Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Millions wasted on new parking garage in Newark?

A huge stacked parking crater sits at the corner of S. Main and Beverly Road in Newark. More to come, apparently.
Newark Post -- Last week, the city secured the final piece of land necessary to move forward and consider plans to build a parking garage behind The Galleria on Main Street, and while some motorists and business owners support the project, others are worried a garage would alter the look of downtown.

“[The lot] gets filled up so fast,” said University of Delaware senior Emily Schmidt. “I know I’ve had several times my friends and I have tried to park here and there’s no spots. “I don’t think it’d block anyone’s views because there’s not much to see here anyways,” she added.

Some Kildare’s employees and Brew Ha Ha! staff, however, say they feel otherwise. “That would block all the views on our back patio,” said Kildare’s hostess Sierra Pinkett. “No one wants to stare at a parking garage. “It’s going to be a big gaudy building,” she added. “That’s why us and Brew Ha Ha! have back patios, because of the views.” [Continue reading ...]

Millions for increased car parking, but no dedicated funding for Bicycle Plan implementation. Studies show that City Council is making a big mistake.

Bloomberg: American Cities Are Haunted by Too Many Parking Spaces -- American car culture may be declining, but much of our urban infrastructure remains steadfastly centered around the automobile. Planning choices made in the heyday of car ownership may prove incompatible with a rising generation of consumers who seem remarkably disinterested in driving.

“In the ’50s and ’60s, cities did things like subsidize garage parking, and they condemned buildings so the lots could be used for parking,” says Norman Garrick, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Connecticut. Many, he adds, still require a minimal number of parking spots to be added for each new development. But it turns out that all the parking doesn’t pay off.

A pair of forthcoming studies by Garrick and several of his UConn colleagues examine the economic and sociological impacts of parking trends in six U.S. cities from 1960 to 2000. They conclude that some car-centric cities forfeit more than a thousand dollars per parking space per year in potential municipal revenues by using land for parking rather than more lucrative alternatives. The researchers also found that minimum parking requirements inhibit development and exacerbate traffic by placing incentives on car use rather than on walking and cycling. [Full article ...]

CityLab: Cars and Robust Cities Are Fundamentally Incompatible -- In Cambridge, Massachusetts, for example, officials adopted parking limits in the zoning code – parking limits that are lower than the minimum parking requirements in some cities today. Of the six cities we looked at, parking supplies in three cities just about leveled off after 1980. In the other three, parking supplies nearly doubled for a second time.

If the function of parking in these places was to enable growth and development, the data suggests they were abysmal failures. The number of people and jobs dropped by as much as 15 percent and the median family incomes fell by 20 to 30 percent in some places. Today, these places still struggle to compete in their regions. [Full article ...]


  1. Every city is different. I suspect Newark's Main Street is different than others in that it is too big to survive only on the two thousand or so homes that are reasonably walkable and bikable to Main St for most families. Instead, our Main Street relies on Pike Creek, Hockessin, Bear, Christiana and the other 100,000+ households in "greater Newark" that are within a 10 min drive away for 90% of that population.

    Charlottesville, VA, is a college town with a large parking garage behind their award winning pedestrian/bike Main Street. They don't even allow cars on the Main Street... it's wonderful! The parking garage helps them do that.

    Newark is much more like Charlottesville than Cambridge, MA, which you cite in your blog article criticizing the parking garage. I'm not saying the garage is right for Newark necessarily, but my point here is that you can NOT reasonably conclude that it's necessarily wrong for Newark. This requires real transportation planning expertise and study, and I trust that the City experts, WILMAPCO, and their consultants have done this.

    1. Have studies taken place, in terms of who's coming from where? Before a massive undertaking like this, every other congestion mitigation option should be explored and implemented. That is anything but the case here. According to the Post article, students are quoted complaining about the lack of parking spots. What percentage of downtown congestion and parking problems involve students that live within an easy walk or bike ride of Main St? Is this even being considered? This issue is just like Elkton Road. They're bringing it one step closer to a Rt.13 to help folks circumvent the I95 toll.


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