A great article on common sense in parking planning was recently published by the Houston Chronicle, which contains many simple truths about balancing parking supply and demand and the retail requirements of a high street area.
In Houston, a partnership between a ‘downtown business booster’ and the top parking representative from the city, has begun to look at parking as an economic development tool, with a view to transforming parking from a cash register to a way of keeping cash registers ringing at shops, stadiums and restaurants – by making it easier to park.
The basic premise being that if parking is no longer a hassle, suburbanites who make discretionary visits to the high street will do so more often. To do it right, it is necessary to perform a balancing act between consistent pricing, signage and on-street and off-street facilities.
Technology should be an enabler for a better parking experience, helping with directions, availabilities, locations and pricing of parking, partnering with private car park owners to offer a holistic service.
And whilst it all sounds like common sense, getting all the parts working together efficiently is the challenge that today’s parking planners face.