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Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Parking Lots Are Bad For Downtowns

The Atlantic Cities blog looks at the scourge of downtown parking lots:

Whether you agree with their premise or not, there’s no arguing that huge surface parking lots create an atmosphere that is inherently hostile to the pedestrian: dull, unbearably hot in summer, windswept in all seasons, and potentially menacing, especially to women returning to their cars alone after dark.

In the Streetfilms short, Garrick talks about the way that guaranteed parking for government employees in the state capital of Hartford, Connecticut, has created an effective moat between the city’s historic residential neighborhoods, many of which have rows of fine brownstones, and its downtown, which has been gutted of small-scale employers and services.

[...] Garrick says that some cities, such as Cambridge, Massachusetts, and more recently Washington, D.C., have made good headway in reversing the trend toward massive parking lots that overwhelm the human scale and lead to downtowns devoid of people. “It’s very hard for people to realize, and it’s very hard to prove that planning is the reason,” says Garrick. “But this is the result of planning.” Better planning, he says, could mean a restoration of cities where the streets are for people, not cars.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/property/2014/06/parking-lots-are-bad-for-downtowns.html

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