Do we have too many parking spaces?
February 19, 2016 6:14 pm at 6:14 pm #1115205
Thought readers might be interested in this research I’ve been involved in looking at how well used parking lots are at retailers around the Columbus Metro area.
http://www.planetizen.com/node/84097/retail-parking-view-google-earthFebruary 19, 2016 9:43 pm at 9:43 pm #1115216
IIRC the City of Columbus had absurd parking requirements beginning 30 years ago which were recently updated to be more like Worthington.February 20, 2016 8:16 am at 8:16 am #1115226
Interesting post. Thanks for sharing. Its too bad you weren’t able to get data between 4 and 6 pm, I wonder how that would affect affect the numbers.February 20, 2016 9:11 am at 9:11 am #1115229
Early evening numbers would be higher, but based on day time numbers I am sure that it wouldn’t be anywhere close to full.February 20, 2016 4:13 pm at 4:13 pm #1115238
It’s interesting research, but I’d like to hear more about what’s to be done with it.
I know that from a retailer’s perspective, there’s no such thing as ‘typical’ utilization of parking – their goal is to have space available whenever people want to buy. This is incredibly uneven… think of a grocer on Superbowl weekend or a consumer electronics retailer on black Friday. These are times when each parking spot may provide significantly higher-than-average purchase totals (many times over within a day), thereby justifying the expense of the extra land to provide parking that is otherwise underutilized.
Of course, there are plenty of good reasons for why we shouldn’t plan solely around the retailer’s best interests, but how do you reconcile it with the reality that retailers may have something like 5-20 days in which to make up to half of their sales for the year, and that if they couldn’t provide parking for those days then they often couldn’t exist or wouldn’t take the risk of trying?
I’m nowhere near as invested in the retailer’s point of view as the above may make me seem. I’ve worked for some of the big guys, but am not necessarily of their mindset… just sharing where they’re coming from, and my knowledge of how they plan for car-centric urban areas. I guess I’m mostly wondering if there’s more to be done with your findings than mainly to reinforce the seemingly understood point that our low density, car-centric urban planning has led us to set aside a disproportionately large chunk of Central Ohio for parking.February 21, 2016 9:22 am at 9:22 am #1115243
Drew, yes there are peak days/times and yes retailers build to a key target.
One thing to consider is that many stores were built 10-20 or more years ago. Yet in that time there has been a big change in the way we consume, with more items being purchased online. This is reducing the demand for in store visits.
Have our parking codes changed recognizing the changing nature of retail? Some yes some no. For example, Hillard recently changed its parking code which had been in place since the 1970s.
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