Last week, a Yahoo! news report on parking garages titled "Once ubiquitous, parking garages fall to the wrecking ball" gave the impression that America's cities are, en masse, turning their backs on decades of auto-centricity.
Is this reality?
From the article:
"Virtually every city is grappling with this," said Tom Murphy, an urban revitalization expert and former mayor of Pittsburgh, referring to the demolitions designed to enliven dowdy business districts. "How do we create more vibrant places?"
Typical parking structures built in the 1960s and 1970s were functional but not very charming, with blank gray walls and concrete ramps. Now that many mid-sized cities are trying to capitalize on renewed interest in living and working downtown, the wrecking balls are swinging.
I personally don't see this at all. Yes, there is the occasional dilapidated parking ramp that comes down, but its replacement always has lots of parking, if perhaps a slightly more modern design.
And I still see cities, big and small, obsess needlessly over parking. Even in NYC, where one would think that ubiquitous transit options would make parking a lower priority, local zoning conversations are still dominated by it.
Have we turned a corner on parking or do we still have a long way to go? What do you see in your place?