Global warming, increasing traffic congestion, diminishing resources and declining health levels have led to the introduction of several policies aimed at deterring car-usage. However many such policies have not only often failed to achieve their objective, they also risk jeopardising the retail sector. To help understand why, this study measures the importance shoppers assign to car convenience, their perceptions of shopping malls and shopping strips (also referred to as Main Street or the High Street) in relation to it, and then compares them in their actual provision of it. To achieve these objectives, the study utilised a consumer household survey and a retail audit. The results of the study indicate that consumers regard car convenience as an important determinant of where they choose to shop, and perceive malls as a superior source of it. Moreover, with the sole exception of being able to park close to desired stores, malls offer car-borne shoppers more convenient access and parking. The findings suggest that any strategy designed to deter car usage should be designed to impact equally on both mall shopping and strip shopping, or risk tipping the balance even further in favour of the mall.
For big cities like New York it is high time to abandon outmoded zoning codes from the auto-boom days requiring specific ratios of parking spaces per housing unit, or per square foot of retail space. These rules about minimum parking spaces have driven up the costs of apartments for developers and residents, damaged the environment, diverted money that could have gone to mass transit and created a government-mandated cityscape that’s largely unused. We keep adding to the glut of parking lots. Crain’s recently reported on the largely empty garages at new buildings like Avalon Fort Greene, a 42-story luxury tower near downtown Brooklyn, and 80 DeKalb Avenue, up the block, both well occupied, both of which built hundreds of parking spaces to woo tenants. Garages near Yankee Stadium, built over the objections of Bronx neighbors appalled at losing parkland for yet more parking lots, turn out never to be more than 60 percent full, even on game days. The city has lost public space, the developers have lost a fortune.
The TRANSOC Friday Seminars kick off this week with Jay Primus of SFParkpresenting, "Putting Parking Management Theory into Practice."
"SFMTA established SFpark to use new technologies and policies to improve parking in San Francisco . . . To help achieve the right level of parking availability, SFpark periodically adjusts meter and garage pricing up and down to match demand. Demand-responsive pricing encourages drivers to park in underused areas and garages, reducing demand in overused areas. Through SFpark, real-time data and demand-responsive pricing work together to readjust parking patterns in the City so that parking is easier to find."
The seminar will be this Friday, August 26, from 4-5 PM in 406 Davis Hall. Don't miss Cookie Hour before hand in the library. We're baking something special.