Demand Based Parking Reform – Bill Peduto
The basic idea is this: in most neighborhoods, at most times of the day, there’s no parking problem. Many spaces are open, and everybody who wants a parking space can find one.
But then there are a few periods in the day, typically downtown or in neighborhoods with a commercial retail strip, when demand for curb parking peaks, and not everybody who wants a space can find one.
It doesn’t make any sense to charge the same price for curb parking in both of these situations.
This is good, smart stuff.
I’ve wondered also about introducing variable availability during the day of to street parking at all, this time not in response to demand for street parking as much as in response to traffic pressure during the relatively fixed rush hours. A car trying to parallel park on a busy road at rush isn’t good thing.
Now, since I started biking I normally don’t like bowing to driver impatience anymore, but I’m still infected with some sensibilities that came from growing up car-bound in the south hills and this makes sense to me. Through traffic does matter.
But to complete the circle back to where I am right now, maybe there’s a win-win? I’m thinking specifically that maybe you can bike lanes through this on/off parking where the road would just not a allow bike lanes normally? I mean, times really have to be fixed here otherwise it’s just confusion and badness, but if you do it at the right fixed time, then when your arteries are at their worst and drivers likely at their most impatient you can cruise along in a lane. That sounds attractive to me.
What do others think? Too Rube Goldberg to work, too conciliatory to the through traffic over neighborhoods mentality, or maybe not such a bad idea?
I recall that part of the new non-metered parking system that they rolled out is to gather statistical data towards a variable fee based on demand.
byogman wrote:I mean, times really have to be fixed here otherwise it’s just confusion and badness, but if you do it at the right fixed time, then when your arteries are at their worst and drivers likely at their most impatient you can cruise along in a lane
Mt.Lebanon, Dormont, and, I think, West Liberty (city of Pittsburgh?) have 19 as 4 lane 2 way road and they allow motorists to park in one line each direction with the following exception:
1. Inbound lanes — no parking allowed from 06:00 am till 09:00 am weekdays.
2. Outbound lanes — no parking allowed from 04:00 pm till 07:00 pm weekdays.
I think this is pretty close to what you have described. AJBooth is using those right lanes. :)
So the right lane is just a parking lane but it becomes a full traffic lane when the cars clear out? Or, the right lane has parking toward the right that when it clears out that makes a wide lane that’s easy to share as long as cars don’t drift?
I was thinking of the latter situation and saying in that case let’s formalize it with paint. If the former, I personally think that’s still better than a single lane at the same traffic pressure, since you can take the lane and cars have room to go around, but I’m not sure how you’d mark it… sharrows in both lanes? The on again off again lanes could be confusing too, and might be better if accompanied by sharrows, but lanes at least are lines that are a concretely useful visual cue.
byogman wrote:So the right lane is just a parking lane but it becomes a full traffic lane when the cars clear out? Or, the right lane has parking toward the right that when it clears out that makes a wide lane that’s easy to share as long as cars don’t drift?
the former is correct. Penn in Point Breeze is another example, though with one well-known exception the available parking is rarely used; Penn between the Strip and Downtown (16th–11th, 9th–7th) is another. The road is striped simply for two traffic lanes, but parking is permitted in the curb lane, except during peak periods when parking is prohibited and the lane is (theoretically) available for travel.
somewhat off-topic, but something that has been on my mind a lot lately: why is vehicular traffic allowed on penn in the strip at all during the weekend shopping time? even in the deadest of winter, there are people walking out into the street because the sidewalk is full, and much of the sidewalk space is taken up by vendors. why not close the road to cars, let people walk where they feel like it, and let vendors set up in the parking spaces? say, 7am to 4pm on saturday, and 7am to 2pm on sunday. i really want to see this happen. the area is so desperate for it, i have trouble understanding why it hasn’t happened already.
Of course, there isn’t actually that much parking available there, especially once you subtract vendors’ cars, but…
HiddenVariable wrote:why is vehicular traffic allowed on penn in the strip at all during the weekend shopping time?
What I’ve heard is that many of the stores in the strip do a lot of wholesale business, and that even on weekends the delivery trucks need to have access to the streets. I’m not sure how true this is, or if there isn’t a way to deal with it, but it’s more than just an “I wanna drive my car everywhere” mentality.
I first heard about demand based parking in Jeffery Mapes’ book “Pedalling Revolution”, preaching to the peloton here, but if you have not read it and want a primer on the history of bicycle advocacy, I highly recommend it. Mapes references a similar parking approach in the introduction:
“More importantly, very little is said about the huge subsidies received by motorists that far outweigh any freebies received by cyclists. The largest is free—or cheap—parking. Cars take up a lot of space and it is expensive to provide the room to park them (parking garages can cost upwards of $10,000 a space). When I ride my bike to the grocery store, I don’t take a space in the parking lot. But the cost of providing that acre of parking at my local store is reflected in the prices of everything I buy there. That may sound trivial, but it isn’t. One study estimated that drivers received as much as $220 billion in 1991 in parking subsidies—more than was spent on roads that year. UCLA Professor Donald Shoup calculates that all of the country’s parking spaces take up an area roughly equivalent to the size of Connecticut. And I won’t even go into such subsidies as the military costs of keeping our oil supplies flowing in the Middle East.”
I tracked down Shoup’s book, “The High Cost of Free Parking”, which Mapes refers to in the above quote. It turned out to be a rather massive book, so I resorted to finding and reading the following link, which provides a great summary of Shoup’s findings. For anyone interested here it is:
the b.rad wrote:When I ride my bike to the grocery store, I don’t take a space in the parking lot.
I do not agree completely with this statement (I know it is not your statement). As a bicyclist I take some space both on a road and on a parking. But much less then a car. Amsterdam already has problems with parking near RR station and on some streets in front of shops. Bicycle police is very strict in handing fines and a lot of bicyclist complain. but pedestrians complain about bicyclist even more.
I think about this a lot, especially where autodominionism goes unchallenged. Two recent examples: My trip on Sunday to Ross Park Mall, where I found a bike rack near a major entrance but entirely unusable. I was half tempted to drag it out into the parking lot and claim one parking space to put it in. If I’d had four orange cones with me, I might have.
Second example: AE Stage, where I attended a concert a couple weeks ago. Virtually zero space to lock up anywhere nearby. I ended up tying up to a rack at the North Shore T station, a quarter mile away. They could easily use space for 50 bikes there, maybe 500 if you consider the proximity to AE and both Heinz Field and PNC Park.
But how do we get there? It’s AFAIK all privately owned and/or controlled by some Authority. Prying two or five actual parking spaces out of someone’s grip? It might be easier to erect a platform over the river.
StuInMcCandless wrote:It might be easier to erect a platform over the river.
Put an old barge on a side of the river like in Amsterdam?
I meant to mention, but I actually got that rack installed after initially being kicked off the premise for riding my bike up there, by a security guard on a bicycle
That was maybe four or five years ago? I think the way I used it is to just put the bike parallel to the long side, kind of like a one bicycle-bike rack
Wish I would have mentioned toaster racks being an issue in my initial email to the mall management
I would suggest writing and sending a paper letter to the management of the places you’re talking about. Businesses like Stage AE are very likely to understand that some of their target audience members are cyclists and have an interest in having parking nearby. A well reasoned letter has a decent chance of reaching someone in charge who can easily do something about the situation. E.g.,
PromoWest North Shore – Stage AE
400 North Shore Drive
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15212
Edit: Thinking about it, another way to get some momentum for bike parking would be if someone published a list of Bike Friendly stores, restaurants, etc. and if businesses were somehow made aware that being on the list was good for business…
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.