Were Your Ears Burning? Philadelphia was All About Parking Yesterday
By Rachel Yoka, CAPP
Highlights from the Delaware Valley Smart Growth Alliance (DVSGA) Spring Forum yesterday, featuring Professor Donald Shoup and an insightful panel, included a discussion of The High Cost of Free Parking, as well as parking issues that challenge our city but are common across the country. Moderator Andrew Stober, vice president of planning and economic development for the University City District, who oversees a wide-reaching portfolio of public space and commercial corridor development and transportation improvement, noted that parking is “a deeply emotional issue.” (This will come as no surprise to parking professionals, who expertly address a wide range of patron emotions every day.) Timothy Haahs of TimHaahs and Robert Zuritsky of Parkway Corporation gave us a deep dive into the specific political, economic, and musical elements of parking in the City of Brotherly Love. Anne Fadullon, the new director of planning and development for the city, a cabinet-level position, tackles zoning, planning, and community development, to name a few. She had my favorite soundbite of the day, quipping that nothing is as American as “hot dogs, apple pie, and free parking.”
Professor Shoup brought three primary recommendations to the table:
- Use demand-based parking with a target of 85 percent occupancy.
- Establish parking benefit districts as a transportation management tool and driver for economic development.
- Reduce or eliminate off-street parking requirements
DVSGA attendees don’t throw softball questions. They are heavily invested in the real estate (and therefore parking) industry, but it’s safe to say that these ideas and policies hit a high note with all of them, and that there are more Shoupistas in Philly today than there were yesterday.