Our streets house a range of retail, entertainment, and residential complexes. This means they see a flurry of activity and are often the site of a row of parked cars. The practice of on-street parking stands in stark contrast to conventional practices that use allotted spaces and garages.
However, on-street parking has an important role to play in benefiting urban spaces and the street itself.
Let’s look at why on-street parking is essential to both commercial and residential spaces.
People near business centers and commercial hot spots are more likely to use on the street parking spaces. The fact that these on-street parking spaces have a better turnover as compared to off-street parking enclosures makes it an efficient system of urban planning.
Better Usage of Land
Using sides of streets as parking spaces lead to better utilization of public spaces as compared to dedicated parking lots. On-street parking facilities could save up to almost 2 acres of land around a small to the medium-sized town center. This makes possible the development of commercial areas with higher density. Even in the residential sense, this space could be used for recreational facilities such as parks, swimming pools, and clubhouses.
The linearity of on-street parking seamlessly blends into the fiber of an urban lifestyle. The parallel rows of automobiles is a neat sight that gives provides a human touch to an otherwise hostile landscape. However, this advantage of on-street may only be seen from a commercial perspective.
Urban planning studies have conclusively proved that drivers tend to be more cautious and drive at considerably lower speeds when buildings have low setback distances as a result of on-street parking. Slow paced traffic provide more reaction time to commuters, thus reducing the chances of occurrence of severe mishaps. Residential areas are made safer for children and elderly citizens. This is how street parking facilities may lead to safer localities, by having a calming influence on traffic movement.
This practice holds advantages for a retail and pedestrian environment too. It gives shoppers the opportunity to make a quick “stop and go” purchase, a tremendous boost to businesses.
On-street parking does come with its set of drawbacks. The system is not very kind towards cyclists and bikers who have to co-exist with moving as well as stationary automobiles. Convenient operation of car doors in congested spaces, created by on-street parking, is often a problem.
Yet, the advantages far outweigh the problems of the system. On-street parking plays a crucial role in benefiting centers of activity. Apart from its practical advantages, it encourages business in the area. It is thus here to stay and continue being an important part of automobile parking as we know it.