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Old Posted Oct 26, 2015, 4:17 PM
counterfactual counterfactual is offline
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Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
"More parking spaces always better (helps drive down costs of parking downtown by providing competition..."

I'd argue the exact opposite. The less parking spaces the better as having fewer spaces helps drive up the cost of parking which discourages automobile usage downtown, which in turn reduces the strain on roads and bridges. Not to mention that having large numbers of parking spaces in every development drives up development cost which is passed down to residents making downtown less affordable and attractive even to the many people who wouldn't need a car.
While I agree in principle with reducing car usage, I think this way of thinking will hurt, rather than help, downtown.

The reality is that most population growth in the next decade will still be out in the suburbs. And so businesses will want to cater to the growth areas. So, if we want businesses to open downtown, and stay there instead of biz parks, then we need to make it easy for families to visit downtown. While I think that means improving public transit options-- i think LRT could be huge to help downtown for this very reason--- for the foreseeable future, people move their family around in cars. And we just don't have the population base to shun suburbia if we want downtown to be vibrant.

Also, I would say that the costing of parking spaces will have only extremely marginal effect on automobile use, especially given our public transit is so poor, so most families who would wish to come downtown will want convenient parking. I do think people in HRM are entitled and expect convenient AND free parking, which is absurd, but over time, they'll get over that. So long as there are ample parking spaces, via parking garages in convenient locations like this, people will come downtown, park, and shop. In fact, one of the biggest challenges for downtown over the last 20 years was the other impact of zero downtown development-- there were no new underground parking lots being built because there was no developments happening. In, Toronto and most major cities, new developments brought online new parking spaces, making parking less costly and also very convenient-- we've relied on surface parking and street parking -- both inconvenient, with little capacity, and in the case of surface lots-- ugly and inefficient.

I also think you're wrong about the economics of developments. Parking garages help increase the size and scope of developments because it's means of sustaining overall costs in the long term. Owners rent spots to tenants and then on weekends/weekdays to the public, it is income they wouldn't otherwise have. Developers would add bigger lots if they could -- they're not costly to build or maintain if done right, compared to actual buildings.

If we make it impossible to park, businesses like Urban Outfitters will simply not stay. They'll move to suburban malls and we'll go back to dead downtown streets.

If you truly want to reduce car usage, you need a combination of (1) steep road tolls and (2) reliable transit (LRT / subway) that families will use.

We don't have (2) and our politicians are too spineless for (1).
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