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Asked a question 11 months ago

I serve on Econ Dev. committee for my coastal tourist town with 6,000 full time residents on an island in SE NC. I am desperately trying to deploy some Strong Towns approaches but all the group wants to talk about is how to create more parking for day trippers and special events IE build a massive parking deck. Any resources or recommendations on how I can help educate this committee?

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Hey Ethan, thanks so much for sharing this struggle with us. Of course, the entire Strong Towns Community empathizes and understands how challenging it is to educate peers about parking issues (and how we already have way too much parking). Regarding resources, this article immediately comes to mind: 4 Easy Steps to Squash the "There's No Parking" Argument77. I've also shared this link with the author, Nate Hood, in addition to a few other folk who have advocated for parking-related ideas in their communities. 

Paul CorderStrong Towns Member
City of Lebanon, TN Planning Director

We have a similar problem in our downtown. People keep asking for more parking.  Within a block of our square there are several huge vacant parking lots.  I have noticed that our square has a lot of cars parked but almost no people on the sidewalks.  The main problem right now is that the attorneys, store owners and workers all park right at their front door.  I think we have a parking management problem.  The easy solution would be putting 2 to 4 hour limits on the parking spots.  I also often get citizens telling me how we need a parking garage but when I look at the cost differences between 2 hour parking signs and building a parking garage, the solution is obvious.  We should at least try the parking signs and maybe some efforts to make the walk from the nearby parking lots to the square more comfortable before we jump straight to building a parking garage.

Our downtown has a nearby Woolen Mill that has been converted into a small commercial mall.  It is beautiful and has plenty of parking.  Unfortunately it is failing and is only used as an event venue now.  Our downtown square is doing better than it has in years and has a perceived parking problem and the Woolen Mill is almost vacant but has plenty of parking. More parking does not bring success.