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How does the trend toward mixed-use development impact the parking industry and our communities?

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The increasing numbers and scale of mixed-use development across the country has many benefits. However, it does pose certain challenges and opportunities.  Attracting large numbers of people to a place with many options for activities raises an important question: Where will everyone park? Even though people can walk to multiple destinations within the concentrated area once they are on site, many still need to drive to the destination, and have access to safe, convenient, and easy-to-find parking. The location, appearance, and integration of parking into any mixed-use development is critically important to the success of project.

An important objective in planning parking for mixed-use developments is to enhance the visitors / pedestrians’ connection to public places. The walking distance between the parking resource and the various destinations is a key consideration related to the comfort and convenience of parking patrons and will directly affect their level of satisfaction.

In mixed-use, high density projects, structured parking is often required to provide spaces for the other high density uses and to meet the necessary parking requirements. Structured parking frees up land and space for other uses and for green space elements that contribute to both the vitality and the aesthetics of the project.  If all parking can be concentrated into one area, it allows for more space and opportunity to creatively plan a project and contribute to its visual appeal and pedestrian walkability.  By concentrating parking in a high-density structure, additional space may be preserved as open green space, or a public plaza and gathering place for patrons.

*Federal, State, and Local codes govern most of these requirements and should be thoroughly investigated. Data presented herein should be considered guidelines only.  For more specific information and assistance with implementation of these guidelines, please contact TimHaahs via email at