by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The full House is expected to consider the American and Energy Infrastructure Jobs Act later this month.Sponsors describe the measure as “the largest transportation reform bill since the Interstate Highway System was created in 1956.” The bill aims to eliminate ...

  • Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing the Next Big Thing

    Posted in Beyond Parking on Feb 08, 2012

    When I decided to experiment with going car-less over a year ago, I was afraid to get rid of my car completely by selling it, so I decided to rent it to a friend for six months with the caveat that I could use it in case of an emergency. Little did I know I was at the forefront of a movement.Peer-to-Peer car sharing is different from traditional car sharing like Zipcar in that it allows people to rent out their own vehicles to others at rates set by the car owners themselves. An article in Time this week explores the present state of peer-to-peer car sharing in particular the impact on the a...

  • Parking Lots: Possibilities Beneath the Surface

    Posted in Beyond Parking on Jan 10, 2012

    It is often said that the lowest and worst land use is surface parking. So why does the US have so much of it, and could it be used for something other than just parking? These are some of the questions that Michael Kimmelman asks in a New York Times article Paved, but Still Alive."There are said to be at least 105 million and maybe as many as 2 billion parking spaces in the United States. A third of them in parking lots, those asphalt deserts that we claim to hate but that proliferate for our convenience."He goes on to explain that, at the very least, we should take these spaces more serio...

  • Undoing the Damage Done by Urban Freeways

    Posted in Beyond Parking on Dec 27, 2011

    The effort to remove or re-purpose existing freeways and heal the wounds they inflicted on cities continues with the near completion of park Madrid Rio in Madrid, Spain. Madrid Rio sits atop a six-mile stretch of tunnels that now house the old M-30 Freeway.From yesterday's New York Times:"All around the world, highways are being torn down and waterfronts reclaimed; decades of thinking about cars and cities reversed; new public spaces created."New York City master planner Robert Moses famously drove freeways right through neighborhoods until urban activist Jane Jacobs stood up to him. Now, one ...

  • Shopping Malls Using High Tech to Help You Find a Parking Space

    Posted in Beyond Parking on Dec 22, 2011

    During the holiday season, I start thinking a lot about retail parking. It is only during this time of year when the sea of asphalt around most malls and shopping centers fills up.Meandering through a parking deck or lot trolling for a space wastes gas, causes pollution, and diminishes the shopping experience. With shopping centers earning 40% of their annual sales during the six weeks leading to Christmas, they have a strong incentive to make sure customers have a parking space when they arrive.Malls are now using electronic signage, smart phone apps, and even Twitter to ease the pain of try...

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