Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Guest Post: Charlotte Parking Wars

Here in Dallas, we have had a similar problem. Not with a greenway, but parking for DART stations taking up spaces in a shopping center and remaining all day, while the car's owner works in downtown.

A friend writes:
This was on our local news last night. I thought you might enjoy it. We built a greenway(+1 for CLT) in a place where it's mainly accessible by car(-1 for CLT) so people began parking overflow in a shopping plaza. The shopping plaza patrons are mad b/c they can't park in the closest spot to WalMart. The solution being proposed is constructing a new parking lot, just for the greenway(-1 for CLT). By my calculations building this new greenway is going to have a net negative effect on Charlotte. Which to me contradicts the original reason for building the greenway?
Here is the link to the news story:
4-Mile Creek Greenway is an outdoor lovers paradise for hikers, bikers, dog walkers, and people who love to run and have fun. But, the problem is parking at the entrance is limited and many find it convenient to park across Bevington Place at the Shops at Piper Glen which is limited itself. "Sometimes it's just like somebody took all the cars and just stirred them up, it's crazy and can be a nightmare, especially on the weekends." said frequent shopper Nancy Brimberry. Brenda Schuler adds, "it's too compact it's too small and and there's so many accidents in here."
Here is where I think it is important to remember the old Donald Shoup study that there are four surface parking spaces built in this country for every car. Furthermore, the Piper Glen area where this parking war is taking place is very suburban. Recall that the quote above says it is for hikers, bikers, dog walkers, joggers, etc. All of these people are DRIVING to the green space.

In a drive-to-everywhere world, this will ALWAYS be a problem.