One of my passions is right-sized parking. When you find others in the industry who share your views, it’s only natural to promote them and, more importantly, the great work they are doing.
In my time working in the Pacific Northwest, I have been following the efforts of King County Metro Transit and the work of Daniel Rowe. Together, Daniel and his organization are making great strides to right-size parking in their community. By employing data-driven analysis methods and realistic planning factors, they will inevitably help the Seattle and larger King County community save countless parking spaces and enable the construction of higher-density developments that help shape a more dynamic and energetic community. The King County Right Size Parking Project is funded by the FHWA Value Pricing Pilot Program. Additional information on can be found here.
Over the past couple of years, Daniel and King County have undertaken one of the nation’s largest right-sized parking efforts to date. The intent of this movement is to help communities find the right mix of parking and development to support growth without inhibiting community development. Sounds easy enough, but when you start to look at all the factors and players, achieving right-sized parking isn’t as easy as it sounds. Through their study efforts, King County has defined new ratios for parking generation based on location, area density, transit service availability, pricing, job availability, and development type. And to top that off, their website allows you to evaluate parking demands based on all these factors.
I dare you to play with that website for five minutes and not get hooked on the premise of right-sized parking. Daniel’s team has established unique factors that define their community’s parking paradigm, including transit availability, job density, and overall residential development characteristics. With these factors, you (the parking planner in any city) can begin to plan your ideal development that requires no parking and promotes the ideal walkable lifestyle.
I may be overly excited about an effort like this, but this outside-the-box thinking is going to transform us from an auto-dependent society into one that embraces great urban design policies, sustainable transportation infrastructure, and lessened pollution. It’s time to get right!