A New Dirty Phrase?

By Larry Cohen, CAPP

Negative public feedback (“not in my backyard”), better land use, cost, debt, planning for repurposing of old garages, is new inventory really needed, and the ongoing emphasis to reduce single-occupant vehicles (SOV) in favor of alternative forms of transportation have me wondering if all of these issues have helped create an era of a new dirty phrase: “We need to build a new parking garage.”

The public has stopped the building of one garage (and maybe another) that I had planned because their perception is that a new garage is not needed even though the facts have been presented showing otherwise. Of course the issue of “not in my backyard” is the prominent issue in all communities, but are we also dealing with a new era of “less new garages?” Our architectural and parking engineers will hopefully tell us this is not true.

I’d love to see more discussion on this topic.

Larry J. Cohen, CAPP, is executive director of the Lancaster Parking Authority.

2 thoughts on “A New Dirty Phrase?

  1. We had a discussion on a parking garage we were looking to build in our downtown area and during the discussion it was mentioned that with all the new self-driving vehicles we do not need to invest in a parking garage that will be around 50-70 years. It was determined to build the garage after we explained that even those will need parking and that the need for parking is now. While what may or may not happen years from now certainly needs to be discussed at the end of the day we have customers and demand that needs to be addressed now. We can always build on our surface lots and continue to utilize the garage if at a later date parking demand is less.

  2. Although we’re captivated and preparing for the impact of autonomous vehicles, shared use approaches, smart city concepts, alternate modes, and innovation/information age advances associated with “Moore’s Law”, the number of automobiles operated in the U.S. continues to rise every year the economy is positive (exception years were 1991, 2002, 2009 and 2010).

    As of 2015, there were 263.6 million vehicles registered in the U.S., and this was up from 247.4 million in 2005.

    I’ll take bets that the rate of growth of cars in the U.S. will continue apace, so long as our economy is strong. Given the current outlook for an expanding economy, expect higher numbers in 2017. [Does anyone have good numbers for 2016?]

    Reference: https://www.statista.com/statistics/183505/number-of-vehicles-in-the-united-states-since-1990/

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